CD Projekt denies Cyberpunk 2077 E3 demo was 'almost entirely fake'

Joe White

Posts: 43   +0
Staff
A hot potato: A recent report shedding light on Cyberpunk 2077 has blamed the game’s troubled launch on poor management, claiming that development didn’t really begin until 2016 and that Cyberpunk 2077’s 2018 E3 demo was “almost entirely fake.” Now, CD Projekt head Adam Badowski has responded to the claims, justifying the studio’s actions and correcting some of the report’s finer details.

Just days after CD Projekt Red issued a public apology and development roadmap for Cyberpunk 2077, a report from Bloomberg sheds more light on the years leading up to the game’s troubled launch. The story claims that while the game was first announced in 2012, development didn’t properly begin until 2016. At that time, Adam Badowski took over as director and the studio was still deciding on some of Cyberpunk 2077’s core elements, like whether it would be first-person or not. When CDPR publicly stated that the game would launch in 2020, some of the studio’s staffers couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

Bloomberg writes: “Fans were elated, but internally, some members of the team could only scratch their heads, wondering how they could possibly finish the game by then. One person said they thought the date was a joke. Based on the team’s progress, they expected the game to be ready in 2022. Developers created memes about the game getting delayed, making bets on when it would happen.”

The report adds that Cyberpunk 2077’s impressive E3 2018 demo was “almost entirely fake,” adding: “CD Projekt hadn't yet finalized and coded the underlying gameplay systems, which is why so many features, such as car ambushes, were missing from the final product. Developers said they felt like the demo was a waste of months that should have gone toward making the game.”

Language barriers within CD Projekt Red’s team and the eventual move to remote working didn’t help matters, and the mandatory crunch made working life a living hell for developers. Adrian Jakubiak, a former audio programmer at the studio, explained that he’d typically work for 13 hours a day. “I have some friends who lost their families because of these sort of shenanigans,” he said.

It all sets a bleak scene and we know how the story ends—with Cyberpunk 2077 performing dismally on last-gen consoles, customers being offered refunds, and the game ultimately being pulled from the PlayStation Store. However, while CD Projekt Red isn’t denying the game’s shoddy state, head of studio Adam Badowski has taken issue with some of the points made in Bloomberg’s report.

In a lengthy Twitter post, Badowski described Cyberpunk 2077’s E3 demo as a “work in progress,” adding that “our final game looks and plays way better than that demo ever was.”

Badowski also highlighted the PC version’s positive reviews, while acknowledging that Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles “is another case.”

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yRaz

Posts: 3,535   +3,317
I say this as someone with almost 140 hours in the game, no it wasn't almost entirely fake. Is it obvious where content was cut because it was rushed? Absolutely. However, I feel that I have gotten my money's worth out of the game and am satisfied with the experience.

I feel sorry for console gamers on this one. It's been a wonderful experience and I'm sorry they haven't gotten to enjoy it the same way I have.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 142   +191
At this point, I actually think that explaining that the full team couldn't get on board until 2016 would be a better explanation that "We did not lie! We started 8 years ago but basically failed to deliver on most of the big features promised through promotional material!"

Game is rushed, it feels rushed to anyone who actually played past Act I so being so adamant to deny this kinds of rumors seems like just trying to set a precedent and test run for their court arguments to be presented at the pending litigation.
 
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yRaz

Posts: 3,535   +3,317
At this point, I actually think that explaining that the full team couldn't get on board until 2016 would be a better explanation that "We did not lie! We started 8 years ago but basically failed to deliver on most of the big features promised through promotional material!"

Game is rushed, it feels rushed to anyone who actually played past Act I so being so adamant to deny this kinds of rumors seems like just trying to set a precedent and test run for their court arguments to be presented at the pending litigation.
Yeah, it does, but I think the criticism CDPR is getting is unjust relative to the rest of the Industry. Bethesda releases something with this many bugs and they're "features" or EA does something similar and everyone gets distracted by their micro transactions.

