Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé

Bloomberg's Jason Schreier reports (may require registration or subscription) on what he rightfully calls the "disastrous rollout" of Cyberpunk 2077. He spoke with current and former staff at developer CD PROJEKT RED, most of whom requested anonymity in exchange for their frank assessments of the missteps and mismanagement that led to the problems with the highly anticipated sci-fi RPG. This includes the impact of developing the game's engine alongside the game itself, which one developer likened to trying to drive a train as the tracks are being laid ahead of it at the same time. An interesting detail is development of the game didn't actually begin in earnest until late 2016 even though it was announced in 2012. The story also reports that the game's E3 2018 demo was faked, and that the staff was forced into crunch mode very early in the project, despite repeated promises from management that they would not be subjected to it:
Fans and journalists were wowed by Cyberpunk 2077’s ambition and scale. What they didn’t know was that the demo was almost entirely fake. CD Projekt hadn’t yet finalized and coded the underlying gameplay systems, which is why so many features, such as car ambushes, were missing from the final product. Developers said they felt like the demo was a waste of months that should have gone toward making the game.

Employees were working long hours, even though Iwiński told staff that overtime wouldn’t be mandatory on Cyberpunk 2077. More than a dozen workers said they felt pressured to put in extra hours by their managers or coworkers anyway.

“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,” said Jakubiak, the former audio programmer, adding that he quit the company after getting married. “I have some friends who lost their families because of these sort of shenanigans.”
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 16:58
NKD
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 16:58
Jan 16, 2021, 16:58
NKD
 
Man CDPR reputation just going down in flames. While I have had fun with the game, I did not follow it very closely and was not aware of all these features that were cut. It's sad to see what could have been, and sadder still that they chose to crunch their employees to make a fake demo.
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Expos�
Jan 16, 2021, 17:50
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Expos� Jan 16, 2021, 17:50
Jan 16, 2021, 17:50
 
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"In questions about good and bad, we ought not to follow the opinion of the many, but the opinion of the one who has understanding."
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 17:59
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 17:59
Jan 16, 2021, 17:59
 
Good guy CD Projekt can do no wrong. As long as the game is awesome who cares?
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 18:56
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 18:56
Jan 16, 2021, 18:56
 
'Of course overtime isn't mandatory. You can go home if you like. Though when it comes time for bonuses, promotions, raises, and letting people go after the project is done we'll certainly be remembering, with exacting detail, who was a team player and who wasn't. So no, no overtime required.'
"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 19:04
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 19:04
Jan 16, 2021, 19:04
 
More evidence why nope-ing out of the game industry 20 years ago was a good life move.
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 19:11
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 19:11
Jan 16, 2021, 19:11
 
" E32018 demo was faked, and that the staff was forced into crunch mode very early in the project, despite repeated promises from management that they would not be subjected to it"
I don't think I'm going to waste my time reading any more than that.
- I refer to it as BC, Before Corona, and AD, After Disaster. -
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 19:32
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 19:32
Jan 16, 2021, 19:32
 
Cancel Culture is too malicious and hungry for me to take this stuff at face value. People just love to set fire to stuff just to watch it burn these days.
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 20:32
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 20:32
Jan 16, 2021, 20:32
 
Quinn wrote on Jan 16, 2021, 19:32:
Cancel Culture is too malicious and hungry for me to take this stuff at face value. People just love to set fire to stuff just to watch it burn these days.
Who's getting cancelled here? I do agree with your second point, I'm not interested in seeing CDPR burn, I just want devs to be treated better.
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Expos�
Jan 16, 2021, 22:56
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Expos� Jan 16, 2021, 22:56
Jan 16, 2021, 22:56
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 16, 2021, 18:56:
'Of course overtime isn't mandatory. You can go home if you like. Though when it comes time for bonuses, promotions, raises, and letting people go after the project is done we'll certainly be remembering, with exacting detail, who was a team player and who wasn't. So no, no overtime required.'

Haven't watched Overlord Gaming's video that was posted on Bluesnews a while back haven't you? They fired people for much less than that, even during the W3's development. So yes, it was very much mandatory.
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 23:03
NKD
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 23:03
Jan 16, 2021, 23:03
NKD
 
BIGtrouble77 wrote on Jan 16, 2021, 20:32:
Quinn wrote on Jan 16, 2021, 19:32:
Cancel Culture is too malicious and hungry for me to take this stuff at face value. People just love to set fire to stuff just to watch it burn these days.
Who's getting cancelled here? I do agree with your second point, I'm not interested in seeing CDPR burn, I just want devs to be treated better.

Haven't you heard? "Cancel Culture" is when you complain about anything instead of just taking it and asking for more.

