The confusion around Cyberpunk 2077 is further proof of how quickly hype can turn into hatred. Another delay less than a month before the scheduled launch is in itself a disappointment, but the fact that it happened after the game has gone gold is outright bizarre. Things aren'thelped by earlier leaks from behind the scenes, which are gaining credibility in the context of the last delay. Unfortunately for CD Projekt RED, this is not the end of reports about an "interesting" situation in the studio. Game Informer, which interviewed a group of company's employees, has contributed to the discussion .
Cyberpunk 2077 Devs: "What delay?
The delay was an unpleasant surprise for the gamers, especially since two days ealier the community was assured on Twitter that the release on November 19 is absolutely certain. However, this was not due to malice, but... the fact that the PR team member who wrote it had no idea either. Right after the announcement of the delay, the editors of Game Informer contacted several employees of CD Projekt RED. They confirmed that a large part of the team working on Cyberpunk 2077 found out about the date change on the same day as the rest of the world. Similar information was obtained by Jason Schreier from Bloomberg.
The three developers said that the discussion took place on October 26 and the decision was made a day later. As a result, about 90% of the game's developers had no idea about the planned delay. The information was greeted with "laughter and crying", partly because of the expected reaction of the players, but also because the developers finally want to show the game they have been working on for years.
Cyberpunk 2077 vs local regulations
Interestingly, Game Informer's interlocutors were supposed to say that the failure to inform them about the delay by CD Projekt RED was due to... Polish (or rather European) regulations. The website allegedly found out that Polish companies employing more than one thousand people were forbidden to provide this type of information to all employees unless each of them signed an NDA. These regulations are aimed at preventing manipulations on the stock exchange using data not intended for third parties. This was confirmed by a representative of the studio as well as Adam Kicinski in an investor call. Nevertheless, we decided to ask CD Projekt, which regulations the company referred to specifically in the justification of this decision. In response, we received the same message as the editors of Game Informer:
"As CD PROJEKT is a publicly listed company on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) our communication has to be transparent to employees, gamers, and investors, as well as in line with the regulations of Polish Financial Authorities & European Parliament, and the Council & Commission Directives.
Information of such business magnitude i.e. the delay of the release of the biggest project under development, is, until it is made publicly available, considered price-sensitive and confidential because it could easily influence the potential decisions of investors. In a nutshell, early, the unplanned release of this information could have potentially led to market abuse and manipulation of CD PROJEKT's stock price on the WSE.
Therefore, due to the aforementioned regulations, the information on postponement of Cyberpunk 2077 release date couldn't have been shared with all of the Group's employees before the current report was filed and made public."
Even leaving aside the issue of not informing employees, how can the release of a game which has already gone gold be delayed? Game Informer indicates that this term does not mean the completion of work on the game, and the announcement itself is more important for investors. The website's interlocutors confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 is practically ready for release and runs smoothly on PC and next-gen consoles. The only problem are the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases, which require a 'light touch'.
However, it is intriguing why CD Projekt RED didn't consider it appropriate to use a proven solution, i.e. to provide a mandatory game update on day one for these problematic platforms. Game Informer attributes this to studio's approach and wanting a "perfect release" of Cyberpunk 2077. Perhaps the Polish developer fears that problems with running on XONE and PS4 may distort reviews whose authors would be testing pre-release versions. But does this justify delaying the launch by another three weeks?
Working for a penny
Unfortunately, not everything can be justified by local regulations and perfectionism of CD Projekt. These arguments will not work against the accusation made by Martyna Zych, once working on face animations in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The developer decided to add her tho cents and said on Twitterthat while working on the third installment of the game, she earned a scarce $430 a month. That's barely above the minimum wage in Poland in 2014.
Zych mentioned "passion-fueled" jobs in her post, probably referring to similar scandals in other studios. However, this and her sarcastic commentary also clearly refer to the situation in CD Projekt RED. One may wonder whether other disturbing reports about the studio are not true as well. Anyway, the last delay will remain a mark on the company's image, even if their new game will live up to expectations. Cyberpunk 2077 will launch (hopefully) on December 10, on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and (through backwards compatibility) PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X.
- Cyberpunk 2077 - official website
- Cyberpunk 2077 Hands-on Preview. After Four Hours, I'm as Happy as Concerned