Cyberpunk 2077 Developers Report Unrealistic Expectations From Studio Heads

The developers, many of whom spoke anonymously, told Bloomberg they thought 2022 sounded more reasonable for a launch date.

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In the wake of the tumultuous launch of Cyberpunk 2077, several CD Projekt Red employees have spoken out about the game's development and how it could have been released in such a rough, unfinished state. The problems appear to stem not only from unrealistic development expectations, but also a marketing campaign that seemed destined to over-promise on the final product.

Speaking to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, an anonymous member of the Cyberpunk 2077 development team said a major issue stemmed from the game's engine being created simultaneously with the game. They likened it to putting down tracks in front of a moving train to keep it from crashing, instead of building the track first. The game's development didn't begin in earnest until around 2016, despite being announced several years earlier, as most of CD Projekt Red continued work on The Witcher 3. The Witcher 3 is also getting a free next-gen upgrade for those who own the game on Xbox One and PS4, potentially pulling developers away from Cyberpunk.

The game's state at launch would have been derided no matter what fans' expectations were--a game crashing over and over again and simply not working properly will do that--but matters weren't helped by its marketing and E3 debut. The demonstration we saw at E3 2018 contained material that wouldn't be released in the final game, with the release date announced at the same time seen as unreasonable, according to the report. The anonymous employees who spoke to Bloomberg said they felt 2022 would be a more reasonable release window. For his part, studio head Adam Badowski disputed that these views represented most employees, but didn't provide anyone who contrasted with this opinion.

CD Projekt Red continues to work on addressing Cyberpunk 2077's issues, but it remains to be seen if the game will ever run in an acceptable state on Xbox One and PS4 systems. It's currently not available to buy digitally from the PlayStation Store at all, and the full next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions aren't expected until late this year. Refunds were offered to those on consoles who bought the game early, both through select retailers and CD Projekt itself. A multiplayer component is still in the works. However, you are very unlikely to see it this year.

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