CD Projekt releases apology video explaining Cyberpunk 2077’s controversial launch

CD Projekt Red has released a video with co-founder Marcin Iwinski « owning up » to Cyberpunk 2077’s rocky launch on consoles, particularly PS4 and Xbox One.

The video offers CD Projekt’s perspective in the days leading up to Cyberpunk 2077’s December 10 launch, explaining the chief reason for the game’s notoriously choppy performance on last-gen consoles.

« Cyberpunk 2077 is huge in scope, and I’m not only talking about quests or things you see at first glance. I’m talking about the multitude of custom objects, interacting systems, and mechanics. In the game, everything is not stretched out over flat terrain where we can make things less taxing hardware-wise, but condensed in one big city and in a relatively loading-free environment, » Iwinski explains.

« On its own, this is a challenge, but we made it even more difficult for ourselves by wanting to make the game look epic on PCs, and then adjusting it to consoles, especially old-gens. That was our core assumption. »

Iwinski explains that the studio was initially confident in Cyberpunk’s performance on PS4 and Xbox One, despite the devs’ keen understanding of the hardware gap between last-gen consoles and modern PCs. « Ultimately, I think that time has proven that we’ve underestimated the task. »

The main culprit, Iwinski says, was the process of optimizing the in-game streaming system for last-gen consoles. « Since the city is so packed and the bandwith of [last-gen hardware] is what it is, it constantly challenged us. Every change and improvement needed to be tested, and as it turned out, our testing did not show a big part of the issues you are experiencing while playing the game. As we got closer to the final release, we saw significant improvements each and every day, and we really believed we would deliver in the final day zero update. »

The COVID-19 pandemic also posed issues for CD Projekt as they scrambled to improve console performance after launch. « This all happened while working from home with all the challenges resulting from the COVID-related restrictions. A lot of the dynamics we normally take for granted got lost over video calls or email. And we took that hit too. »

CD Projekt also gave an update on the Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen upgrade and the game’s roadmap in a separate announcement.

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