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What a week for CD Projekt Red, eh? Cyberpunk 2077 launched on PC and consoles on December 10th, but its performance is utterly shocking on last-gen hardware. Now, a report claims that staff expressed their exasperation with the state of the game to executives, and the answers that they got weren't positive.
We knew that employees were contending with six-day work weeks so that the game could be completed in enough time for its third launch date. Cyberpunk 2077 was originally going to launch in April, but it was pushed to September, then to November, and lastly December, in order to ensure that it would be the "crowning achievement" of the generation from CD Projekt Red. "Our games are always designed for strong machines. We are thinking about the next generation, but for now we are focused on the current generation," it explained at the time.
Fast forward to today, and Cyberpunk 2077's prolific and significant glitchesare plastered all over the internet, and memed into oblivion. In an investor call, the company admitted that it "did not spend enough time" assuring the quality of the console versions of the game.
"We have also stated that if your personal expectation is that the game is going to be equal to the next-gen performance or the PC, that definitely is not going to happen," clarified vice president of business development Michał Nowakowski. Having said that, I'm not saying it's going to be a bad game but if you know expectations, say, from visual, or some other performance kind of angle, then we're openly stating that's not going to be the case. This is going to be a good playable game without glitches and crashes... that's the intention."
Fending off grumpy gamers is one thing, but tempering the emotions of your own staff is another. According to the report from Bloomberg, an internal video meeting took place earlier this week, and management began by apologising for the problematic launch of Cyberpunk 2077. Then, it was the staff's turn to steer the conversation, which quickly shifted to the necessity of crunch conditions over the months and years of its development, the unrealistic time frames for the project, and the damage done to the company's reputation. One question probed for the impact that crunch will have on the development of future titles, and executives stated that they will "improve production practices", but didn't offer their strategies on how this will be achieved.
Bloomberg's sources claim that one member of staff asked the board why Cyberpunk 2077 was said to be "complete and playable" in January when that wasn't the case. It replied that it would take responsibility. Another question inquired whether it was "hypocritical to make a game about corporate exploitation while expecting that their employees work overtime." The higher-ups didn't have a very positive answer to this one, apparently.
And now, with the game pulled from the PlayStation Store and Microsoft issuing refunds to peeved players, the legacy of Cyberpunk 2077 isn't looking like it will be the glittering dream of an incredibly detailed and reactive world unlike any other. It looks like it'll be a screenshot of an NPC T-posing on top of a motorbike with their bum out.
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