But seriously, if we're now labelling "Consumers complaining about how a company treats its workers and its customers" as "cancel culture" then we have a big problem.
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 23:14
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 23:14
Jan 16, 2021, 23:14
 
I can't believe the Ravens and Rams got canceled tonight!
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 23:58
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 23:58
Jan 16, 2021, 23:58
 
Unless all you people 'oh big meanies.. forced overtime' are saying here and now you have not and are never buying another game from any publish/dev who has crunch then please shut up. Your indignation would be far more interesting if it wasn't so full of hypocrisy.

That said and more on the point, the whole 'fake trailer' is laughable. Every trade show demo a year+ out from release is a tech demo/slice. Nothing was "promised" to you feature wise (hence the watermark WORK IN PROGRESS SUBJECT TO CHANGE or whatever the exact verbiage they used was in said videos) things come and go through development. Especially with the development this ambitious. They bit off more then they could get done in the time they had. Just like what happened to NMS or FO76 or even daikatana.
-Harlequin
Admin of Cyberpunk 2077 Online News
https://cyberpunk2077online.news/
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 16, 2021, 23:58
13.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 16, 2021, 23:58
Jan 16, 2021, 23:58
 
I always build my tracks as the train is driving.. in Factorio.. #don'tjudgeme
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 17, 2021, 00:39
Jivaro
 
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 17, 2021, 00:39
Jan 17, 2021, 00:39
 Jivaro
 
I think it's possible to both enjoy the games the industry produced and at the same time acknowledge that the industry needs improvements made in its employment culture. Call me crazy I guess...
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 17, 2021, 00:41
Kxmode
 
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 17, 2021, 00:41
Jan 17, 2021, 00:41
 Kxmode
 
Called it
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 17, 2021, 01:01
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 17, 2021, 01:01
Jan 17, 2021, 01:01
 
GothicWizard wrote on Jan 16, 2021, 23:58:
That said and more on the point, the whole 'fake trailer' is laughable. Every trade show demo a year+ out from release is a tech demo/slice. Nothing was "promised" to you feature wise (hence the watermark WORK IN PROGRESS SUBJECT TO CHANGE or whatever the exact verbiage they used was in said videos) things come and go through development. Especially with the development this ambitious. They bit off more then they could get done in the time they had. Just like what happened to NMS or FO76 or even daikatana.

That's general protocol with early previews, yes, but you're missing the point here. Some stuff from the demo slice didn't make it, of course, but most of it did. All the content and deeply scripted NPC interactions are actually in the game with minor changes, and you see it all in the first few hours of the campaign. Things like destructible environments and complex branching quest paths are there and playable, but ONLY in those early missions they showed off back then. The first 5-10 hours of Cyberpunk are mind-blowing, and then the real game begins... It's still pretty good, IMO, but the fact that they couldn't give it that same level of polish throughout is tragic.
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Expos�
Jan 17, 2021, 01:02
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Expos� Jan 17, 2021, 01:02
Jan 17, 2021, 01:02
 
Quinn wrote on Jan 16, 2021, 19:32:
Cancel Culture is too malicious and hungry for me to take this stuff at face value. People just love to set fire to stuff just to watch it burn these days.

Such an ignorant statement. But, then again, ignorance is so in vogue these days.
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Expos�
Jan 17, 2021, 04:22
18.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Expos� Jan 17, 2021, 04:22
Jan 17, 2021, 04:22
 
All the content of the E3 2018 demo is in the game, in a better form.

It's not the case of the Half-Life 2 E3 2003 demo where the AI was faked. By example, if you try to reproduce this in the game: https://youtu.be/yxYviVfwAHA?t=184 the enemy will open the door as usual, no matter how many objects are placed in front of it.

I am not criticizing Valve. That's the way it is for almost every game. It's the principle of most demos...To present this as outrageous is ignorance or bad faith.
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé
Jan 17, 2021, 04:25
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Exposé Jan 17, 2021, 04:25
Jan 17, 2021, 04:25
 
Kxmode wrote on Jan 17, 2021, 00:41:
Called it
You did. Illusion vs reality is a favorite literary theme for me and happens all the time in real life situations.
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Expos�
Jan 17, 2021, 05:12
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Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Development Debacle Expos� Jan 17, 2021, 05:12
Jan 17, 2021, 05:12
 
This is just a witch hunt now. The have come put with a remedial plan, just let them get on with it. Refunds were offered, noone is forcing people to buy it. Just come back later.

I got my money worth for entertainment, patch 1.06 was stable enough to play (less than a month after), the game simply didnt live up to my expectations. As for bugs, it wasnt released with paradox or bethesda level bugs on launch.

As for working conditions, software development is pretty cut throat. Game development even more so. This sort of practice is fairly normal and was similar back in 90s. I remember when the working time directive was introduced in the EU, we all got letters to opt out of it. It wasnt mandatory but EVERYONE who didnt sign it was redeployed and eventually gotten rid of, all above board, all legal under company restructuring.
Its not the cough that carries you off but the coffin they carry you off in.
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