Whether you love the game or not, we can all unanimously agree that the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 was messy to say the least. Announced in 2012, the original release date was April, 2020. But three more release date changes landed a final release on December 10, 2020. Then, when it finally came out it was full of bugs. The situation got so bad that both PlayStation and Xbox were offering full refunds to any customers who bought the game.
But despite the challenges leading to this launch, there is a potential bright side to consider.
Hopefully, executives will be more open towards pushing back their release date when needed. I know Cyberpunk was delayed three times, but they should have waited to release it in 2021. Before Cyberpunk, developers CD Projekt Red had one of the best reputations in the gaming industry. With the critical acclaim that The Witcher series received, it appeared that the company could do no wrong. This one mistake does not invalidate past success, but they have an uphill climb to redemption.
Lessons For All Developers
And Cyberpunk wasn’t the only major title with a rough release in 2020. Marvel’s Avengers released in September and quickly received criticism for a number of problems, including many technical issues. As a gigantic Marvel fan, it was disappointing playing an Avengers game that veered so close to the mark but failed to hit it. Four months later the game is still full of bugs, and post-launch content promised by developers is missing.
This should come as a warning to development studios. No matter how much hype your game has or how good your reputation is, a bad launch can ruin everything. A game as big and ambitious as Cyberpunk 2077 should have been one of the best titles of the year.
I know it’s easy for me to sit here and say that they should’ve moved the deadline without knowing all the details. There’s a lot of time and money that goes into changing the date. But surely the cost of keeping your great relationship with the public is a wise investment for the future.
Now, it’s not all doom and gloom for CD Projekt Red. If they continue patching, I’m sure we will get the game it was meant to be at launch. And hopefully any free DLC in the future will add more fun content to Night City. Only time will tell if CD Projekt Red is able to wash this mess off them, or if the stench lingers on.