Following last week’s Marcin Iwiński’s apology over the current state of Cyberpunk 2077 on old-gen consoles, there is more information being disclosed by Jason Schreier on his latest investigation report.
Schreier had interviews with more than 20 current and former CD Projekt developers, they revealed that the production of the game was “marred by unchecked ambition, poor planning, and technical shortcomings.”
Employees of the studio described that CD Projekt’s management overhyped fans and media with an overly ambitious vision of the game. The development team did not have the resources needed to fulfill the developer’s promises. Developers also worked with an unrealistic timeline that ended with employees working over 13 hours a day on the final push.
“There were times when I would crunch up to 13 hours a day — a little bit over that was my record probably — and I would do five days a week working like that,” said Jakubiak, the former audio programmer, adding that he quit the company after getting married. “I have some friends who lost their families because of these sort of shenanigans.”
Cyberpunk 2077 was announced in 2012, however, the development team did not start working on the game until late 2016 several employees affirmed. The studio also rebooted the project once according to several other people familiar with the project.
One of the biggest problems of Cyberpunk 2077 was how different the project was when compared to The Witcher 3, the studio had to invest in new technology and the designers had to learn and work at the same time, one key member of the project described as:
Trying to drive a train while the tracks are being laid in front of you at the same time. It might have gone more smoothly if the track-layers had a few months head start.
Jason Schreier assumes that CD Projekt’s main intention was prioritizing marketing, he affirms that the gameplay showcased at E3 in 2018 was almost entirely fake.
CD Projekt hadn’t yet finalized and coded the underlying gameplay systems, which is why so many features, such as car ambushes, were missing from the final product. Developers said they felt like the demo was a waste of months that should have gone toward making the game.
Following Jason Schreier’s report, Adam Badowski, Head of CD Projekt has released an official statement on his Twitter account where he affirms that the game’s demo on E3 was “not to be a test of a vision or a vertical slice two years before the game ships”.
What people reading your article may not know is that games are not made in a linear fashion and star looking like the final product only a few months before launch. If you look at that demo now, it’s different yes, but that’s what the “work in progress” watermark is for. Our final game looks and plays way better than what that demo ever was.
The delicate topic of promising features that are not present in the game is regarding the car ambushes that are present in the game but on a few occasions and are cinematic scenes, Badowski shared more insight on Cyberpunk 2077’s missing features:
That’s part of the creation process. Features come and go as wee see if they work or no. Also, car ambusshes exist in the final game almost verbtim to what we showed in the demo.
Jason Schreier’s report also explains that the development team certainly did not have enough time to work on the game, when the team was told that the game would release on April 16, 2020 “some members of the team could only scratch their heads, wondering how they could possibly finish the game by then”. One developer told the journalist that he thought that the date was a joke.
Weeks before Cyberpunk 2077 ‘s, it was rumored that the development team wouldn’t be able to get the needed fixes done before 2021, however, the studio decided to launch the game regardless of its current state, something that we now know that backfired really bad for the studio.
Badowski also tries to discredit Jason Schreier’s reports as he is based on the opinion or information of 20 people.
You’ve talked with 20 people, some being ex employees, only 1 of whom is not anonymous. I wouldn’t call that ‘most’ of the over 500-peoplestaff openly said what you claim.