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Developers knew Cyberpunk 2077 was not ready for release

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Cyberpunk 2077 and CD Projekt having problems in China

The Polish company will spend the next few months fixing Cyberpunk 2077 instead of planning additions to the game or starting work on the next part of its other popular franchise, The Witcher.

Employees worked overtime, although Iwinski assured them that overtime would not be required when working on Cyberpunk 2077. More than a dozen employees said they felt pressure from their managers or colleagues anyway.

There were times when I worked 13 hours a day, five days a week. I have friends who have lost their families to this.

Yakubyak
Audio programmer

Crunches did not accelerate the development of the game. At E3 in June 2019, CD Projekt announced that the game will release on April 16, 2020. The fans were delighted, but the team members already knew that they would not meet these deadlines.

Removing some of the features and reducing the size of the city helped, but according to the developers, the growth of the team made it difficult for some departments to work.

The Witcher 3 was created by approximately 240 full-time employees, according to the company, Cyberpunk credits show that more than 500 employees from the studio itself worked on the game. But since CD Projekt was not used to this size of teams, the people working on the game said their teams often felt fragmented and disorganized.

There were also cultural barriers caused by hiring expats from the US and Western Europe. The studio obliged everyone to speak English during general meetings, but not everyone followed the rules.

Although the timeline looked increasingly unrealistic, management said that postponement was not an option. Their goal was to release Cyberpunk 2077 before the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, expected in autumn 2020, were announced. That way, the company could launch the game on the existing PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and then “double-cut” by releasing future versions for next-gen consoles.

Some engineers realised that Cyberpunk wouldn’t work properly on the seven-year-old consoles. However, management dismissed their concerns, citing their success in creating The Witcher 3.

By the end of 2019, management finally admitted that Cyberpunk needed to be delayed. In early 2020, the company postponed the game’s release. Due to the pandemic, development had to be completed from their homes. Without access to console devs, developers played builds on their home computers, so it wasn’t clear to everyone how Cyberpunk could work on PS4 and Xbox One. However, external tests showed clear performance issues.

As the release date approached, everyone in the studio knew that the game needed some serious tweaking. A lot of dialogue was missing. Some were not working properly at all. When the management announced in October that the game had “gone for gold”, serious bugs were still being discovered. The game’s release was delayed for another three weeks while exhausted programmers tried to fix as many as possible.

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