Cyberpunk 2077 generated unbelievable amounts of hype leading up to its release, and when the game didn't deliver, there was an extreme amount of scorn rained down upon the game. Since its release in December, the game has been thoroughly dissected, with think pieces looking at Cyberpunk 2077's continuity errors and plotlines that went nowhere, and much head shaking over the numerous glitches that have plagued the game. But some folks have come to the defense of the embattled developer, CD Projekt Red, with It Takes Two director Josef Fares weighing in on the situation.
Cyberpunk 2077 suffered from over ambition, promising the world, but not refocusing the project when it became clear that it was not going to be everything it was billed as. Fans were upset that the game they had been sold could not live up to the marketing hype built around it. This is not a unique occurrence, as some games don't live up to expectations, but as a huge AAA title from a respected developer, there was little reason to think the game would be a buggy mess.
In an interview with Game Awards host Geoff Keighley, Fares talks about the difficulties developers face in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus wrecking havoc on development schedules, leading to a number of delays, which is where Cyberpunk 2077 comes up. Fares takes the position that CD Projekt Red and Cyberpunk 2077 took an "unfair amount of sh*t" for the bugs and performance issues that continue to be an issue in the game. He goes on to call the outcry from gamers a "witch hunt." One of those who expressed their disappointment with Cyberpunk was PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, so it wasn't just an angry internet mob that were voicing their opinions.
Fares doesn't elaborate too much on the "witch hunt" aspect, and does say that CD Projekt Red should face some criticism for a game that didn't deliver what was marketed, but he feels that the reaction went too far. Sometimes the tendency is to pile on the blame, which can get out of hand. Ori director Thomas Mahler made comments about Cyberpunk 2077, but walked them back in an apology.
While the PR nightmare that was the Cyberpunk 2077 launch will be hard to recover from, there is still moves that CD Projekt Red can make to build back good will. Cyberpunk has work to do in 2021, and it starts with fixing a game that was simply rushed to market too quickly. It will go along way to restore trust.
Back when Cyberpunk 2077 was first announced, fans of developer CD Projekt Red were quite excited. At the time, the presiding thought was that the new project was going to be quite a bit like The Witcher 3 but set in the future. As it turns out, it appears the new game is unlikely to ever be what the community hoped it would be. That doesn't mean it can't eventually be a very good game, but it's unlikely whatever the finished product is will look like what was expected.
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