Report: Cyberpunk 2077 E3 demo was almost “entirely fake” and CDPR knew about severity of bugs
Bloomberg has published a new report which delves into some of the development troubles of Cyberpunk 2077 ahead of its tumultuous launch last December.
Cyberpunk 2077 received rave reviews on PC, although the console versions of the sprawling RPG were riddled with bugs, glitches and performance issues that simply made them unpleasant to play. Now, we have a better idea of what went down behind the scenes.
Speaking to 20 members of the studio under anonymity, Bloomberg received new information surrounding the game’s huge amount of bugs, the crunch culture surrounding its creation and a number of other interesting tidbits.
“As the launch date drew closer, everyone at the studio knew the game was in rough shape and needed more time,” reads the report. “exhausted programmers scrambled to fix as much as they could, but a smooth launch would’ve been impossible at that point.”
Related: Cyberpunk 2077 Music Guide
CD Projekt Red released a video to address its audience last week which claimed that many of the problems found in the game at launch didn’t surface during testing, although Bloomberg’s report disputes such a fact. It seems they believe that CDPR placed a greater focus on marketing over assuring the game was receiving sufficient attention when it came to development.
“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 Adrian Jakubiak, a former CD Projekt Red audio programmer. “I have some friends who lost their families because of these sort of shenanigans.”
It appears that overtime such as this was voluntary at CDPR during the development of Cyberpunk 2077, but such an approach would simply lead to others having to make up the time. This is according to tweets by Jason Schreier, which provides a few bits of information not seen in the article itself.
Bloomberg’s report also claims that the E3 demo that wowed media back in 2018 was almost entirely fake: “CD Projekt hadn’t yet finalised and coded the underlying gameplay systems, which is why so many features, such as car ambushes, were missing from the final product,” the report reads. “Developers said they felt like the demo was a waste of months that should have gone toward making the game.”
Following the report’s publication, CDPR Head of Studio Adam Badowski responded to some of the points made by Schreier, although seemingly refused interview requests to be part of the piece itself. It will be fascinating to see how the Cyberpunk 2077 situation develops over the coming months, with major updates expected to address the console versions, with a next-gen upgrade to follow later this year.
I scored Cyberpunk 2077 4/5 in my review, and here’s what I thought: “CD Projekt Red has created a triumphant RPG experience with Cyberpunk 2077, yet it often falters under the weight of its own ambition thanks to inconsistent writing and narrative. Exploring Night City is an unparalleled joy, depicting a dystopian world with an unmatched level of detail in the genre. I lost myself for hours, but such immersion also unveiled a number of deeper issues with its lacklustre themes and problematic writing. ”
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