Sally Denning runs us through one of the gaming industry’s biggest flops in recent memory, Cyberpunk 2077
I had been looking forward to playing Cyberpunk 2077 when it was announced in 2012 and I was one of the 8 million people that pre ordered it; however, when the game was released, I felt deflated, cheated somehow. In the first two hours of playing I saw bikes falling from the sky, hardly any NPCs on the road, trees falling and, to top it off, my game crashed multiple times in two hours. CDPR offered customers refunds; however, I decided to persevere and continued to play. Despite having three updates since release, there are still so many glitches in the game not even Keanu Reeves can save it.
Cyberpunk had clearly been rushed, despite its release being put back many times. One of the main problems that it had was an ambition to create this game that made people feel like they were going to be in Blade Runner using old software. Bear in mind that the PS4 and XBOX ONE were still the main consoles during the game’s development. CDPR kept the world informed of how progress was coming along and telling the audience what the game was going to be like, making the gamer more excited. However, the things that were promised were not put in the game.
One of the main causes of rushed development is not necessarily the programmers’ fault but the publisher’s
In a demo, the audience saw the main character, V, hacking an enemy skull to access information, but when the game was released the hacking was very simplified. Gamers were told they were able to have many romantic partners, but, in the released game there are only four people you can romance. The promises that fell flat reminded everyone of the disappointment that was No Man Sky; but even this game redeemed itself through updates with the things that were promised. CDPR have announced that they intend to do the same.
But what can gaming publishers do to stop incidents like this from happening again? One of the main causes of rushed development is not necessarily the programmers’ fault but the publisher’s. If a game is being pushed back further and further people might lose interest in it and therefore would not buy the game on release. Another cause is payroll, creating a game as big as Cyberpunk takes years and many employers on the payroll, and if the game is further delayed then the gaming company must pay the workers.
If programmers are not under high pressures to release a game in a hurry, then incidents like Cyberpunk 2077 would be rare; but, having a fair time limit to work to, it seems that there is no one party to be blamed for the game’s failures.