Are an Apology, a Patch Roadmap, and the Promise of a New Multiplayer Mode Enough?
CD Projekt Red reports that their game Cyberpunk 2077 sold more than “13 million copies in its first two weeks” even though it was pulled off the online shelves of the PlayStation Store. Still, despite its financial success, the game has become a major embarrassment and a legal nightmare too. But will a corporate apology and a couple of changes fix things?
Off to a Bad Start
“Buggy” since its launch, there was a significant difference in quality between the PC and console versions. The former garnered great reviews, while the latter was given low review scores by reviewers. Mind you, prior to the embargo, critics were only allowed to review the PC version. Thus, customers weren’t aware of all the bugs until after they already purchased the game.
Two lawsuits have been filed against the business claiming they misled investors and made fraudulent statements about the game’s condition. For example, 14 days prior to launch, Adam Kacinski, CD Projekt CEO claimed the console version ran “surprisingly well.”
An Apology Video
“I, and the entire leadership team, are deeply sorry for this, and this video is me publicly owning up to that.”
Iwinski added that the problems could be solved in a “final day zero update.” Iwinski also claimed “our testing did not show a big part of the issues,” which some find difficult to believe considering that the issues involve more than minor audio or visual glitches.
Indeed. Jason Schreier of Bloomberg interviewed 20 former and current CD Projekt employees. They refuted Iwinski’s claim. Furthermore, they reported that CDP knew about all the problems and chose to release Cyberpunk 2077 anyway.
The video from CD Projekt also attempts to look to the future. Iwinski closed by saying that the game‘s 2021 development roadmap will include an entire year of updates. There will be two patches to repair the game. Patch 1.1 was released on January 22 and Patch 1.2 will arrive in the weeks to follow.
Unfortunately, rather than fixing and stabilizing the game, some players have now experienced a game-breaking bug during the quest "Down on the Street". The CDPRED support team has offered some tips to avoid the glitch but it is another let down to add to the list.
The studio also notes that during the second half of this year PS5 and Xbox Series X owners will be able to get the earlier scheduled console upgrade. This apology video leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For example, there are no specific dates are given for any of the updates beyond the first one,
Of course, one of the biggest questions remains. Will the future updates and patches be sufficient to draw fans back to the studio and their game? It might be an uphill battle.
Since its launch date, Cyberpunk 2077 has witnessed a massive drop in its player count on Steam. Specifically, it has lost 39 percent of its player base in only three weeks. The title also lost fans on Twitch as viewing numbers dropped below 3.000..
There are no statistics on how many upset PlayStation and Xbox owners demanded refunds or exchanges either but that would definitely mean a monetary hit to the company’s coggers. Nevertheless, like with any game, there are still fans that continue to support it.
Even the most critical of critics believe a multiplayer mode will draw some users back to the infamous Night City.
Perhaps some players are expecting the best from the recent online references to the game’s upcoming multiplayer component. Even the most critical of critics believe a multiplayer mode will draw some users back to the infamous Night City. Whispers of Deathmatch and even a new Heists mode, lobbies, player classes, and even microstations may also help save the day.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 was undoubtedly an error-filled over-hyped disaster in terms of both performance and publicity. The posting of the official apology video alone indicates that the company is not as solid and reliable as it once was. Undoubtedly, CD Projekt will survive, but the future of the game’s popularity and potential sequels is nowhere near as certain.