CD Projekt has said that it didn’t feel any unusual “external or internal pressure” to launch Cyberpunk 2077 on December 10, and explained that the decision not to delay the game was, at least in part, because it “definitely did not spend enough time looking” at compromised last-gen versions. The company also explains that, “in theory” it could have released the game on PC only.
In an unscheduled investor call, senior members of CD Projekt were asked whether the company felt they had to release the game before 2021. SVP of business development, Michał Nowakowski replied: “I wouldn’t say that we felt any external or internal pressure to launch on the date – other than the normal pressure, which is typical for any release.”
With major issues present in the base PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game, not to mention persistent bugs in upgraded last-gen, next-gen, and PC versions, many have questioned why CD Projekt Red didn’t delay the game further after three previous delays (the first two of which, in particular, were celebrated by many fans for showing a dedication to creating a polished product).
In fact Nowakowski seems to imply that the company simply didn’t realise how broken some versions of the game were: “It is more about us looking – as was previously stated – at the PC and next-gen performance rather than current-gen. We definitely did not spend enough time looking at that.”
As part of the same line of questioning, the board was asked how the game passed certification on Xbox and PlayStation, which appears to come down to trust from the console companies. “In terms of the certification process and the third parties,” Nowakowski explained, “this is definitely on our side. I can only assume that they trusted that we’re going to fix things upon release, and that obviously did not come together exactly as we had planned.”
In a separate question, the board was asked if the company could have simply released a PC version of the game on December 10, and delayed a console release. “In pure theory, if we had decided that one day before the launch then yes; we might have released just the PC version,” said Nowakowski. He went into no further detail about whetehr those discussion took place. However, Nowakowski went onto make clear that it would have been impossible to release a next-gen-only version alongside PC:
“[Next-gen consoles] get a completely different version of the game, so it’s not like we could have decided at any point recently to ‘flip the switch’, so to say, and change the old-gen version to the next-gen version and release only on next-gens. As you have noticed, there is no native next-gen release. The game runs on next-gens and takes advantage of how next-gens are performing, but it’s not like we had a next-gen version in our hands and decided to keep it on the shelf.”
CD Projekt yesterday formally apologised for the below-par version of the game released on PS4 and Xbox One, and informed customers that they could apply for refunds. After receiving the console version of the game late, we’ve published a 4/10 review of the base console version, saying that it “fails to hit even the lowest bar of technical quality one should expect even when playing on lower-end hardware”.