To say that Cyber­punk 2077 had a rough launch is a bit of an under­state­ment, as it’s one of the worst game launch­es ever. Well, a CD Pro­jekt Red co-founder has issued an apology/explanation of what hap­pened in the days lead­ing up to the game’s release. It answers quite a bit of ques­tions in regards to the dif­fer­ences between PC and con­sole ver­sions. A hint as to when the next-gen ver­sions will be ready was also giv­en in the statement.

Marcin Iwin­s­ki, the co-founder who spoke about the game’s prob­lems, did divulge about the deci­sion to release:

Despite good reviews on PC, the con­sole ver­sion of Cyber­punk 2077 did not meet the qual­i­ty stan­dard we want­ed it to meet. I and the entire lead­er­ship team are deeply sor­ry for this, and this video is me pub­licly own­ing up to that.” 

He went on fur­ther to explain that it was­n’t the devel­op­ing teams that messed this up:

Please, don’t fault any of our teams for what hap­pened. They are all 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. I assure you that we will do our best to regain your trust.”

Iwin­s­ki also dove deep into the spe­cif­ic issues with the last-gen con­sole ver­sions of Cyber­punk 2077. He stat­ed the com­plex nature of the game led to prob­lems, in par­tic­u­lar, the “main cul­prit” being relat­ed to how the team had to con­stant­ly improve the in-game stream­ing sys­tem for old-gen. The hard dri­ve band­width of last-gen was a con­stant chal­lenge for the developers. 

The stu­dio’s own test­ing of this stream­ing tech­nol­o­gy showed improve­ments, which led them to believe the game was in a good place with the Day Zero patch. Iwin­s­ki also stat­ed that work­ing from home due to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, led to fur­ther com­pli­ca­tions for Cyber­punk 2077.

CD Pro­jekt Red has already released three hot­fix­es for Cyber­punk, but they plan fix­ing more bugs and crash­es. The next update will arrive with­in the next ten days, with a more sig­nif­i­cant update com­ing in the fol­low­ing weeks.

CD Projekt Red Founder Issues A Personal Message About Cyberpunk 2077

In addi­tion to these updates, CD Pro­jekt Red still has plans to release free DLC packs for Cyber­punk 2077 lat­er this year. A free next-gen upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X is planned for the sec­ond half of 2021.

Accord­ing to Bloomberg, sev­er­al of the game’s devel­op­ers thought 2022 was a bet­ter release win­dow. The game’s devel­op­ment engine and the game itself were being made in tan­dem, which only helped to make mat­ter worse.

Addi­tion­al­ly, CD Pro­jekt Red said it hopes to work with Sony to bring the PS4 ver­sion of Cyber­punk 2077 back to PlaySta­tion store. 

Despite the prob­lems, Cyber­punk 2077 was one of 2020’s biggest games, sell­ing over 13 mil­lion copies — even includ­ing refunds. Fur­ther insight was giv­en in the form on an FAQ page on CD Pro­jekt Red’s web­site, which you can see below:

Cyberpunk 2077 FAQ

Q: Why is there such a gap between PC ver­sions of Cyber­punk 2077 and old-gen consoles?

A: Cyber­punk 2077 is huge in scope, it fea­tures a 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. We made it even more dif­fi­cult for our­selves by first want­i­ng to make the game look epic on PCs and then adjust­ing it to con­soles — espe­cial­ly old-gens. That was our core assump­tion. And things did not look super dif­fi­cult at first, while we knew the hard­ware gap, ulti­mate­ly, time has proven that we’ve under­es­ti­mat­ed the task.

Q: What was the main issue that made devel­op­ment for con­soles that difficult?

A: The main cul­prit was hav­ing to con­stant­ly improve our in-game stream­ing sys­tem for old-gen con­soles. Stream­ing is respon­si­ble for “feed­ing” the engine with what you see on screen, as well as the game mechan­ics. Since the city is so packed and the disk band­width of old-gen con­soles is what it is, this is some­thing that con­stant­ly chal­lenged us.

Q: Didn’t you test old-gen con­soles to keep tabs on the experience?

A: We did. As it turned out, our test­ing did not show many of the issues you expe­ri­enced while play­ing the game. As we got clos­er to launch, we saw sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments each and every day, and we real­ly believed we’d deliv­er in the final day zero update.

Q: Why was there a gap between PC and con­sole reviews?

A: We start­ed send­ing out PC review keys to start the review process in the first week of Decem­ber. Come Decem­ber 10th, launch day, we had a real­ly good start with PC reviews, and while it’s not per­fect, this is a ver­sion of the game we were, and still are, very proud of. When it comes to the review process for con­soles, at the same time PC codes were sent out we were still work­ing hard to improve the qual­i­ty of the game on old-gen con­soles. Every extra day that we worked on the day zero update brought vis­i­ble improve­ment — that’s why we start­ed send­ing con­sole codes for reviews on the 8th Decem­ber, which was lat­er than we had planned.

Q: What have you done since launch to make the game better?

A: Our top pri­or­i­ty since launch has been to fix bugs in Cyber­punk 2077. We have already released three hot­fix­es which have improved the game, but these are just the beginning.

Q: What are you going to do going for­ward to fix Cyber­punk 2077?

A: We are focused on fix­ing the bugs and crash­es play­ers are expe­ri­enc­ing across every plat­form. You can expect more in the way of patch­es — both small and large — to be released reg­u­lar­ly. The first update will drop in the next 10 days, and it will be fol­lowed by a larg­er, more sig­nif­i­cant update, in the weeks after. Our plans for sup­port­ing Cyber­punk 2077 in the long-term are unchanged, and we will con­tin­ue to intro­duce updates and patch­es to give all play­ers across all con­soles and PCs a bet­ter expe­ri­ence with the game.

Q: You have said there would be free DLC for the game in ‘ear­ly 2021’, will this be impact­ed by improvements?

A: We’re still plan­ning on releas­ing free DLC for the game, just like with The Witch­er 3. How­ev­er, we have decid­ed that our pri­or­i­ty is work­ing on the most impor­tant fix­es and updates. We will be releas­ing free DLC after­wards — we’ll have more to say about that in the com­ing months.

Q: When can we expect the next-gen update for Cyber­punk 2077?

A: For those who are play­ing the game on next-gen con­soles via back­wards com­pat­i­bil­i­ty, we are plan­ning the free, next-gen update for Cyber­punk 2077 on Xbox Series con­soles, and PlaySta­tion 5, this year. We’re aim­ing for the sec­ond half of the year and we’ll reveal more when we have more to share.

Q: Are you mak­ing the team crunch to work on the patches?

A: The team is work­ing to bring rel­e­vant fix­es to the game with­out any oblig­a­tory over­time. Avoid­ing crunch on all of our future projects is one of our top priorities.

Q: When is the game com­ing back to PlaySta­tion Store?

A: We are work­ing on fix­es and updates, and are work­ing with Sony to bring Cyber­punk 2077 back to PlaySta­tion Store as soon as possible.

Q: What is the sta­tus of the Help Me Refund initiative?

A: The ini­tia­tive is pro­gress­ing accord­ing to plan and we just sent out the first wave of reimbursements.