CD Projekt could use a big hit. The company has only one other major game franchise, and all eyes are on "Cyberpunk" because it is the industry's only original major title coming to market this holiday season. Executives at CD Projekt said the cost of making and marketing "Cyberpunk" was significantly higher than the roughly $80 million the company spent on its last game, "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt," without providing specifics. They said they initially miscalculated how long "Cyberpunk" would take to complete, with the health crisis most affecting the latter stages of four years of development, following pre-production work that started around 2012. With employees homebound, making even a minor tweak--such as changing the placement of characters or objects in a scene--would take hours instead of minutes, said Marcin Iwiński, who co-founded CD Projekt with a high-school friend in the early 1990s and is now co-chief executive with Adam Kiciński.
After making an appearance at E3 2018 earlier this week, CD Projekt RED is preparing to showcase more of "Cyberpunk 2077" at Gamescom 2018 this coming August. Meanwhile, the game's quest designer has confirmed that it will have expansive side-quests just like "The Witcher 3." In a recent interview with Kotaku's Jason Schreier, CD Projekt RED co-founder and co-CEO Marcin Iwiński revealed that they will be showcasing "Cyberpunk 2077" at Gamescom 2018, which is set to run from Aug. 21 to 25. "I think we still have Gamescom so we'll be showing it," Iwiński said. Iwiński confirmed that the demo that they will be showing at Gamescom "won't be the same" as the one they played at E3. However, he quickly retracted his statement by clarifying that fans should not "expect a totally different demo … but we will show maybe something different, maybe some different angle." Speaking of the "Cyberpunk 2077" demo, Iwiński disclosed that the one that was shown at E3 wasn't really a demo but a real build of the upcoming role-playing video game.
CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 stole the show at E3. The 50-minute gameplay demo shown behind closed doors wowed the lucky few who had the opportunity to see it. The trailer shown at the end of Microsoft's press conference was the most viewed E3 trailer by a wide margin according to a rough count of YouTube viewings reported by PC Gamer. Digital Foundry's technical analysis confirmed the verdict delivered by your eyes. The trailer is an awesome visual feast.
In one of probably many dissections of CD Projekt Red's missteps in making Cyberpunk 2077, Bloomberg's Jason Schreier just published a piece investigating the game's development. His reporting doesn't back up forum thread rumors about Keanu Reeves, instead it's the more run-of-the-mill issue of unrealistic development timelines and failing to account for console hardware limitations. As the article explains, despite being announced in 2012, the company was still focused on The Witcher 3 and "full development" didn't begin until 2016 when CD Projekt Red "hit the reset button." The game's impressive E3 2018 demo is described as "almost entirely fake." Despite pledges from leadership that crunch wouldn't be necessary, developers still felt pressured to work long hours, and when its spring 2020 release date was announced, they started taking bets on when it would be delayed.
CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwiński apologized for the state of Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles in a video today, alongside a vague roadmap for updating the game throughout 2021. "The console version of Cyberpunk 2077 did not meet the quality standard we wanted it to meet," Iwiński said. "I and the entire leadership team are deeply sorry for this, and this video is me publicly owning up to that. Please don't fault any of our teams for what happened." Iwiński went on to explain, from his perspective, how the game came to launch with so many bugs on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One that it was often unplayable.