The CEO and co-founder of CD Projekt RED, Marcin Iwinski, went on Twitter yesterday to personally apologize to gamers who bought Cyberpunk 2077 and were unhappy with the state of the game at release on console.
"Despite good reviews on PC, the console version of Cyberpunk 2077 did not meet the quality standard we wanted to meet. I, and the entire leadership team, are deeply sorry for this, and this video is me publicly owning up to that," Iwinski said in a roughly five minute long prepared statement. He went on to explain that the development team had been focusing on building for high-end PCs with plans to make the necessary adjustments porting the game over to last-gen consoles. Iwinski indicated that the dev team underestimated the challenge involved.
"We were fighting for quality on old-gen until the very last moment, and every extra day of us working on the day zero update brought visible improvement. This is why we started sending console review keys on the 8th of December, which was later than originally planned. This all happened while working from home with all the challenges resulting from the COVID-related restrictions. A lot of the dynamics we normally take for granted got lost over video calls or email, and we took that hit too."
Going forward, Iwinski laid out a roadmap for getting Cyberpunk 2077 into a fully workable state. "Our big plans for supporting Cyberpunk in the long term did not change," he said. The company will be delaying the free DLC content they initially planned to release in order to get two major patches put out, one approximately ten days from now, the next one further out but without a specified time frame.
Food For Thought
This statement is particularly disturbing, not only for those who bought the game, but for anybody who pays attention to the industry. It suggests one of two awful possibilities. The first is that, however good the developers and artists are at their job, their management is shockingly terrible at doing theirs. The second is that the management team is trying very hard to deflect their categorical failure by blaming the QA department and playing power games with the press by delaying console review codes and insisting on NDAs restricting reviewers to CDPR's B-roll footage. Neither one is palatable, nor should it be considered acceptable. Failures of this magnitude require more than mere apologies. Somebody's neck needs to go on the chopping block, and it needs to be somebody fairly high up on the org chart.