CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński has addressed the events leading up to the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 last year in an attempt to explain how the game's widely lambasted Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions were released in such a poor state.
"Based on [our] legacy of genuine and honest communication", says Iwiński in a new video," you've trusted us and pre-ordered our game, and despite good reviews on PC, the console version of Cyberpunk 2077 did not meet the quality standard we wanted it to meet. I, and the entire leadership team, are deeply sorry for this and this video is me publicly owning up to this."
According to Iwiński, problems with the console release stemmed from Cyperpunk's "huge" scope - specifically the "multitude of custom objects, interacting systems, and mechanics" all condensed into a single big city and "in a relatively loading-free environment".
Iwiński says getting all that to run on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One would have been enough of a challenge, "but we made it even more difficult for ourselves by wanting to make the game look epic on PCs and then adjusting it to consoles - especially old gens". Despite the significant hardware gap, the studio believed "things did not look super difficult at first", but Iwiński concedes "time has proven that we've underestimated the task".
That proof, of course, came on launch day, when considerable criticism was immediately levied at Cyberpunk's prominent bugs and awful performance, particularly on base consoles. However, Iwiński insists the studio's testing "did not show a big part of the issues you experienced", and that the developer saw "significant improvements each and every day" as it got closer to release and "really believed we'd deliver in the final day zero update".
Iwiński also addresses the studio's decision to withhold console review code from publications until mere days before launch, saying that while the PC version was in good shape well in advance of release day, CD Projekt was "fighting for quality on old-gen consoles till the very last moment and every extra day of us working on the day zero update brought visible improvement", meaning console code was sent out "later than we originally planned".
Iwiński notes that CD Projekt's "incredibly hard working and talented" development team should not be blamed for Cyberpunk 2077's disastrous console launch. "Myself and the board are the final decision makers," he stresses, "and it was our call to release the game. Although, believe me, we never ever intended for anything like this to happen. I assure you that we will do our best to regain your trust".
To that end, Iwiński takes a few moments to detail the studio's future plans for Cyberpunk 2077 on console and PC, beginning with variably sized patches - intended to fix bugs and improve the experience across all platforms - "on a regular basis". The first of these is due in approximately 10 days, with another more significant patch to follow in the coming weeks.
CD Projekt's long-term plans for supporting the game have not change, says Iwiński, but some of Cyperpunk 2077's more notable post-launch content has now been delayed. Free DLC updates, originally planned to arrive shortly after release, now won't land until after critical problem areas have been addressed, with more information expected "in the coming months".
As for the highly anticipated next-gen console update, that's now due to launch in the second half of the year, and a revised roadmap can be found in CD Projekt's accompanying blog post.
"We are treating this entire situation very seriously," concludes Iwiński, "and are working hard to make it right".