I'm happy with what I paid for but I also wish I would have gotten what I thought was advertised. Their vision and their product are two different things. I'm happy with what I paid for but it isn't the revolutionary game they envisioned and what I thought I was getting.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 142   +191
Yeah, it does, but I think the criticism CDPR is getting is unjust relative to the rest of the Industry. Bethesda releases something with this many bugs and they're "features" or EA does something similar and everyone gets distracted by their micro transactions.

I'm happy with what I paid for but I also wish I would have gotten what I thought was advertised. Their vision and their product are two different things. I'm happy with what I paid for but it isn't the revolutionary game they envisioned and what I thought I was getting.
I agree but it is not that surprising to me: A company like EA or Ubisoft or Activision has mountains of money and tons of other games in the pipeline to quickly bury a bad release and shift focus into their next big project. An indie publisher like CDPR would need 6 to 10 years and not as much money to go around to try and appease and counteract the bad press.

I'm not saying there's any kind of ulterior motive behind the scenes by the way, but I am saying that CDPR is a far easier target to latch on to in order to feed the controversy machine that pays so well for media and youtubers: hate reporting is as effective for them to attract customers as hyping was, and hyping most of these people did so it's easy to just not let go of this momentum of invested attention through the years by just turning it into negative attention and keep benefiting from the property and misfortune of CDPR.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,535   +3,317
I agree but it is not that surprising to me: A company like EA or Ubisoft or Activision has mountains of money and tons of other games in the pipeline to quickly bury a bad release and shift focus into their next big project. An indie publisher like CDPR would need 6 to 10 years and not as much money to go around to try and appease and counteract the bad press.

I'm not saying there's any kind of ulterior motive behind the scenes by the way, but I am saying that CDPR is a far easier target to latch on to in order to feed the controversy machine that pays so well for media and youtubers: hate reporting is as effective for them to attract customers as hyping was, and hyping most of these people did so it's easy to just not let go of this momentum of invested attention through the years by just turning it into negative attention and keep benefiting from the property and misfortune of CDPR.
I don't believe there is some ulterior motive, either. Actually, I blame the investors primarily for pressuring them to release the game prematurely. There were reports of gamers sending death threats to the developers not to delay the game again but I think those are overblown and exaggerated.

My main disappointment with 2077 isn't that I think it's a bad game, it's not, it's that I believed in the idea of what it should have been. I actually think the story of 2077's development is kind of tragic because it could have changed what single player RPGs were supposed to be. If you look at The Witcher 3 then we know CDPR is capable of that sort of thing

While also looking at The Witcher 3, it may take several months for 2077 to reach the developers' goals
 

darkzelda

Posts: 399   +206
Well, I think he is right in some points, in PC the game looks way better than in the demos showcased. I've really liked the game, it's well optimized on PC, it loads almost instantly and has everything you expect from a PC game, not to mention it looks amazing. It's buggy, yeah, but show me a game this size that has not released with bugs; at least I didn't find any game breaking bug, nor the game has crashed a single time.
 
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Tom Yum

Posts: 63   +132
I agree but it is not that surprising to me: A company like EA or Ubisoft or Activision has mountains of money and tons of other games in the pipeline to quickly bury a bad release and shift focus into their next big project. An indie publisher like CDPR would need 6 to 10 years and not as much money to go around to try and appease and counteract the bad press.
I agree with you overall point but have to correct this perception that CDPR is an 'indie publisher', something that pops up a lot. CDPR is a ~USD 7 Billion company, only a bit smaller than Ubisoft. Whilst they only release a single large game every few years (hence your point about CDPR not being able to rely on multiple releases to bury bad PR), they certainly are large enough to not be getting free passes for being 'just an indie publisher'. This isn't a 20 pers studio working on their first or second game, they have over 1000 employees.

As for the article, it seems like the CEO is agreeing with most of the points. His defence regarding most of the staff being aware of how unrealistic 2020 release was is silly, no journalist interviews every employee, but if you interview 20 and they all say, 'yeah 2020 seemed crazy unrealistic bake at E3', basic statistics indicates it was a widely held view.
 
