What just happened? It's not unheard for a AAA release to be delayed twice, especially in the Covid-19-ravaged year of 2020, but three delays? That's quite rare for highly-anticipated titles. For better or worse, though, Cyberpunk 2077 has just reached that mark: the sci-fi RPG's launch date has been postponed for the third time by 21 days, to December 10.

CD Projekt Red announced this news on Twitter today, and fan reactions have been mixed. The response to the first two delays was overwhelmingly positive, but this time around, frustration seems to be the predominant emotion among prospective players.

Regardless, for its part, the studio has a valid reason for this decision: it is struggling to optimize and test the absolutely massive RPG across nine different platforms, and a November 19 release simply wasn't going to give the team enough breathing room to figure things out.

In CD Projekt Red's own words:

The biggest challenge for us right now is shipping the game on current-gen, next-gen, and PC at the same time, which requires us to prepare and test 9 versions of it (Xbox One/X, compatibility on Xbox Series S/X, PS4/Pro, compatibility on PS5, PC, Stadia) while working from home. Since Cyberpunk 2077 evolved toward almost being a next-gen title somewhere along the way, we need to make sure everything works well and every version runs smoothly.

Ensuring every gamer has an excellent day-one experience is an admirable reason to delay a game, particularly when doing so will undoubtedly have some -- however small -- consequences for the studio's reputation (especially among investors).

CD Projekt Red goes on to claim that a game "going gold," as Cyberpunk did in October, does not necessarily mean it's entirely ready for release. According to the studio, it just means that a game is content-complete, and can be played through, from start to finish.

We wish the folks over at CD Projekt Red all the best, and we hope they're able to keep their spirits up -- and keep crunch down -- in the final stretch of development between now and December 10.