It won't be too much of an exaggeration to say that everyone who plays video games was hyped for the launch for Cyberpunk 2077. The game had been teased and marketed for years, and was being developed by the most beloved AAA company in the video gaming world: CD Projekt Red.
However, just a few months after its launch, the game seems to be either forgotten or looked down on, with nothing but middling press and a flood of gifs of its endless glitches and bugs, what exactly went wrong with this highly anticipated game?
Since the official announcement back in the distant year of 2012, gamers, and the whole world, were bombarded with hype around the game. Its effective and extensive marketing led to the game being, by far, the most hyped project I have personally ever seen.
CDPR really spared little expense when trying to inflate the hype bubble. Having many internet celebrities and even conventional celebrities endorse the game, as well as revealing that one of the "golden boys" of the internet world - Keanu Reeves, will be playing a major character in the game. In time, the hype reached other celebrities who were actually not paid nor were a part of the marketing for the game, including one of the richest people in the world, Elon Musk, occasionally tweeting about Cyberpunk.
In addition, they employed multiple online campaigns, including many gameplay reveals and trailers, their Behind the scenes videos as well as a very well managed social media presence, which would often capitalize on the numerous fan made memes created following the game’s marketing.
However the overbuilt hype train would soon crash harder than the cartoonish train crash in CoD: WWII, when the game finally released.
The game was promised to come out "When it's ready", which is an ironic statement if I have ever seen one, someone at CDPR’s team really needs a dictionary. The game is far from ready with endless bugs and glitches which at best take away from a serious situation and might even bring some fun, but more often than not, these glitches are annoying or even game breaking. Extreme texture pop-in and NPCs disappearing on random happen so often it became the norm.
In addition, last-gen console support was promised and delivered, with them stating it runs “surprisingly well”, which is not a lie. The last generation consoles do run the game well considering how extremely weak they are, unfortunately that is still well below even the 30fps mark, sometimes even below 10fps. The fact that the game looks really bad on those systems does not do it any favors either, nor do the numerous crashes even the console versions need to deal with.
To give credit where it's due, it does seem that the studio is working hard on fixing the bugs in the game, though often patches introduce new and innovative ways for the game to break. Also, when the textures work properly and nothing is glitching out, the game looks amazing on PC and impressive on the current gen consoles. There is a beautiful world underneath all the roughness, but it really needs a lot more work.
However, the overmarketing and overhype of the game really backfired, while the game has still sold extremely well, CDPR's reputation as the studio that can't do no wrong has been tarnished, and people will likely not trust their future projects as much. Fixing this game will now be their prime objective for at least the next 18 months.
However, there is always hope! The Witcher 3 was a far better launch, true, but it too had many glaring bugs and issues and it too actually had some missing features that were added a bit later via patches. While Cyberpunk will require a lot more work, there is a precedent from CDPR - also in the face of their continued support for Witcher 1 and 2 in the past. They updated those rough games into some of the most beloved titles of all time - not to mention the excellent expansion packs that truly added to those game’s overall package.
It is not too late to turn this into a story of redemption. It is just a bit sad that we had to see such a tale be told, instead of one of pure triumph.
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