Valve Founder Gabe Newell Reacts To Cyberpunk 2077 Controversy

Newell says he has "a lot of sympathy" for the developers at CD Projekt Red and believes the studio will turn the ship around.


Cyberpunk 2077 had one of the most commercially successful launches of all-time for an RPG back in December, but the game's last-gen edition was marred with issues that prompted class-action lawsuits. Valve founder Gabe Newell has now shared his thoughts on the situation, telling New Zealand's TVNZ that he has a lot of sympathy for the developers at CD Projekt Red, adding that he believes the Polish studio will do what it can to make things right as time goes on.

"I have a lot of sympathy with a situation that every game developer finds themselves in," he said. "All I know is that there are a lot of very happy gamers in the PC space, which are the ones that are most visible to us."

Newell said there are parts of Cyberpunk 2077 that are "just brilliant," and this demonstrates that the developers put in a "tremendous amount of work" to get the game out the door.

"It's unfair to throw stones at any other developer, because just getting something as complex and ambitious as that out the door is pretty amazing," he said.

Newell also reacted to Sony's decision to pull Cyberpunk 2077 from its digital store on PS4 and offer refunds. He said he had no inside knowledge of the situation, but he remarked that it was an "unusual" approach for Sony to do that.

Reflecting on controversy surrounding games in general, Newell said a strong reaction demonstrates that people care and it provides an opportunity for a developer to turn a negative into a positive.

"People get mad because they care," Newell said. "When people have those kinds of reactions, my first thought is that this is an opportunity for us, and I assume that the Cyberpunk 2077 developers are similarly just using it to crank through an make improvements that are going to be beneficial to their customers. They have a long history of doing a great job, of continuing to invest in their products over time and I suspect that they're going to be very good at making their customers happy over time."

In the world of games, expectations are high--and this can lead to fiery responses when things don't go to plan, Newell said.

"Everybody knows that if you're in this business, expectations are high, and if you do it well people are going to let you know and if you failed to meet those expectations they're are going to let you know--that's part of why it's a fun industry," Newell said.

CD Projekt Red is facing multiple class-action lawsuits over Cyberpunk 2077, but whether or not they go anywhere remains to be seen. The studio has said it will defend itself, as it has already done in responding to a Bloomberg story about the game's reportedly tumultuous development.

Cyberpunk 2077 sold 13 million copies right at launch to become one of the fastest-selling RPGs in history; and the game was profitable from day one.

As for Valve, Newell also recently confirmed that the studio is indeed working on more games following the successful release of Half Life: Alyx in 2020.

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