All The Cyberpunk 2077 Delays
The Many Delays of Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the most anticipated games of 2020, although at different times we've been left to wonder if it will release in 2020 at all. The game from the acclaimed studio behind The Witcher 3 was first announced more than seven years ago. But even after CD Projekt Red planted a flag in the ground with a release date, it's had to pick up that flag and move it. And then again. And again. The latest and likely final delay pushes it into December 2020.
The release date changes have come so rapidly and in such a short span of time that it's gained something of a reputation for slipping. CDPR even had to issue a statement about one of the delays, promising that the new release date would stick. (It didn't.)
All of this is also taking place against a backdrop of criticism over developer crunch. After publicly taking a hardline against the practice, CDPR has doubled back and begun requiring it from developers during the home stretch. And thanks to the delays, that home stretch appears to be getting extended past the studio's prior expectations.
Cyberpunk 2077 Announced in 2012
It's hard to believe now, but when Cyberpunk was first announced, CD Projekt Red hadn't even announced The Witcher 3 yet. We got first word of its Cyberpunk RPG back in 2012, when the news was merely that the studio had gained the rights to the pen-and-paper RPG license. It didn't even have a name until later that same year, when the studio formally started calling it Cyberpunk 2077. Before then, it was simply CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk project.
First Teaser Trailer Premieres in January 2013
The first teaser trailer for Cyberpunk appeared in January 2013. But ironically, it gained the most attention for teasing the impending announcement of The Witcher 3. The teaser included a coded message, which Reddit users claimed set a Cyberpunk release target of 2015. But realistically, CDPR said in the decoded message, it was more likely to just come "when it's done."
The same year, CDPR started promising a rock-and-roll Tarantino vibe for the game. It also confirmed multiplayer features, which even now has been pushed well past the initial release date for the game.
First Release Date Set For April 16, 2020
When CD Projekt Red was finally ready to announce a formal release date, it pulled out all the stops with a huge E3 2019 presence and the star power of Keanu Reeves. The celebrity appearance became an instant hit with fans ("you're breathtaking!") while also revealing that the game was coming on April 16, 2020. Or at least, that was the plan at the time.
Later that year, CDPR talked about multiplayer and acknowledged it would be coming post-launch.
First Delay To September 17, 2020
Setting the tone for how 2020 was destined to go, CDPR announced its first (real) Cyberpunk delay in January. This is still the biggest of its delays, pushing the game from a spring release to the fall. The new date was set for September 17, where surely it would remain.
In a statement explaining the move, the studio chalked up the delay to the massive scale of the game and its vision:
"We are currently at a state where the game is complete and playable, but there's still work to be done. Night City is massive--full of stories, content, and places to visit, but due to the sheer scale and complexity of it all, we need more time to finish playtesting, fixing, and polishing. We want Cyberpunk 2077 to be our crowning achievement for this generation and postponing launch will give the precious months we need to make the game perfect."
And Then Another Delay To November 19
The September date gave CDPR more time, but the studio felt it needed just a little more. Over the summer it announced another delay, to November 19. The studio once again chalked this up to its ambition. "A huge world means a huge number of things to iron out," it said in a statement. Specifically, it cited game balance and bug fixes as requiring extra time and attention. In September, CD Projekt Red promised that Cyberpunk would not be delayed again.
Though we didn't know it at the time, this put the new release date just a week after the release of the new consoles, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. An enhanced version of the game is planned for the new consoles in 2021.
Cyberpunk 2077 Goes Gold
In early October 2020, CD Projekt Red announced that the game had "gone gold." The term means that the game has been finalized to go into the certification process for consoles, which also begins the process to begin printing the discs that will go out to retail stores. That said, it's common practice in the games industry to continue working on the game after it has gone gold--for the inclusion of a "day zero patch" that will fix any last-minute bugs.
Still, the "gone gold" status combined with CDPR's earlier statement was taken to cement the November release date. No more delays!
Okay, One More Delay
And finally, the latest delay. CD Projekt Red announced that the day zero patch itself was taking longer than expected to finalize, necessitating another short push. This time it was only 21 days, putting it on December 10, 2020. It also had to issue a cheeky mea culpa after reassuring a fan who planned to take the day off, just one day before the delay was announced.
But with this new date, the release date for Cyberpunk 2077 is finally really certainly definitely solidly set-in-stone.
Next Generation And Beyond
Even when December comes, CD Projekt Red won't be done working on Cyberpunk. It has laid out lots of post-launch plans, including free content updates and native PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions. Those are expected in 2021, though the studio has been quick to remind fans that the current version will be playable via backward compatibility.
Then there's the multiplayer mode. That's even further away, as CD Projekt Red has said it's "unlikely" to come in 2021. That puts it in 2022 or later. But more realistically, it will come "when it's done."