Facing what could turn out to be multiple lawsuits over the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 and the ensuing financial fallout, CD Projekt Red released a missive to the community last night, both to explain how the mess happened and tease what’s coming down the pike.
“I and the entire leadership team are deeply sorry for this, and this video is me publicly owning up to that,” co-founder Marcin Iwinkski says. “Please don’t fault any of our teams for what happened. They all are incredibly talented and hard-working. Myself and the board are the final decision-makers, and it was our call to release the game. Although, believe me, we never, ever intended for anything like this to happen.”
So what were the technical problems that sparked all the frustration?
“The main culprit was having to constantly improve our in-game streaming system for old-gen consoles. Streaming is responsible for ‘feeding’ the engine with what you see on screen, as well as the game mechanics. Since the city is so packed and the disk bandwidth of old-gen consoles is what it is, this is something that constantly challenged us.”
Worth noting here is that while Iwinkski accepts responsibility for the launch problems, the associated dev writeup obliquely places some blame on QA, as it suggests “testing did not show many of the crashes you experienced while playing the game.” The QA community is understandably pissed at this narrative, as anyone who’s ever worked QA before will understand.
Like no, absolutely not. Do not for a second think you can pin this whole thing on QA when in reality I can almost guarantee you they fought to the bitter end to make these problems known and you reacted by saying "ship it now and fix it later". You are NOT getting away with that pic.twitter.com/1dyyD3sOgs
— Robbie Russell (@vApathyv) January 13, 2021
Going forward, the gamers who haven’t already gotten their refunds and moved on can look forward to regular bug-and-crash fixes, the first of which is slated to roll out within the next 10 days, followed by a “larger, more significant update in the weeks after.” Free DLC is also on the table, though after the fixes are done, meaning it might not make that original early 2021 target. The next-gen update is still on track for the year, and the devs are still trying to get the game back on the PlayStation Store. The silver lining here, at least, is that “the team is working to bring relevant fixes to the game without any obligatory overtime.”
“Avoiding crunch on all of our future projects is one of our top priorities,” the studio says, though of course, the last time it vowed no crunch, it went back on that promise.