How Cyberpunk 2077 tarnished CD Projekt Red's reputation: From RPG perfectionist to unfinished promise

Cyberpunk 2077 has cost the Polish studio very dearly (Image via CD Projekt Red)
Cyberpunk 2077 has cost the Polish studio very dearly (Image via CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 is very different from what it was at launch, and it's yet to be a title worth mentioning in golden words. When one counts down all the issues the Polish studio survived, it ranges from design decisions to final execution.

In a recent report, it has been revealed that the company's stock prices have gone down by nearly 75% since the game's release. However, the damage that Cyberpunk 2077 has done goes way beyond the financial numbers, which don't look too promising.

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When the first promos were released, fans were awestruck by the ambitious CD Projekt Red was showing. What would have been farfetched for many studios looked quite doable as the studio had already built a solid reputation with the brilliance of The Witcher trilogy.

Expectations were high, and the studio assured me the wait would be worth it. There was a long period of turbulence as there were several delays, but fans didn't lose hope. Unfortunately, despite a delayed release, the game couldn't hold its own, which started at the beginning of the downfall of CD Projekt Red.


Cyberpunk 2077's rollout did irreparable damage to CD Projekt Red

The recent news has suggested that following the launch, CD Projekt Red has lost 75% of its stock since that period. Business Insider Poland reported this, which doesn't bode well for the studio.


Solid reputation created thanks to The Witcher saga

The studio was shaping up as the next big thing in Europe. Their ability to churn out great RPGs made them fan-favorites as each of the three Witcher games competed against each other in terms of brilliance. It wasn't just the base games that were great. Even the expansions were notable, and fans had high hopes for Cyberpunk 2077.

Very few projects looked as adventurous, and the majority hope was that CD Projekt Red would churn out something fantastic. Unfortunately, it turned into a case of overpromising and underdelivering on them. Some of the features showcased seem too good to be true, and the developers might have made mistakes in their planning at the very beginning.


Miserable release following major delays

Even when one delay led to another, fans waited patiently until 2020. The premise was that CD Projekt Red would release the perfect product, but it was nothing like what was promised. Fans expected a generational RPG that would be discussed for ages. While the game was being talked about, it was for all the wrong reasons.

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The number of bugs that were present at launch made Cyberpunk 2077 unplayable. Many bugs were utterly game-breaking, and fans didn't take it kindly. However, after nearly two years, the game has gradually improved from the state it was in at launch.

The next-generation upgrade was delivered as promised and breathed a new lease of life. However, things eventually looked up because the start was terrible. The stock numbers are a sign of that, as the company is now trading at 2017 valuations. It has also lost its top Polish gaming studio position after being overtaken by Techland.

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While the finances have been hurt, the reputations are gone as things stand. The studio has promised to expand the experience with upcoming DLCs, improving the game further. However, the industry at least hasn't forgotten the poor launch of the match, and it is on a downward spiral.


Can CD Projekt Red recover?

Besides the futuristic RPG, CD Projekt Red is also working on the next-generation upgrade for The Witcher 3. While there's a major chance the studio will have it ready, it won't be coming anytime soon. The DLCs could boost some of the revenue, but it's hard to imagine that they will have the same effects as a great Cyberpunk 2077 launch.

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A brand new Witcher game will start a new saga. It's unclear when the game will be released, but it won't be anytime soon. CD Projekt Red will have to make do with a depressed market for the time being. However, future performances will determine if CD Projekt Red can recover its lost glory.