What was meant to go down in history as a joyous occasion for gamers around the world has devolved into a moment that will, instead, go down in absolute infamy? Well, that’s the way it seems things are about to play out as Cyberpunk 2077 finally made its way onto home consoles and was swiftly taken off shelves completely.
This game, to me, looks heavily inspired by movies like Total Recall but I don’t think that a total recall of all their finished product was what they had in mind when they finally unleashed this landmark title on unsuspecting gamers playing on a PS4 or an Xbox One console.
Which, even though the next-gen consoles have arrived, is pretty much 80% of the console user base according to the best guess I could come up with at this time. And, since development started when those were the only 2 options on the horizon, why does it look like they were an afterthought rather than a priority?
It’s sad to see the state of this game at launch but it’s not the first time we’ve seen something like this happen. I mean, Fallout 76 vibes anyone? But why exactly doe this situation seem a whole lot worse than any of the other notorious incidents that have come before and what can we learn as gamers moving forward? Let’s answer those questions as we look at the fall of Cyberpunk 2077.
So, How Did We Get Here?
Well, it all started back in the year 1988 with the release of the table-top role-playing game, Cyberpunk, and its successes thereafter. Since then, four complete editions of the game have been released with the fourth serving as the prequel to the video game that we were all expecting.
While the table-top game had been out for decades, it wasn’t until the year 2012 that anybody announced they were brave enough to turn this classic IP into a one of a kind video gaming experience. And, seeing as how they had just reached massive success with The Witcher franchise, it was easy for them to get the vote of confidence from the gaming community.
Especially since Cyberpunk’s original creator, Mike Pondsmith would be consulting on the project to make sure that the game remained as faithful to the original franchise as possible while still delivering a unique story within the Cyberpunk Universe that would work even if you’re unfamiliar with the source material.
Over the years, the initial development team would expand more and more as each new technological element was added to the game and the list of moving parts increased steadily. By 2018, CD Projekt Red would confirm that Cyberpunk 2077 was going to be released on both the Xbox One and PS4.
With every new teaser, trailer, and interview that surfaced online, the hype for this game and the experience it would offer grew exponentially. To the point that this became the most anticipated release of all time. Finally, a release date was set and after numerous delays, Cyberpunk 2077 arrived to set the gaming world on fire.
Whos Responsible For This?
Now, I’ve heard people blame it on the hardware itself which I think is a completely warped way of looking at this situation. I know a lot of die-hard fans have been waiting for this game a long time and want this game to be perfect in everybody’s eyes as well but, right now, the blame lies solely with the developers and executives themselves.
Over the course of seven years so much was promised in terms of features and genre-defining gameplay elements that I think CD Projekt Red created a workload that they did not have the resources to tackle and ended up biting off a lot more than they could chew. I mean seriously, it’s been seven years.
On top of all that, it’s not just gamers but investors that are being burned by the decision to release a game that is unfinished and completely broken. They’re certainly not getting their money’s worth with the avalanche of refunds that are being demanded and the fact that the companies stock has taken a massive nose-dive.
Say what you want about pressure from the fans but this game clearly needed at least another year for it to be ready and this ultimately leaves games like Halo: Infinite (which was recently delayed to fall of next year) a more positive perception in the eyes of gamers. I’d be surprised if CD Projekt Red were able to save their reputation after this mess.
What Do We Do Moving Forward?
As gamers, I feel like this is a moment for all of us to take a step back and realize that a lot goes into a game than we might think. I’d like to believe that the situation could have been different if the developers ignored pressure from fans and investors as well and delayed the game for as long as they needed to.
Truth is, we’ll never know for sure. After seven years, I would also be expecting some kind of return on my investment and that could easily be the straw that broke the camels back and forced this product to be unleashed on the world before its time. Business is business after all and you can’t always be friendly about it when there’s money on the table.
But are we now forced to manage our expectations whenever a new game is released? Should we go through the rest of our gaming lives expecting worse than what was promised? I don’t think that’s fair at all but moments like this are becoming more and more frequent and it’s a trend that needs to be stopped.
There are so many great looking games out there that run extremely well on the eighth generation of consoles and there’s no excuse why that same level of quality can’t be universal. We shouldn’t be promised things that will never be a reality as it is deceptive and down-right anti-consumer.
Ultimately, this will be a stain on what was meant to be a moment that will go down in history. The so-called “greatest video game of all time” will be renamed and forever known as one of the biggest video game fumbles of all time. I certainly hope that Halo: Infinite doesn’t follow Cyberpunk down the rushed road to disappointment.
Have you played Cyberpunk 2077? What do you think of the controversy surrounding the game? Let me know in the comments section below.