Well, about 80% of what was said in that E3 2018 demo turned out to be flat out lies. Spin it how they want, they didn't promise on the features they hyped up during the segment of the video. They oversold something that they never could have achieved, said nothing about it and hoped people don't remember.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 142   +191
I agree with you overall point but have to correct this perception that CDPR is an 'indie publisher', something that pops up a lot. CDPR is a ~USD 7 Billion company, only a bit smaller than Ubisoft. Whilst they only release a single large game every few years (hence your point about CDPR not being able to rely on multiple releases to bury bad PR), they certainly are large enough to not be getting free passes for being 'just an indie publisher'. This isn't a 20 pers studio working on their first or second game, they have over 1000 employees.

As for the article, it seems like the CEO is agreeing with most of the points. His defence regarding most of the staff being aware of how unrealistic 2020 release was is silly, no journalist interviews every employee, but if you interview 20 and they all say, 'yeah 2020 seemed crazy unrealistic bake at E3', basic statistics indicates it was a widely held view.
Those numbers include gog.com though? Waters are probably muddied on those but I get your point in that, it could also represent Take Two Interactive who has very little output but makes up for it by releasing the best selling entertainment product of all time in 2013, but like CDPR it's output is so sparse they are one catastrophic game away from bankruptcy.

I have no objections to removing the "Indie" part of my comment though I can concede to that part and we don't seem to disagree on the rest.
 

MaitieS

Posts: 71   +59
Whoever is defending Cyberpunk is just straight up trashy nothing else. This game is just pure bullshit and everyone who is acting like it is still playable is just blind & lying to himself. You should guys check: overpromise, sell, underdeliver Cyberpunk 2077 by Crowbcat and you will see how much of it was NOT EVEN DONE. And the most funny thing is that CDPR is just sorry that it is not running well on previous consoles. LOL. I also totally love how CEO was talking 2 minutes how they are to blame and not devs. and after that they just totally straight up bitched on QA. TL;DR: CDPR is trashy just like any other company, it's time to move on... they are not you f saviors.

lel
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,968   +6,734
With all their other bad publicity and performance I wouldn't be surprised by this story at all ......
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 298   +282
At this point, I actually think that explaining that the full team couldn't get on board until 2016 would be a better explanation that "We did not lie! We started 8 years ago but basically failed to deliver on most of the big features promised through promotional material!"

Game is rushed, it feels rushed to anyone who actually played past Act I so being so adamant to deny this kinds of rumors seems like just trying to set a precedent and test run for their court arguments to be presented at the pending litigation.
I'd say before act 1, the lifepaths were cut really short, you really didn't feel like you came from it other than 1 quest later down the line and a few meaningless dialog options, and a while attribute was cut.
 
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Rayneofpayne

Posts: 298   +282
Whoever is defending Cyberpunk is just straight up trashy nothing else. This game is just pure bullshit and everyone who is acting like it is still playable is just blind & lying to himself. You should guys check: overpromise, sell, underdeliver Cyberpunk 2077 by Crowbcat and you will see how much of it was NOT EVEN DONE. And the most funny thing is that CDPR is just sorry that it is not running well on previous consoles. LOL. I also totally love how CEO was talking 2 minutes how they are to blame and not devs. and after that they just totally straight up bitched on QA. TL;DR: CDPR is trashy just like any other company, it's time to move on... they are not you f saviors.

lel
So you didn't even play it in other words, because everybody I have talked to playing it on pc loves it grant it there are complaints that are well deserved, but it's no where near as bad as some games previously released like the Gothic 3 fiasco. It's also a new benchmark and is a full showcase of where RTX makes a difference in quality.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 142   +191
I'd say before act 1, the lifepaths were cut really short, you really didn't feel like you came from it other than 1 quest later down the line and a few meaningless dialog options, and a while attribute was cut.
You've got a good point. I think it's because my main run was a Streetkid from the get go and it feels like the first Act I that was very well developed was the Streedkid one, then the Nomad and Corpos just got like a single opening sequence that's different and then got retrofitted into the Streetkid path.

But yeah once I restarted with a Corpo I immediately went "Well this was pointless" And just went back to Streetkid.
 
