Cyberpunk 2077 Is Everything Wrong with Modern AAA Games | EarlyGame
CD Projekt Red tarnished a previously clean reputation

Bollocks: Cyberpunk 2077 Is Everything Wrong with Modern AAA Games

Gaming
Everything wrong with Cyberpunk 2077
The Eric Andre Show is definitely more punk than Cyberpunk 2077. (Image credit: adult swim)

Cyberpunk 2077 is over a month old now. Often times I find myself thinking that time passes by way too quickly. As far as Cyberpunk 2077 goes, this month and a half feels like an eternity. CD Projekt Red's baby grew up fast and currently looks like the family failure. Not because it's the worst game ever made, but because it summed up all that's wrong with modern AAA video game publishing.

Think about all the stuff that's plagued your favorite video games, developers and publishers over the last half a decade. Then try not to find any of these in CD Projekt Red and Cyberpunk 2077. Try rrreally hard. You might even come up with something, but for the most part, Night City checks all of the boxes.


The Hype

It all begins with the storm before the storm. Cause there was no calm as far as Cyberpunk 2077's concerned. When you start teasing a title as early as eight years before launch and then actively work on its development for four years on the back of a critically acclaimed darling of a game, people are going to get hyped.

An argument can be made that the publisher can't control the public's perception. That argument would fall flat. Marketing campaigns, teasers, interviews all hyping the title + a $300 million budget and a bunch of delays added in the mix are always going to result in overwhelming expectations.

At least you'd hope that the delays would mean no one at the studio is getting overcooked in the AAA game development oven. That hope, like most others, would be false.


The Crunch

The term is popular enough at this point, but just in case, we'll clarify what crunch is. It is the overworking of developers, often forced to work additional hours and at times additional days in order to keep their jobs and get a game out on time.

Despite numerous delays and development that spanned back years, Cyberpunk 2077's development team reportedly suffered crunch for at least the last year of development. This ranged from a few hours on top of regular working days to night shifts, work on weekends and six-day working weeks.

All of that, just so we can get a disastrous launch.

The Launch

2020 was a year of many things. Among those - Cyberpunk 2077 delays. The game was officially pushed back three times that finally saw it released on December 10, 2020. That's eight months after the initial launch date in April. Amid the detailed crunch and the prolonged development period, surely the game would at least function, right?

Absolutely f@#$ing not.

The hours' worth of bugs compilations that flooded video platforms are just the meme side of it all. The game was so bloody broken on consoles upon launch that Sony was forced into taking it off the PlayStation Store. There were so many refund demands that Sony would rather deal without CD Projekt Red's golden achievement. How about that hype?


The Denial

When you're off to such a great start, people are bound to be a little less than happy. This leads to complaints and criticism, which in return can result in one of two things. You can take it on the chin, admit your mistakes and offer sincere apologies, then take your ass to work and fix the mess you created.

OR... you can make a butt out of yourself by dodging solid arguments, denying eye-popping truths and presenting half-hearted apologies that shift the blame to any other place other than CD Projekt Red management. Because this isn't the dev team's fault. This is the fault of sloppy time management and unreasonable demands.

When you mix the two, you'll always end up with a failure. People that fail are rarely able to admit it and CDPR management isn't a positive exception to the rule.

The Repair

The game is far from over, of course. No pun intended. We live in the Live Service era where what you receive at launch doesn't matter. You know, the thing you paid $60 for? It doesn't matter. None of it matters. It's all about the journey. A journey that might make the game playable, perhaps even enjoyable, in a few months... or years. Nobody knows really.

Live Service might just be the most toxic ingredient of modern AAA gaming. More so than microtransactions and I can go on a two-hour rant about why that piece of garbage tactic should go straight to hell.


The free excuse to drop a steaming turd on launch makes the author wonder how soon will cases like Cyberpunk's become a norm.

Yer game's utter shoite, sir? Needn't trouble thyself with technicalities. We shall fix thee product in two winters at the longest!

Makes me wanna vomit.

We don't doubt Cyberpunk 2077 will become better with a bunch of patches. That's not how a $300 million game should behave! Postpone the bastard for a decade if you have to, but don't give us that Live Service bulls#$%, please! Show us at least that much respect.

The Verdict

This text isn't aimed to judge Cyberpunk 2077 as a sole video gaming entity. Some folks do enjoy it (not on PS, lol). This is an indictment against the recycled process of hype-mismanagement-crunch-bad launch-live service that tries to make up for the crap launch product. We're seeing this with nearly every AAA release in recent years and it's shaping up to be another widely accepted shouldn't-be-widely-accepted part of the gaming industry.

Cyberpunk 2077 did a perfect job at one thing at least – cramming together every ill-mannered practice in AAA game development, so we can point our finger at it and laugh in disgust. The only thing it's really missing is microtransactions.

Early on, CD Projekt Red had promised there will be no crunch during the development of Cyberpunk 2077 and we saw how that promise went, so there's still a chance that the masterpiece of AAA crap practices can still be achieved.


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