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LONDON — The developers of Cyberpunk 2077 are pushing back the release of new content for the game to focus on fixing bugs and crashes.
Polish game developer and publisher CD Projekt launched the highly-anticipated sci-fi epic last month. It’s been the target of fierce criticism for releasing what many fans and critics saw as an unfinished game.
Cyberpunk was one of 2020’s most hyped big-budget video games. But it was beset by a multitude of bugs and drops in performance on older consoles like Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One.
CD Projekt sought to placate fans with the promise of refunds and improvements to the game. But that didn’t stop Sony from removing Cyberpunk from its digital PlayStation Store, a move that many industry analysts said was unprecedented for a triple-A title.
Marcin Iwiński, co-founder of CD Projekt, apologized in a video posted to the game’s YouTube channel Wednesday.
“Despite good reviews on PC, the console version of Cyberpunk 2077 did not meet the quality standard we wanted it to meet,” Iwiński said. “I and the entire leadership team are deeply sorry for this and this video is me publicly owning up to that.”
“Please don’t fault any of our teams for what happened,” he added. “They all are incredibly talented and hard working.
“Myself and the board are the final decision makers, and it was our call to release the game. Although, believe me, we never ever intended for anything like this to happen.”
Iwiński explained that much of the game’s issues on older hardware resulted from its grand ambitions on PC. Cyberpunk is “huge in scope,” he said, packing a “multitude of custom objects, interacting systems and mechanics” into “one big city and in a relatively loading-free environment.”
“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” like the PS4 and Xbox One, he added.
Iwiński said that CD Projekt’s planned release of free downloadable content, or DLC, to accompany the main game would be delayed as the developers race to patch the many glitches and crashes players have experienced.
“We decided to focus on the most important fixes and updates first and we’ll be releasing the DLCs afterwards,” the CD Projekt co-founder said.
He added that versions of the game for Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles will be released in the latter half of the year. Gamers are currently only able to play the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Cyberpunk on the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X systems.
CD Projekt shares were up 2% Thursday morning. The game maker’s stock price has fallen about 38% since Cyberpunk was released on Dec. 10.
“We treat this entire situation very seriously and are working hard to make it right,” Iwiński said Wednesday. “The guiding principles of our company are still core to what we do we still want to make amazing games and have an open communication with you our players.”
In addition to the controversy over Cyberpunk’s botched launch, CD Projekt has also faced accusations of “crunch culture,” a common issue in the gaming industry that sees developers working long hours to finish a game in time. Cyberpunk was delayed three times before its release.
“The team is working to bring relevant fixes to the game without any obligatory overtime,” CD Projekt said in a news update Wednesday. “Avoiding crunch on all of our future projects is one of our top priorities.”