How a great software house flies to much High and falls ruinosly.
The great deal.
Cd Projekt Red acquired the rights of CYBERPUNK 2020 in 2012 from Mark Pondsmith, the creator of the original pen and paper role playing game. Cd Projekt Red has done an important acquisition and the phase of design started soon, with visionary ideas for that time. They wants to make ” this cyberpunk game” a complete evolution for the roleplaying games.
The studio started working on Cyberpunk 2077, after the ending of the development of The Witcher 3 and it’s expansions.
That was a very impressive success for the company. but this success has created a “sense of immeasurable power” at high levels.
Cd Projekt has started his long journey to an uncertain future with a great deal.
The two big announcement
Cd Projekt Red in 2012, after the success of THE WITCHER 2, obtained thanks to the impressive graphics, the evolution of the gameplay for adapting the game on the great Xbox 360.
The Company was very loved by the gaming community for his vision and the respect of the players.
a very rare thing at the time in the gaming industry.
In the Cd Project summer conference of 2012, Marcin Iwiński on the stage announced “the cyberpunk game” with Mike pondsmith they explained the project and the promises for the players.
During E3 2018, CD Projekt Red launched the first 45-minute trailer, which showed the beauty of Night City and the innovative first-person active dialogue in the game, a feature that promised more immersion in the gameplay.
They showed the new 3D map system, which has permitted the elimination of loadings and more immersive and free Exploration.
The high number of NPC, cars in the streets, the advanced combat system, and hacking are only some of the many things shown in that demo.
From this moment on, the hype has become more and more high, and the expectations too.
CD Projekt makes another important promise.
In a historic Moment when the games come in the market uncompleted or broken.
The promise for the gamers.
The “breathtaking” launch date announcement
In the E3 2019, at Microsoft event a surprise shocked the audience.
Keanu Reeves appeared on the stage and announced the launch date, originally planned for the 19 April of 2020.
Keanu announced his participation in the game, as Johnny Silverhand, an important character in the world of Cyberpunk.
In that event is memorable the moment when a fan screams to Keanu “you’re breathtaking” and Keanu uses the same words for the audience.
A very great moment in that event.
The yellow screen of terror.
A few weeks before the launch, the studio launched the first delay of the game, the new release date was in September 2020.
There’s four delays before the true launch on December 10 2020. Every delay was announced with a Yellow screen with a message of apologies and reasons for every delay.
This Yellow screen became a reason for worry and terror in the community, because some members of the community have pre-ordered the game many years before.
Behind the scene of a development hell
After the launch of the game, the disaster started.
In the beginning with the old gen consoles PS4 and Xbox One, later with the PC versions that are not greatly optimized. After months, the situation with different patches and apology statements has been resolved thanks to many different patches. The players for this reason have to wait a few months before the game is “playable”. For this reason Cyberpunk 2077 Is considered one of the biggest failures in the history of the gaming industry. This fact has given a critical lesson to all Companies. Jason Schreier has done many interviews to some ex developers and employers of Cd Projekt after the launch and the Pandora’s box was opened.
The most important revelation was the unrealistic vision of the Leaders, blinded by the success of The Witcher 3, they felt like a “BioWare“. This has created a more complex situation inside the studio, with many big problems.
Here some of them:
Crunch: this was caused by the investors’ pressure for the release, some of the employers have to work 13 hours a day in a week. In some cases, some of them have destroyed their families.
Short time of development: The development started in 2016, but the original announcement was in 2012. This only caused an amount of Hype and a state of “Legend” to this game never released in those years. The developers have very little time to do great work.
Too many platforms:the management wants to use the same selling sistem of ROCKSTAR used for GTA 5,to maximize the sales(Rockstar strategy: sell on all generations possible and create three different versions of the game, GTA 5 was in PS3, Xbox 360, Ps4, Xbox One and PC).
This high amount of systems have caused many problems like optimization. Cyberpunk 2077 Is very complex because of the 3D architecture system of Night city.
On Ps5, Series X, S and PC, the situation was better, but with the old gen version the situation was a disaster. The pre-release declaration of the management did not help.
The iconic declaration: IT RUNS VERY WELL ON OLD GEN CONSOLES.
Marketing necessities: The investors and the management have done an impressive work on marketing.
-like the change of the original version of Johnny Silverhand with an actor with the caliber of Keanu Reeves, to attract more audience and sales.
-The pre-launch Night City Wire series that shows the mechanics of the game.
-The collaboration with Netflix, for the anime series Edgerunners.
But the great lie and hard strike to the Heart to the players was the 2018 demo.
That demo stole many months from the development and many features shown were cutted or completely modified.
The eliminated Quest:some developers have talked about a quest modified and canceled four times,but the problem Is some quests not included are on the official guide.
Or the cutted features system: normally a feature can be canceled if it does not work well.
In the development of cyberpunk the things were different,the developers have accused the orders of cutting many features for fasting the development time. This has created many problems.
Is possible to see the cutting of the environmental destruction in the First Mission in the scav apartment. The Wall we’re an enemy firing with an MG Is Just destroyed. But in the demo it was possible to destroy that ourselves before he start shooting
Another cutted feature was the Wall run with the mantis Blade and the dismembering system with firing and melee weapons, in the demo is more fluid.
The edgerunner effect
Netflix launched on 13 September 2022 the anime series Cyberpunk Edgerunners produced by Trigger studio and CD projekt Red. This anime shows the hidden potential of the universe of cyberpunk brands. The perfect fusion of very well characterized characters like Lucy and David Martinez. Another characteristic showed was the exploration of different elements like cyber psychosis and the conflict between Arasaka and Militech. Give life to a perfectly studied relaunch move. The months after the launch of the anime, the “edgerunner effect” has begun. A lot of gamers who do not appreciate Cyberpunk, start to see the game in a different way.
This caused a long series of post we’re Cyberpunk became a masterpiece, without the necessary parameters for being it. Another magic of the marketing team.
After years of silence.
Cd Project announced the rebuild of the company organization and work system, called RED 2.0.
(Cd Projekt Red have made a documentary in collaboration with Round Two to advertise It).
This new system permitted the optimization of the different studios in the world and the possibility to work on more games at the same time. Now the teams are working on THE WITCHER REMAKE, a continuation for THE WITCHER SERIES and project Orion, the code name for Cyberpunk 2.
This reset has the goal to relaunch the Company and obtain again the lost trust of the gamers in the world.
Phantom Liberty a lesson for the entire gaming industry
Cd Projekt in 2023 launched Phantom Liberty, the only story expansion for the game. This expansion has the hard job of relaunching the game, and did it very well. Phantom liberty is developed only for the next gen consoles and PC. This move was the reason why this expansion showed the real power of Cd Projekt and his notable creative teams. This new experience does more than just expand the story.
Managed to create a new storyline with new contracts, going to improve the writing quality, like the secondary quests of The Witcher 3. For example the new quest line in Dog Town, with new original characters like colonel Hansen, Songbird and the president of the NUSA Rosalind Myers.
A new great cast member Is Idris Elba who plays the character of Solomon reed, an agent of NUSA. Finally the full use of the 3D map technology, DOGTOWN has more complex architectures and places, impossible to create before thanks to the limitation.
More Dangerous exploration with the possibility of a vehicle fighting with mounted weapons, can create a real war zone and attract the MAX TAC.
Phantom liberty gives an important lesson to the entire industry, is better an intense and more closed story than a diluted one and too long. Because quality is always better than quantity. This expansion has completed the Reborn of Cyberpunk 2077 and opened the road to a great future for the series.
We see you at the afterlife choomba!