CD Projekt Red devs reject the claim that they were surprised by launch bugsPlatforms: All | Google Stadia | Sony PlayStation 4 | Sony PlayStation 5 | Microsoft Xbox One | Microsoft Xbox Series X | PC
Earlier this week, CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński issued a video apology to address the issues leading up to release of Cyberpunk 2077 and their plan to fix things. During the video, Iwiński claimed they were unaware of the scope of Cyberpunk 2077's issues and that many of them evaded their testers, blaming COVID-19 for creating logistical issues.
Now, thanks to a report from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, employees at the studio are shooting down this notion.
Schreier says he interviewed "more than 20 current and former CD Projekt staff" for his report and while they admit COVID-19 did cause problems for the developer like preventing them from working on the console development kits in the studio, the employees Schreier spoke to say that external tests did in fact show problems. Iwiński's assertion that the bugs were a surprise to everyone is apparently not accurate.
"As the launch date drew closer, everyone at the studio knew the game was in rough shape and needed more time," writes Schreier on Cyberpunk 2077's 19th November release date, their original date before one last delay pushed it to 10th December.
During that period, "exhausted programmers scrambled to fix as much as they could," but the prospect of the game being in launch condition was slim at this point. One developer went so far as to say "they expected the game to be ready in 2022," which was a projection based on the state of the game back in 2019 before any sort of COVID outbreak.
On top of this report, Schreier also tweeted out some details cut from the published piece including reports of a haphazard approach to the production, with minimal communication between employees. One example he was given was that people who needed shaders would make their own rather than see if someone else had already built one they could repurpose.
This ties into another part of the report where some staff suggesting CD Projekt were struggling to manage their 500+ team (twice as large as their Witcher 3 team). Even with the size of the team "it was unclear to some of the team why they were trying to make both an RPG and a GTA with a fraction of Rockstar's staff."
In the wake of this disastrous console launch, CD Projekt announced they are pushing back the planned DLC and next-gen upgrades to focus on patching the game.
It is pretty clear that the game was simply too ambitious and games of this scale really do need as much time as possible and the push to meet unrealistic release dates is the biggest root problem in all of this. If anything good comes from this, I hope it tells other publishers that games should only be released when they are ready.