Cyberpunk 2077, developed by CD Projekt Red, was one of the most anticipated games of all time. The game promised an open-world RPG set in a dystopian future with deep, immersive gameplay and breathtaking graphics. Fans eagerly awaited its release for over eight years, and expectations were sky-high.
The Hype & Issues With Game Development
CD Projekt Red built up a massive amount of hype for Cyberpunk 2077 over the years leading up to its release. The studio released breathtaking trailers and gameplay demos, teasing players with a vast open world full of complex characters and dynamic storytelling. The game was billed as a game-changer, a revolutionary title that would change the gaming landscape forever. Pre-order numbers were through the roof, and the game was expected to be a massive success, with some analysts predicting it would sell over 30 million copies in its first year alone. Despite the hype, the development of Cyberpunk 2077 was plagued with issues. The game suffered multiple delays, with CD Projekt Red pushing the release date back several times, promising to deliver a polished, bug-free experience. However, as it turns out, the game was far from polished. Reports of a toxic work environment, crunch, and mismanagement began to emerge, with some employees saying they were forced to work 100-hour weeks to meet the release date.
Launch Day Disaster & Ongoing Fallout
The game’s launch was marred by bugs, glitches, and poor performance, especially on older consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Players reported issues with the game crashing, NPCs disappearing, and game-breaking bugs that prevented them from progressing through the story. The backlash was immediate and severe. Players demanded refunds, and CD Projekt Red’s stock price took a massive hit, dropping by over 50% in just a few days. In the aftermath of the launch, CD Projekt Red issued multiple apologies and promised to fix the issues with the game. The studio released several patches, but they only fixed some of the problems, leaving many players still dissatisfied. The fallout from the game’s launch was significant, with lawsuits and investigations launched into the studio’s practices. Several high-profile executives left the company, and CD Projekt Red’s reputation was irreparably damaged.
As for the future of the game, CD Projekt Red has promised to continue to support Cyberpunk 2077 and release additional content and updates. However, it’s unclear whether the game will ever be able to recover from its disastrous launch and the damage done to the studio’s reputation.
The failure of Cyberpunk 2077 offers several lessons for game developers and the gaming industry as a whole. First, it shows the dangers of over-hyping a game and the importance of managing expectations. Second, it highlights the importance of transparency and honesty in game development. CD Projekt Red promised a polished, bug-free experience, but it failed to deliver on that promise, leading to a massive backlash.
Finally, it underscores the need for a healthy work environment and management practices in game development. The reports of crunch and mismanagement at CD Projekt Red are a stark reminder of the toll game development can take on employees and the importance of treating them with respect.