• Laurence Shao

Cyberpunk 2077 Disillusion

Cyberpunk 2077 has recently bumped into a wild spiral of controversy. This teaser-trailer-shocking futuristic big console game, initially revealed by Polish studio CD Projekt Red in 2012, was surrounded by ecstatic adulation among the sci-fi fanbase. CD Projekt Red tried hard to outdo their previous outing: the action-packed trailer was completely bonkers. However, when the initial release date of the game finally arrived on December 10, 2020, frustration abounded as more players found its loose threads. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and also known as a lover of video games, forwarded a statement in his personal Twitter account on Dec 13: “I took a week off work to play this game and I quickly realized it's not the game I've been thinking about every day for eight years. I cried myself to sleep and haven't been able to function."

Packed with glitches, Cyberpunk 2077 was accused of advertising fraud. Ms. Shoate, interviewed by New York Times, says “it’s almost unplayable.” “I really thought it was going to be to that level of top-three game ever on a new console,” she said. “It’s very disappointing.” Billy Marte, another interviewee, said, “There was so much there, but they just didn’t pay attention to the detail... It’s evident that this game was rushed.”

Discrepancies between overembellished commercials and the actual product were not a new thing. It occurred frequently these years due to the increasing contradiction between ordinary practitioners of game companies and their bosses. Jason Schreier from Bloomberg conducted interviews with 20 current and former CD Projekt Red employees. Most of them “depict[ed] a development process marred by unchecked ambition, poor planning and technical shortcomings” and “described a company that focused on marketing at the expense of development, and an unrealistic timeline that pressured some into working extensive overtime long before the final push.”

“Cyberpunk 2077 suggests a world of possibilities, but it's just a suggestion,” Jeff Grubb from VentureBeat wrote. Indeed, this game provides a thrilling vision for future game industries, yet this ambition has to be accomplished step by step. Take it easy.


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