It was to be the unmissable event of the end of 2020, the culmination of a decade and a generation of video games spanning almost a decade – it was ultimately one of the most successful launches. most misfires in the history of the video game industry. The disastrous fate of Cyberpunk 2077 , the last title of CD Projekt RED, will undoubtedly, in a few years, be the striking red thread of an oral history retracing the stages of the technical and commercial fiasco of the game's release last December.
While waiting for a complete post-mortem on the industrial disaster of a game yet well appreciated by critics, journalist Jason Schreier gives us in the digital pages of Bloomberg a first glimpse of the game's development, with testimonials from former employees at support.
The details told by the journalist on his Twitter reveal behind the scenes of a game radically different from the finished product, initially conceived as a game in the third person before adopting an FPS-style view; just like other projects of this scale, many aspects envisaged for the game were quite simply cut during the production: exit thus the flying cars or even the exploitation of the verticality of the decoration, that it is acts of the escalada via the blades or even the presence of wall-running. These changes can be explained by internal upheavals almost 5 years after the game was made official in 2012.
Reset in 2016
The arrival in 2016 of Adam Badowski – director of the studio – as director of the game greatly changed the expectations and the vision of the new project – it was only from this year that Cyberpunk 2077 truly entered into development towards a direction at odds with the old creatives in charge. Internal conflicts that would have greatly impacted the good development of a game whose true and false it was difficult to disentangle – the glorious demo presented during E3 2018 would have been almost “ completely fabricated ” from top to bottom, big guys axes of gameplay not even having been programmed at this date.
This lack of direction is felt once the final product in hand: the game's police management system, much criticized, would have been integrated at the " last moment ", the development teams were still not completely sure if Cyberpunk was heading. towards a purely RPG approach or more similar to the open world GTA style .
Studio communication prided itself on not “ forcing ” employees to work massive and intense overtime – a practice unfortunately called crunch very common in the gaming industry. But the observation described by the employees is far removed from the promises made during the marketing cycle: refusing overtime would have inevitable repercussions in terms of workload on other employees – a pressure for the de facto crunch present and encouraged by the management . Adrian Jakubiak, former audio programmer at CD Projekt, claims to have had “ several friends who have lost their families ” directly responsible for these dubious practices.