CD Projekt Red’s Explanation Doesn’t Make Sense

Cyberpunk 2077 was a disastrous launch. Let’s not pretend that it lived up to the hype. But not only did it not meet our expectations, it did not even release up to what should be considered regular standards. A polished game.

At release, Cyberpunk 2077 was an unfulfilled buggy mess with tons of promised content missing. Since this was the most anticipated game of the year, there’s almost no way you can avoid people talking about it. There’s been heated conversations online on whether or not CD Projekt Red are deserving of the backlash they received for overpromising and underdelivering.

But what exactly are the people in CD Projekt Red saying? With the great amount of backlash they received, there was no way they can stay quiet about this. And they didn’t. This January, they released an apology video featuring Marcin Iwinski, cofounder of CD Projekt Red, who explained what happened behind the scenes and gave us insight as to how the game turned out the way it did.

While the video was off to a promising start with Iwinski owning up to what happened on release, but then it starts to rub people off the wrong way with the cofounder seemingly burying concerns as the video continues.

Based on the legacy of genuine and honest communication, you’ve trusted us and preordered our game.

What honest communication?

CD Projekt Red has been caught multiple times lying about their statements even before the game was released.

And that’s not even adding the very misleading trailers leading up to the game’s launch. With the trailer for PlayStation showcasing as if the game ran well on the PS4. This got so bad, that CDPR had to promise refunds for disgruntled players on PlayStation seemingly without consulting Sony first. And if it’s anything you know with the Japanese tech giant, it’s that they loathe giving refunds. Eventually, they did conceded to this and offered refunds for anyone who wanted it. They also removed the digital edition of Cyberpunk 2077 from the PlayStation Store entirely. Yes, it was that bad.

Despite good reviews on PC, the console version of Cyberpunk 2077 did not meet the quality and standards we wanted it to meet.

“Despite good reviews on PC” as if the consoles alone were the only problem with the game. It comes off as Iwinski saying that Cyberpunk 2077 just had a bad port.

No doubt that PC is the best place the play the game. But even then, the game is so poorly optimized and still riddled with technical issues. Anyone who doesn’t have a high end gaming PC will have challenges having a smooth experience.

Despite the good reviews on PC Iwinski mentioned, CDPR still forbade reviewers from showing their own footage of the game before launch. Instead, game reviewers were only allowed to show clips provided by the developers.

So honestly, it’s difficult to see where this honest communication comes from. Many people bought the game because of CD Projekt Red’s good standing with the community. It doesn’t help that the overhyped marketing machine that was Cyberpunk 2077 was significantly overpromised.

The video up above comes more off as damage control than an apology. The FAQ on their website going on to tone down the problems of the game instead of addressing them.

Q: Didn’t you test old-gen consoles to keep tabs on the experience?

A: We did. As it turned out, our testing did not show many of the crashes you experienced while playing the game. As we got closer to launch, we saw significant improvements each and every day, and we really believed we’d deliver in the final day zero update.

What kind of old generation consoles were they playing on? According to a statement from their CEO, the game apparently runs “surprisingly well” on old console generations. Which of course is a complete lie.

Even with so many complaints, CD Projekt Red has the gall to make a statement as if all of us were just dealing with a broken old-gen console. The statements acts as if people were just seeing things, because they encountered minimal issues on their end.

Either CD Projekt Red were lying through their teeth or had very low standards for their Quality Assurance.

But of course, it gets worse.

Jason Schreier conducted an investigation and interviewed personnel from CD Projekt Red revealing more screw ups from behind the scenes that we were oblivious to. In an article he released, Schreier mentions details on the 2018 40-minute E3 demo that wowed the world.

Interviews with more than 20 current and former CD Projekt staff, most of whom requested anonymity so as not to risk their careers, depict a development process marred by unchecked ambition, poor planning and technical shortcomings. Employees, discussing the game’s creation for the first time, described a company that focused on marketing at the expense of development, and an unrealistic timeline that pressured some into working extensive overtime long before the final push. CD Projekt declined to comment on the process or provide interviews for this story.

This further paints a negative image of how CDPR handled things on their end. But if that wasn’t enough, Adam Badowski the studio head of CD Projekt Red further fanned the flames.

Praise should be given to Badowski for having the guts to come out and address some of the things Schreier mentioned in his article. Unfortunately, his defense of the game has so many holes into it that it comes off as a last ditch effort to save face to a disastrous launch.

If you look at that demo now, it’s different yes, but that’s what “work in progress” watermark is for. Our final game looks and plays way better than what that demo ever was.

This is outright false. The final game looks nothing as smooth or bug free as the demo ever was. Badowski goes on to defend the missing content of the game as part of the creation process than false advertising.

And if we get a bit more granular about our release, the vision we presented in this demo evolved into something that got multiple 9/10s and 10/10s on PC from many renown gaming outlets in the world.

While it’s true that Cyberpunk 2077 did get outstanding reviews on PC from renowned gaming outlets, player reception was much different. Badowski states as if they didn’t deliberately forbid game reviewers from showing their own clips of the game in an effort to ensure profit doesn’t go down.

…we are proud of Cyberpunk 2077 as a game and artistic vision. This all is not what I’d call disastrous

It definitely is disastrous. If having multiple lawsuits thrown your way and having your game pulled entirely from the digital store isn’t disastrous, then truly Adam Badowski must have some generous standards.

Cyberpunk 2077 is definitely far from a bad game. It is full of untapped potential that could hopefully one day be realized through continued support from the developers. It is simply an overpromised game that was released in an already depressing year adding more to the frustration of those so excited to explore Night City.

Unfortunately, what adds fuel to the fire is that those in charge of the game downplay the deceit and misleading lies that already plague the game. That is not what should be called “owning up” to their mistakes.

For our full review of Cyberpunk 2077, click here.