Cyberpunk 2077 - How CD Projekt Red dropped the ball 

Image via CD Projekt Red
Image via CD Projekt Red
Matthew Wilkins

Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to set a new benchmark in gaming. Instead, it set an example of things not to do. For example, bugs in the game manifesting as a random twitching leg.

Flying bikes:


And, of course, cars teleporting into buildings.

CD Projekt Red is a studio well-known for Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The game has won multiple awards and set a gold standard in the RPG world, cementing its reputation in the gaming community. Naturally, people expected good things from future titles.


Their biggest title since Witcher 3 - Cyberpunk 2077 - is a role-playing game set in a dystopian future where greedy corporations control all internet, industry, and governments. One can roleplay as anything or anyone in this game. The poster boy of Cyberpunk 2077 is Johnny Silverhand, voiced by Keanu Reeves. This addition to the cast massively fueled the hype-train.

However, after the flawed launch of Cyberpunk 2077 on the 10th December 2020, the hype-train came to a screeching halt. Early press review copies of the game

showed promising gameplay, but once players found themselves, a series of unfortunate events ensued. The console version was unstable. It resulted in Sony pulling the game from the store and Microsoft offering refunds on all digital purchases. This was a massive embarrassment for the studio.

People who purchased Cyberpunk 2077 have since been asking CD Projekt Red to address the issues that plague the game versions. The furious audience finally got an apology, of sorts, when the studio's co-founder Marcin Iwiński put out a five-minute video in which he took personal responsibility for the fiasco. An investigative report has now shed more light on the matter.

Cyberpunk or Cyberpunk'd?

In a Bloomberg interview with 20 former and current CD Projekt staff, acclaimed Esports journalist Jason Schreier revealed numerous issues during the development phase. This report showed that developers were on tenterhooks to deliver the products and that unethical work hours were imposed on them.

All things considered, the game's gold status remains a mystery.

The developers tried their best to bring the game to life. But a decent game failed to reach its true potential thanks to the studio owners' delusionary ambitions, technical hiccups, and shoddy planning. One team member compared the game's development to driving a speeding train while the tracks were being laid out.

Since Cyberpunk 2077's launch, the company has witnessed a 30% drop in its stock valuation - an unprecedented but affirmative response from the market.

Although the game was announced in 2012, the actual game development didn't begin till 2016, according to Schreier's report.

During the game's development, studio head Adam Badowski took charge as director and demanded changes to all existing facets of the unfinished product. Several senior developers who worked on Witcher 3 had different opinions about how Cyberpunk should be made. These clashes eventually led to several top developers resigning.

During 2018's E3 preview of Cyberpunk 2077, the demo unveiled to the public was breathtaking. However, unknown to fans and journalists at the time, the demo was fake.


The Bloomberg report also pointed out that many demo features were not included in the final game. Schreier found that employees were working overtime even though Iwiński had said doing so wasn't compulsory.

According to Schreier's report, developers are confident that all glitches and graphical issues can be fixed. The real challenge will be to get Cyberpunk 2077 back in the PlayStation store.

CD Projekt Red will recover financially. However, the damage to their image and reputation is permanent. Gamers can only hope that the studio keeps its promise of fixing the game and making it accessible across all platforms.

Edited by Srijan Sen


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