The most anticipated game of the year is also the biggest disappointment of the year. Not just because the game is mediocre and at times catastrophic. But because many people devote up to eight years of their working lives to building this game. They have had dreams and hopes of satisfying fans, been proud of their craft. But everything is ruined now. Cyberpunk 2077 has probably turned into a shame for most of the developers at CD Projekt Red. And I understand them. This was not the game they wanted to deliver.
I do not really want to write this text. A month ago, I was ready to go to war to be crowned Cyberpunk 2077 to this year’s game. The beast in me was high on hype and naive expectations.
Oh how stupid I was
I have hyped up this game, both for myself and for our readers. I have been involved in the irrational expectations of the media and influencers. I drummed too. I’m sorry for that. I really thought the game would be good and hoped it would break new ground for the open worlds genre. The conditions looked bright. It was CD Projekt Red after all, and they had delayed the game several times to have the conditions to make a good game.
I definitely did not expect the game to be released in such a horrible state as it did. Bugs everywhere. Terrible performance on Playstation 4 and Xbox One. The game ticked all the boxes for a typical corporate high budget failure.
Worst of all was the manipulative marketing CD Project Red pursued into the latter. They hid the gameplay of the game’s performance on previous generation consoles. They lied and said that the game worked and that the delays would fix the majority of the bugs. The last finishing touches before everything was perfect. And 10/10. This year’s game. Lies all!
It was possible to guess the owls in the bog, but I was good at pushing the poultry down. The owls became particularly wild when the first reviews gave the game high marks – only on PC. No review copies of consoles were published. A strategic choice by the publisher to keep the charade going for as long as possible. I was probably not the only one who held my breath on December 10th.
Then came the release and all the hell broke out on the consoles. I felt fooled.
Fake it ’til you make it did not hold
Despite all the bravado from CD Projekt Red, with all the consumer-friendly talk and anti-corporate fluff that the company has built up over the years, the Polish developer and publisher has totally done away with itself. The release of Cyberpunk 2077 shows that CD Projekt Red does not respect the players. By extension, they also show that they do not respect their employees.
On several occasions, CD Projekt Red has become criticized and reviewed for overtime work. Criticism themselves and we fans trivialized. Every debate has been drowned out by a new cool trailer. The only thing that has mattered is that the product sells millions of editions. And now that they have lost face, they resort to panic-stricken actions to show how nice they are. But who are the ones who will have to work overtime to fix Cyberpunk 2077?
CD Projekt Red took a chance with the release of Cyberpunk 2077 and burned himself. Now they are standing with their pants down and their beards in the mailbox. Sony threw the game away from its digital store, a wave of returns washed away the Christmas cheer and general ridicule directed at the game. Shares are falling, lawsuits are planned and many developers on CD Project Red probably have terrible anxiety.
Like the evil mega-companies that oppress and exploit people in the dystopian world Cyberpunk 2077 paints, CD Projekt Red has shown that they are from the same scrap and barley. The development, which is fraught with overtime and delays, is only superficial in that sense. Even in the game’s narrative, they fumble with dealing with cyberpunk topics with dignity. The fight against companies stands and falls with Keanu Reeves’ excellent spectacle of the shitty boot Johnny Silverhand, while questions about transhumanism and artificial life may give way to explosive action and normative depictions of prostitution and crime.
CD project Red took the safest, focus group-based, profit-analysis route they could Cyberpunk 2077. Still, they fucked up the production. Was it bad wiring? Internal conflicts and lack of vision? Pressure from investors? Hard to say, but probably a mix of everything and more. CD Project Red and theirs Cyberpunk 2077 will go down in history as a disappointment. Or they fall into oblivion as Anthem, Fallout 76 and Mass Effect: Andromeda when a new lavish and unsuccessful game is released.
Wait a minute here. I have reviewed all the failed games! Oh, now I just feel bad…