Cyberpunk 2077 – Why Launching a Broken Game is Wrong
Since the dawn of the computer age, bugs and abnormalities have been inherent to the underlying code of most software. While advanced hardware creates a smoother experience with increased processing power, software engineers rarely develop a flawless product. Given the inevitability for defects, the question that arises is just how many bugs the consumer is willing to accept. For this reason, developers tend to focus on stable framerate and consistent graphics; however, what happens when a developer launches a game with noticeable flaws? What responsibility does a company have to notify its fanbase? Cyberpunk 2077 will forever be a case study into the damage of releasing a broken game. Let’s dive in.
It is no secret that CD Projekt Red released Cyberpunk 2077 with countless glitches and bugs. Even on high-end personal computers, players are experiencing game-breaking mishaps, such as system crashes and incomplete quests. While reloading a save is annoying, PlayStation 4 and XboxOne owners are in worse situations. Despite updating the game with a series of patches, CD Projekt Red released the following statement.
We all make mistakes; however, the sins of CD Projekt Red go much deeper than ignorant oversight. In fact, the Polish studio willfully tried to conceal information from consumers prior to the launch date. The latest Beyond podcast from IGN revealed incriminating details about the Cyberpunk 2077 review embargo.
- CDPR only distributed PC review codes. As a result, media platforms did not review the console versions prior to launch.
- Several media outlets did not receive review codes until December 6th. For a game with over 100 hours of content, having less than 96 hours to publish a review is unacceptable. By comparison, Sucker Punch Productions gave the industry nearly two weeks to review Ghost of Tsushima.
- CDPR did not allow reviewers to capture and publish gameplay footage prior to launch date. Studios could only use footage from trailer and other officially licensed events.
The culmination of these events led 8 million players to pre-order a broken game, which CDPR happily boasted on Twitter.
Although most players pre-ordered the PC version, console pre-orders account for over 3 million sales. That is three million players who are currently experiencing a broken game. Retailing at $59.99 USD, those three million players translate to over $180 million in revenue for CDPR.
So where do we go from here? For starters, CD Projekt Red has promised to continue working on the game and releasing patches. Version 1.04 is live for both Xbox and PlayStation, and CDPR promises more updates in January and February. While the gaming community remains hopeful, CD Projekt Red has much work to do to restore player confidence.
But we want to know what you think. Did you buy Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Is Cyberpunk 2077 a broken game? Can CD Projekt Red fix the issues on last generation hardware? Let us know in the comments below or the social media links on the right. Also, be sure to check out our other news items on Mario, Zelda, Monster Hunter, Call of Duty and more.
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