I’m a little late to this but it seems that things continue to get worse so better late than never. Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that has been in development for roughly 8 years and is arguably still not finished. The game was released on December 10th, 2020 for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 which leaves the next/current gen consoles, the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X without a native port and instead, they just run the last gen versions. Turns out, playing on PC and newer gen consoles is the only way to play as the PS4 and Xbox One versions are so buggy and broken that the game can be almost unplayable. Since it’s release, CD Projekt Red, the game’s developer, has been in full disaster recovery mode trying to save as much face as possible.
At the beginning of this year, CDPR was seen as the gold standard of how a big time game developer should be. After the success of the Witcher 3 (great game), they were very outspoken about being transparent with their customers, wanting to make a great game above all else, not charging extra for DLC, and being against microtransactions. They’ve even publicly opposed crunch, a common practice in the gaming industry where developers are forced to work long hours in order to hit a deadline. This is where 2020 once again punches us in the face. In late September, it was revealed that the bosses at CDPR broke their promises and implemented a paid 6-day work week to finish and polish the game before release. This was met with an immense amount of backlash from fans, developers, gamers, and activists alike that believe that crunch is never the answer and would rather the game be delayed (again) than to force someone into unhealthy conditions. The concept of crunch is a bigger topic and argument in itself that I won’t be going into here but just know that it rarely helps with the production and it is normally enforced by shareholders, directors, and other higher ups to meet a deadline, no matter what. It’s not a good thing.
When the game was released, it was attached with a Day 1 patch (as most games are nowadays) and gamers on the PS4 and Xbox One were immediately taken aback by how broken the game was one their consoles. Textures not loading, NPCs stuck in a ‘T-pose’, typos on street signs, falling through the floor, and game crashes were a common occurrence and the proof was everywhere on social media and can be found using #Cyberbug2077. Many pointed out that they felt as if the game was in the late-beta stages and shouldn’t of even been released. CDPR had 8 years, including the ENTIRETY of the PS4/Xbox One life cycle to make it work on those consoles and they somehow couldn’t figure it out. It was then realized by many people and gaming news sites that put out reviews that CDPR did not provide review copies of the console version to anybody. CDPR purposefully hid the console version from reviewers to avoid getting review-bombed before the game released.
They have since released a statement:
In the last paragraph, CDPR said that they will honor refunds if you wish to discontinue playing. On the surface, this looks like a good move, however, they directed people to get their refund wherever they purchased the game; it doesn’t work like that. Xbox and Playstation have to approve this before they can just start handing out refunds. At first, the consequences of that were felt when gamers tried to get a refund from Playstation and were denied. It wasn’t until a day or two later that Playstation started accepting refunds. This is where things get worse. Playstation apparently didn’t like the way that everything was handled by CDPR and decided to pull the game from the Playstation store all together. See the statement from Playstation and CDPR below.
“SIE strives to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, therefore we will begin to offer a full refund for all gamers who have purchased Cyberpunk 2077 via PlayStation Store. SIE will also be removing Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation Store until further notice.
“Once we have confirmed that you purchased Cyberpunk 2077 via PlayStation Store, we will begin processing your refund. Please note that completion of the refund may vary based on your payment method and financial institution.” – Sony Interactive Entertainment
This is unprecedented. Opinions are split on whether Playstation made the right move but at the end of the day, CDPR straight up lied to their very devoted fanbase and handled this release very poorly. I haven’t played this game myself yet as was waiting to get it for PS5 but now I’m in no rush to even try it. If you are in the same or similar situation as I am, I would recommend waiting also. The game obviously wasn’t finished and people that are playing it on PC are saying that it is, in fact, a really good game. I would rather wait and experience it how it should be experienced than to get my hands on now and be disappointed and/or annoyed.
CDPR continues to reiterate that bug fixes are in the works and that a native port for the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X are on the way in early 2021 but I would take a grain of salt with anything they say at this point. Turns out CDPR is just your average AAA developer that only cares about the bottom line… add them to the list.