The trouble from Cyberpunk’s disastrous launch doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon for CDPR. Earlier this week, CDPR’s co-founder Marcin Iwiński issued an apology for the state of Cyberpunk 2077, which has been buggy on PC and almost unplayable on last-gen consoles. In that apology, Iwiński suggested that the scope of Cyberpunk 2077’s issues was not entirely known before release and the company tried its best to meet the expectations of fans but due to the launch date closing in the company fast-tracked some processes in hopes of day 1 patch fixing most issues.
While the apology only hours old and a new report from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier rejected most of Marcin Iwińsk’s claims and suggested that the company knew about bugs and performance issues before launch. The report titled “Inside Cyberpunk 2077’s Disastrous Rollout”, goes into detail about the work culture and how CDPR knowingly pushed for the launch of the game.
Schreier interviewed more than 20 current and ex-CDPR staff, about the implications of COVID-19 restrictions and difficulties with communication and production it caused. While most of the interviewed staff asked for anonymity, one ex-staff, Adrian Jakubiak who worked as Audio Programmer said that “There were times when I would crunch up to 13 hours a day—a little bit over that was my record probably—and I would do five days a week working like that. I have some friends who lost their families because of this sort of shenanigans.”
The report briefly describes how the company’s mandatory overtime in the lead-up to a game’s release exhausted programmers and forced other coworkers to work extra hours to make up for those not wanting to work overtime. According to the report, troubles started showing up much earlier in Cyberpunk 2077’s development cycle. The company was working on building a new engine at the same time as the game was being built on it.
Former Witcher 3 developers left the project due to frequent clashes with game director Adam Badowski’s vision, who frequently requested big overhauls like changing the camera from third to first-person. Bringing those overhauls wasted precious programming hours and forced the team to re-write several lines of codes on a WIP engine which broke other things.
The employees Schreier interviewed also said that the management struggled to properly manage a team of more than 500 employees which was twice as large as The Witcher 3’s development team. Soon after Schreier’s report went live on Bloomberg, Adam Badowski tweeted out a response rejecting the idea of the fake E3 2018 demo, saying that “it reflects the non-linear process of game development and was labeled as a work in progress and the final game looks and plays way better than what that demo ever was.”
Adam Badowski also said that the sample group of 20 employees was too small to make claims that “the game wouldn’t be ready to release in 2020”. Read Adam’s full response on the tweet linked above and see for yourself if the game actually had a troubled launch or it was just corporate greed at work to get those Christmas sales. Since its launch, Cyberpunk 2077 has received several patches fixing various bugs and uplifting console performance. The game has sold more than 13 million copies worldwide, a figure which also factors in the number of refunds issued by the company.