Cyberpunk 2077 is a mish-mash of multiple genres, systems, and mechanics that’re a bit confusing to decipher. It was just as tough for CD Projekt RED developers.
Gamers often note Cyberpunk 2077 feels disjointed; is it a Witcher 3-level RPG? An action-paced shooter-looter? Or an immersive open-world sim like GTA? All three? CD Projekt developers reportedly had a similarly tough time outlining Cyberpunk 2077’s main scope.
In a recent interview with The Washington Post’s Launcher, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier says that sources familiar with CD Projekt’s development cycle weren’t exactly clear on what Cyberpunk was.
“One of the things I heard during my reporting was there was this kind of tension or unclear idea of what this game was, whether it was supposed to be an RPG like Deus Ex, or to be a giant simulation like GTA. It seemed like they were trying to do both at once. But it also had a fraction of the staff of Rockstar. So it’s this game that’s trying to do what CD Projekt is good at, an RPG, also trying to tack-on this entire open world with police and cars and all this other stuff, and it just doesn’t work,” Schreier said.
Cyberpunk 2077 was so new that CDPR had to create entirely fresh systems to make things work. Cyberpunk is the very first FPS that CDPR has ever made, and also features aspects not seen in previous games like vehicles. These new additions brought a dearth of work across all of CDPR’s teams, from animation physics to lighting and mo-cap. This reportedly led to lots of overtime at the studio.
“For this game they needed to flex so many muscles that they haven’t flexed before, for them it was almost like starting a brand new studio because they were throwing so many new things into this thing. They had the confidence that comes from making a game like The Witcher 3 and being able to say ‘hey we’re CD Projekt RED, we’re the hottest thing in Poland, everybody loves us, we can do anything.’ I think, unfortunately, this blew up in their faces,” Schreier said.
Since release, CDPR has been doubling-down on fixes. CD Projekt plans to release Cyberpunk 2077’s big Patch 1.2 update sometime soon, and a next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X upgrade is planned for later this year.