Cyberpunk 2077: The Delays In A Nutshell And What They Mean For The Game's Future

Amidst the mess of constant delays, death threats, plummeting stocks and cancelled pre-orders, can Cyberpunk 2077 maintain its momentum?

By LG18, Posted 10 Nov 2020

Cyberpunk 2077 has garnered an exponentially growing amount of excitement since its initial reveal in 2012, and subsequent first trailer in 2013. Its promise of a grand and complex open world, deep RPG mechanics, and rich futuristic setting thoroughly impressed everyone when the first gameplay trailer was revealed in 2018. A seemingly unstoppable hype train was set in motion, as the title was universally touted as the game set to define an era. It won numerous awards off the back of its 2018 E3 presentation and was by far the most discussed game of 2019. In development by CDProjekt Red - the studio behind the critically acclaimed Witcher series - hopes and expectations have been high for the game to redefine the modern open-world RPG, as well as setting a new president for graphical prowess with the utilization of four different types of ray tracing.

It’s no wonder this game has received the high level of anticipation it has, but delay after delay has etched away at the sustained excitement, with the once-unstoppable momentum now dissolving into evanescence at an alarming rate. What’s going on? And as stocks plummet and people cancel their pre-orders, are things salvageable?

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The delay timeline: In a nutshell

The first delay came in January when the game was pushed back from the planned April 16th drop to a significantly later September 17th release. The studio cited that the game needed further polishing which did cause a lot of disappointment, but there was ultimately a collective understanding that the delay was necessary for the game to be as good as it could be. Further delays came in June when the aforementioned September release date was pushed back even further to November 19th. A lengthier Twitter post from the studio again claimed further polishing of the game was required in order to meet the standard they were aiming for, leaving a sour taste in some people’s mouths at this point.


Announcements of CyberPunk 2077 having “gone gold” and being fully completed were posted on the games official Twitter on October 5th (accompanied by full confirmation that it would definitely be launching on the 19th when fans asked directly about booking off work in time), but shortly after, things came to a crashing halt following another Twitter update. CDProjekt Red declared somewhat diffidently that they would be pushing the game back a further 21 days to December 10th, citing difficulties in getting the game ready simultaneously across all nine platforms. The masses were not so forgiving this time.

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The aftermath

Despite the apology, people had had enough by this point. With the November release date considered truly concrete, the public was in no way expecting the game to be pushed back yet again - especially considering the thousands of people who had booked holiday time around the release date just to play it. People were angry; pre-orders were being canceled left, right, and center with a tidal wave of individuals across social media platforms like Reddit and Twitter, claiming to be thoroughly done with the game.

Stocks plummeted by 25% following the news of the delay confirming the corporate impact, and things turned nasty when disgruntled fans took to Twitter with death threats aimed at the developers. Senior developer Andrzej Zawadski publicly addressed the attacks as “absolutely unacceptable”, and that “we are people, just like you”.


What does all this mean for the game?

It’s rather unbelievable that the delay of a game can elicit the level of anger and heat that it has done, and these absurd reactions make clear that even with the much closer connection to the developers of a game social media gifts, there’s still a big disconnect. Development is a highly multifaceted process, with the complexities of making a game being difficult to convey adequately to the public. The core developers of the game at CDProject Red are not, of course, the gatekeepers of the title, and they’re not to blame for any delay. While the developers drive home the same passion for the product the consumer does, behind the scenes corporate needs must be met. This is a huge game with a massive budget, predicted to be one of the biggest games of the decade, and however un-artful it may be, the company now has a priority to bring it to as many platforms as it can to make the highest profit.

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While understandable in principle, the ever-shifting goal posts of the game’s release brought a juggling of platform porting that is likely an absolute nightmare for everyone involved on the ground, and internally, there seem to be issued between the company higher-ups and the developers that are making their game. Joint CEO Adam Kiciski backtracked and apologized to his staff after comments that the pressure they were under wasn’t a big deal, following the late September revelation that six-day weeks were in effect as the game neared completion. It’s difficult to get a true sense for what’s going on behind closed doors, but what is clear, is that there will be a lot of people under mass amounts of stress and pressure to deliver this thing for the December release - a tale all too familiar for those cognizant of the burden associated with AAA game development, and an industry problem seemingly distant in the minds of the bosses of these companies.


Cooling the tempers, tantrums, and threats of those that can’t handle being told they’ll have to wait longer for a video game should never be a priority, and the developers surely shouldn’t be worked to the bone to pacify them with a 2020 release date, if it’s too much of a tall order for them to accomplish. With its tumultuous development history and a likely forced 2020 release, we’ll just have to hope the ‘fix it later’ strategy isn’t employed here, and also that the talent at the studio haven’t quit by the time a next big title is in the works.

As Andrzej Zaeadski said, the developers are people, exactly the same as you are - not machines. The network of talented individuals making the game shouldn’t be a victim to the crunch methodology the studio is reportedly inflicting upon them (something the company said would never happen), and on the consumer side, people shouldn’t be viciously and naively attacking them for something that’s out of their control. The game would still be there in all its glory with an early 2021 release date, as would be the sanity of the people who made it, and people’s ultimate enjoyment of playing it.

Linden Garcia,
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Publisher(s): CD Projekt, CD Projekt RED
Developer(s): CD Projekt RED
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Cyberpunk
Release Date: 2020-12-10

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