Explanation of each controversy on CD Projekt Red and Cyberpunk 2077


Given that Cyberpunk 2077 has had fewer stellar months since its release, here are the various controversies that CD Projekt has survived so far.

Cyberpunk 2077 promised itself as a new frontier for RPG games and claimed to have the immersion of popular titles like Red Dead Redemption 2. It was so highly anticipated that it won over 100 awards at E3 2018, and that enthusiasm will continue at E3 the following year. However, critics began to suspect that something was going on when they were limited to what they could write or show in their reviews. This was quickly revealed when Cyberpunk 2077 released to the public and the glaring amount of bugs has been revealed. The game barely worked on the latest-gen consoles, and even on high-end PCs it lacked textures and resources, among other issues.

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While the quality of the story and the characters were much appreciated, these favorite NPCs sometimes missed the game entirely. The list of bugs and issues was so bad it forced PlayStation Store to delete Cyberpunk 2077 of its digital shelves. It’s hard to imagine how the launch could have been worse for CD Projekt Red, as it was a disastrous event that caused a severe backlash from game developers and company executives. CD Projekt Red’s seemingly flawless reputation had been forever marred, at least for now.

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Cyberpunk 2077: three times delayed, once bitten

Cyberpunk 2077 cover showing a red stock arrow pointing down.

Prior to its release, it was rumored that the developers were forced to work long hours and six-day weeks to complete the game ahead of its December 10, 2020 release date. ‘were allowed to do this only on PC, which began to erode trust in Cyberpunk 2077. When the game was fully released, the gaming community assumed it was all about hiding bugs and missing resources from critics. Even after three delays and forcing the developers to cram, the game still disappointed a lot of gamers.

A big reason for the problems with Cyberpunk 2077 seems to come from the management of CD Projekt overestimating the time it would take to create a game of this magnitude. That being said, the game had twice as many developers as The Witcher 3, so it is curious to know why this workforce could not succeed. CD Projekt’s co-CEO came out in a video and said the real mistake came from porting a PC game to older consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One. While CD Projekt Red promised to fix the game, some fans lost confidence and instead opted for a return of their hard-earned money.

Bad treatment of staff by CD Projekt Red

CD Projekt Red crunch

In the last months of Cyberpunk 2077Development, management has forced game developers to work extremely long shifts for at least six days a week. It comes after promising to be a crisis-free studio shortly before. Staff were also told that their bonuses would be tied to the in-game review scores, but that was rejected instead of giving the full increases anyway. This follows a trend of high turnover in CD Projekt Red studios. While the company blames Covid-19 for development and release issues, it follows a much larger trend of employee mistreatment that has become common in AAA development.

Apparently this was only part of the problem where the staff were being mistreated as it appears there was an issue with the senior officials. Recently, the company’s vice president of game development left amid allegations he harassed other staff. There haven’t been any details of what these abuse claims entail, but some suspect it might have to do with the crisis the developers have been forced to embark on in recent months.

Shenanigans after release

CD Projekt Red’s problems did not begin until the game was released. On February 8, 2021, CD Projekt Red announced on its Twitter feed that it had been the victim of a targeted cyberattack. Hackers were able to steal a number of source code from several games (including Cyberpunk 2077) before attempting to auction them back to the developer. A cybersecurity expert even came out and said he suspected the hack could be internal work, as the developers were in so much grief after the harsh conditions. The hackers ended up selling the data to someone outside of CD Projekt Red.

Something that’s been kinda disappointing ever since Cyberpunk 2077 the release is the news that the game’s multiplayer might not be successful. Although it was announced alongside the base game as a standalone project, details on what the mode might look like have been scarce. In a recent strategic presentation, CD Projekt Red announced that the Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer play would change course. Although CD Projekt has not announced whether this means the game’s cancellation, investors and gamers were confused by the publisher’s wording.

Since its disastrous release, CD Projekt Red has vowed to dedicate itself to improving the game to what was originally promised. The game has since released a few significant updates to address these issues, but has had just as many issues with hackers and letting go of promises. For many fans, the damage has already been done. Only time will tell if Cyberpunk 2077 can crawl out of his hole and place himself among game buyout stories like No Man’s Sky. This may be the only way for CD Projekt Red to safeguard its reputation.

Cyberpunk 2077 is currently available for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Stadia with PS5 and Xbox Series X / S updates in development.

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