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MaitieS

Posts: 71   +59
So you didn't even play it in other words, because everybody I have talked to playing it on pc loves it grant it there are complaints that are well deserved, but it's no where near as bad as some games previously released like the Gothic 3 fiasco. It's also a new benchmark and is a full showcase of where RTX makes a difference in quality.
Are you joking? Firstly I played it and I also played Gothic 3 when it was released and both games were this bad but Cyberpunk is even worse. I mean Cyberpunk was SO BAD that it was removed from Sony store. THE MOST hyped game was REMOVED :D
You should really check that video I mentioned previously. Also just becuase your friends are fine with it doesn't mean that it is fine I mean people are still buying Fifa and other bs games so... btw. all my friends are not happy about it so it means that we are wrong right? kek
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 165   +191
Are you joking? Firstly I played it and I also played Gothic 3 when it was released and both games were this bad but Cyberpunk is even worse. I mean Cyberpunk was SO BAD that it was removed from Sony store. THE MOST hyped game was REMOVED :D
You should really check that video I mentioned previously. Also just becuase your friends are fine with it doesn't mean that it is fine I mean people are still buying Fifa and other bs games so... btw. all my friends are not happy about it so it means that we are wrong right? kek
Even after Gothic 3 had a handful of patches, the game still had a crap ton of issues. The gaming community did a massive unofficial patch to fix so many more bugs. The one bug, even after all the patches was an issue with some text crashing the game to desktop. Apparently the developer used an odd font type that wasn't widely used and some people had to physically track down the font and add it to the available fonts on your computer. Once all that was done: official patches, unofficial patch and locating the missing font I could finally play the game.

I'd have to say Gothic 3 was one of the most patched game I can recall playing before it mostly playable. I haven't played CP2077, but it can't be worse on the PC than Gothic 3 in terms of bugs and then requiring the gaming community needing to make the game mostly functional.
 

taimuraly

Posts: 114   +4
The video mentioned,

41 minutes long but shows everyting. I am no lawyer but think this video would be enough to get the class action lawsuit running.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 169   +247
Whoever is defending Cyberpunk is just straight up trashy nothing else. This game is just pure bullshit and everyone who is acting like it is still playable is just blind & lying to himself. You should guys check: overpromise, sell, underdeliver Cyberpunk 2077 by Crowbcat and you will see how much of it was NOT EVEN DONE. And the most funny thing is that CDPR is just sorry that it is not running well on previous consoles. LOL. I also totally love how CEO was talking 2 minutes how they are to blame and not devs. and after that they just totally straight up bitched on QA. TL;DR: CDPR is trashy just like any other company, it's time to move on... they are not you f saviors.

lel
If you think this game is unplayable then you must be pretty new to gaming. As someone that has been gaming since the SNES days, bugs in games have always been a thing.

Is the game buggy? Yes
Is the game more buggy than it should have been upon release? Yes, it was worse than an elderscrolls game TBH.
But is the game playable and finishable in launch state? Yeah, totally.

I Started plaything the game Day one, I seen my fair share of bugs. There were times a reload of the game was needed to fix bugs. But I had no problem playing the game. And while I do wish the game was more polished, as the bugs do get old quick. It really wasn't crazy bad like some people make it out to be.

The game is crap on last gen consoles. You want a good PC or XSX/PS5. The game should have not even dropped for last gen consoles in the current state, and really this is what most of the bi**hing was about.
 
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Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,281   +907
Are you joking? Firstly I played it and I also played Gothic 3 when it was released and both games were this bad but Cyberpunk is even worse. I mean Cyberpunk was SO BAD that it was removed from Sony store. THE MOST hyped game was REMOVED :D
You should really check that video I mentioned previously. Also just becuase your friends are fine with it doesn't mean that it is fine I mean people are still buying Fifa and other bs games so... btw. all my friends are not happy about it so it means that we are wrong right? kek
Judging by your comments I am certain you are lying and have not played cyberpunk, at least not on a PC. It was removed by sony because of poor performance on the PS4. The PC version does not suffer the same problems. There are more players on steam than any other game for cyberpunk, indicating that it can’t be that bad. Clearly if you have the PC version and you are getting issues the problem lies with your rig and not the game developers.

Im not defending CDPR. They clearly hid the poor performance of the console version. But the PC version was delivered as expected albeit with some minor visual bugs. It’s very playable and I would highly recommend it if you like RPGs.