The launch of CDPR’s hugely hyped Cyberpunk 2077 will be enshrined in the history books forever. Though perhaps not for the reasons intended. After all, one of the most highly anticipated games of all time would later launch to widespread consumer criticism and a sea of discontent.
In hindsight, it’s hard to imagine how a game of this unmatched magnitude materialized the way it did. Besides, never before has a triple-a title come under such heavy scrutiny upon release: We’ve seen glimpses prior, but nothing on this tumultuous scale.
Assured by CDPR’s glowing reputation, having worked on the widely-acclaimed The Witcher series, I was wholly convinced Cyberpunk 2077 would be of a similar caliber come launch.
What Truly Transpired at Launch | The Full Breakdown
What happened in the wake of its worldwide release, no one could have predicted. The primary problem, above all else, was the sheer volume of performance issues, bugs, and glaring glitches plaguing the game.
At the time, these issues were so systematic that, even now, players are encouraged not to purchase the game on last-gen base consoles. Nevertheless, reports of various performance problems persisted until CDPR took the bold step of implementing a drastic refund policy, reimbursing physical and digital sales of the game.
All this commotion surrounding Cyberpunk’s launch had aroused the attention of the Polish Consumer Protection Agency. And from this point forth, CDPR was now seemingly under the organization’s watchful eye, as they sought to bring the game up to par with pre-release promises.
Also concerned with Cyberpunk’s launch were company investors. In the aftermath of 2077’s manic release, CDPR confirmed it would later face four individual lawsuits, which would merge into one mega court proceeding.
The first two cases filed would reportedly concern launch state and playability. Either way, from a reputation standpoint, significant damage had been dealt. In the coming months, Cyberpunk 2077 would need substantial work if CDPR were to regain consumer trust.
So, as we sit on the verge of its first anniversary, how does Cyberpunk 2077 shape up today?
The Road Ahead Looks Bright (But Still a Way to Go)
Of course, that was then, and this is now. So, in the grand scheme of events, setting aside everything that previously transpired, have CD Project Red turned a turbulent corner and steadied the ship indefinitely? Well, recent events would somewhat illustrate a favorable period for the game.
So much so that right now, Cyberpunk 2077 is sitting pretty as Steam’s top-selling game globally. Not only that, but a noticeable increase in participation has generated newfound player approval, with the game’s user score now reflecting “very positive” experiences.
So pleased were CDPR at the news that Quest Designer Pawel Sasko would subsequently express heartfelt thanks via Twitter with the words, “You can’t imagine what this means to me.”
Conversely, without wishing to convey pessimism, Cyberpunk 2077 recently received a 50% price slash in Steam’s Autumn sale, which may have influenced the surge in popularity. However, 2077’s improved status from previously “mostly positive” to “very positive” reviews is undoubtedly a significant stride in the right direction.
After all, positive praise is what truly matters.
CDPR Push Back Patch Until 2022
So, all is well on Night City Boulevard, then? Well, perhaps on the right track would be a more appropriate phrase. Besides, CD Project Head Adam Kiciński recently declared, via Polish publication Rzeczpospolita, that Cyberpunk 2077 will receive no further updates throughout 2021.
However, CDPR’s CEO also assured players that the long-awaited PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions are well underway – expected to arrive sometime in the new year.
Initially, the updated current-gen versions had been slated to land this year but were recently rescheduled for a 2022 release window. On a more promising note, though, Kiciński seems assured his team can deliver the update during the first quarter of 2022.
The upcoming patch will be immediately accessible free of charge for console gamers who bought PS4 or Xbox One copies.
There’s no denying CDPR’s long-term commitment to the cause. After all, since its disastrous launch, the company has made considerable efforts to integrate improvements and stabilize performance. As a result, changes, both large and small, have been issued across the board.
Even so, for me, we’re still a long way from the finished article. So, I suppose the key question is, why was Cyberpunk 2077 allowed to launch in such an unpolished state? In addition, which internal factors led to its seemingly rushed release?
I guess we’ll know soon enough.
What are your opinions of Cyberpunk 2077? Worth playing now, or does it require further refinement? Let us know down below.
Robbie is a lifelong gaming enthusiast who grew up in the glorious era of Goldeneye split-screen multiplayer. Although he's excited for Ragnarok, Robbie is often found delving back into his retro roots; entirely convinced Metal Gear Solid 1 and Ocarina of Time are masterpieces of equal merit.