Cyberpunk 2077 Is Very Definitely Coming Out December 10, Probably

Cyberpunk 2077 Is Very Definitely Coming Out December 10, Probably
Graphic: CD Projekt Red
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You would be forgiven for being dubious. Cyberpunk 2077 was originally due to come out in April 2020, and while some certified geniuses entirely correctly stated this would never happen, many were convinced. Come January the release date was enormously extended until September, then by June it was bumped to November. So in October, a surprise to staff as well as players, it was delayed until December 10. And really, who hasn’t been waiting for the next Yellow Box Of Doom to appear on developer CD Projekt Red’s Twitter feed? However, in a presentation to investors last night, it seems CDPR are finally pretty damned sure they’re going to hit this one.

With exactly two weeks until the Dec 10 release, it’d be pretty bold to have told investors it’s definitely coming out if there were still room for doubt. So presumably, maybe, possibly this time it’s going to happen? With stories of pre-patched copies leaking into the wild, and the obvious lead time necessary to ship physical copies to retail all around the world, we know it’s at least finished in terms of its plastic box form. The question is of course the day-0 patch that is presumably intended to fix all the issues that caused the most recent slip — one that took place after the game had gone gold.

CDPR aren’t aiming to release a fully optimised next-gen version of Cyberpunk until some time next year, but are releasing it for PS5 and Series X/S via backward compatibility, and boast performance improvements. They showed off some next-gen footage just this week, to whet appetites.

Plans are in place for an epic advertising campaign across 55 nations, and the financials make clear that the game will have ten voiced languages, and a further 18 languages subtitled. They really are acting like this is it. This time. For sure.

Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if there was yet another eleventh-hour delay, and my heart goes out to developers at CDPR who are presumably neck-deep in the crunch they were promised they wouldn’t have.

Comments

  • Good article and hopefully good news that we might finally get the game – I’m dying for it.

    I did have a thought about a point made in the final paragraph:

    “My heart goes out to developers at CDPR who are presumably neck-deep in the crunch they were promised they wouldn’t have“

    Just in relation to the above – I’ve found it really interesting how much Kotaku (and almost every other gaming news website I’ve been reading) has been hand wringing and head shaking over crunch. I know this article wasn’t about crunch specifically, but the writers here are taking every possible opportunity to mention it in every article possible it seems, to felt moved to write my comment here.

    I think the reporting on crunch has been missing an important nuance.

    CDPR are virtually a single product company that have had this product in R&D for years and years – and its missed three deadlines (at least). It’s pivotally important they get this thing shipped for this holiday, and people are going to need to work really hard to do it. It’s important for investors, it’s important for staff, and it’s important for their brand (let alone their cashflow). These delays matter in more ways than just fans wanting to play.

    But more than that, it should be absolutely unsurprising that a group of people trying to do an amazing thing will have to really sweat out the hours. CDPR are attempting – by their own admission/marketing – to build something remarkable. Something maybe genre defining and groundbreaking in its scope. That is going to take a lot of hours. Just like making a masterpiece film, or building a new product, or anything else worth doing. Great things are hard. Thomas Edison once said; “people miss opportunities because they come dressed on overalls and look like hard work”.

    And it’s not ‘bad planning’ that creates the crunch before a deadline – as anyone who has ever experienced the phenomenon where even the best planned university assignments always seem to require an all-nighter the night before they’re due can tell you: it’s not bad planning, it’s that highly ambitious people setting out to produce something amazing will always have their aspirations grow to fill every available minute. Push deadline back a month, they’ll just crunch for a month longer because they’ll decide to try and achieve more now that they have more time.

    I’m saying this from experience, too. I run a team that routinely creates pitches (tenders) for multimillion dollar government contracts, and whether you give us five days or five weeks, the home stretch will always be filled with crunch because we use every available second. And we join the team not in spite of that culture, we join it because of that culture – where we have grand aspirations and work together to produce the best possible stuff that we can.

    Now, do I have a problem with it when it is unfairly implemented (such as not paying people fairly for their time)? ABSOLUTELY. But there are many ways to solve that – in the case of CDPR, everyone is being paid. And there are plenty of other ways companies adjust for something like crunch also (any number of which CDPR may be, and probably IS doing, but reports never seem to go into it), such as giving time off in lieu of overtime after busy periods; having post release ‘down days’; having flex-leave or rotating rosters to manage utilisation across the team. Plus a host of other things.

    Anyway – in short – my feeling is the reporting on crunch has been too superficial, too lacking in the context of what the team is trying to achieve, and too much just coming down on the side of ‘pre-release crunch is bad’. I get there are problematic elements (and in some cases it can be downright bad), but crunch shouldn’t become synonymous with an evil practice. Things need to be understood in context, and we absolutely shouldn’t have a prima facie demonisation of very hard work and very long hours while doing amazing things.

    • This is a generalisation, and sorry – your long and thoughtful post deserves more than that, but i think the problem in game development is that immediately after crunch many of the staff get laid off. No benefits, no time in lieu, just back into the unfair cycle of another development process.

      • Hey Novasensei – not at all a probloem with a short response, and also I don’t think that’s a generalisation at all! I think you’re spot on, IMHO. That absolutely happens – and it’s dreadful practice.

        And it is especially a problem in the US where labor protection laws are virtually non-existent. Less of a problem in Europe where those protections are better (though still not a non-issue).

        And I should clarify that I am definitely not making the case for blanket ‘it doesn’t matter how hard you push people and screw them over’ – more just agitating for better balance in the conversation that respects the very broad set of situations that workers find themselves in. And taking a position strongly against anything that looks like extra work, or a bit pre-deadline push being called ‘crunch’ and that immediately meaning it’s bad practice.

    • Forcing people to work 80 hour weeks for months on end isn’t bad because they get paid and the game is cool.

      Wow. Some people have families and actual lives.

      • I’m sure that’s an objection to some argument, but it doesn’t appear an objection to my argument.

        I’ll just reiterate my earlier statement in my last post: “I am definitely not making the case for blanket ‘it doesn’t matter how hard you push people and screw them over’”.

        I would definitely not advocate for forcing people to work 80 hours a week for months on end, regardless of whether or not they’re paid.

    • Agree.

      Crunch is a problem when it becomes exploitative.

      When it’s collaborative – when everyone is pitching in towards a common goal, and getting paid fairly for their extra effort – then it’s just a way of doing business.

      Just don’t try it in France, where overtime is illegal.

      • “and getting paid fairly for their extra effort”

        There’s the kicker… a lot of developers are only paid for the standard work week and in the contracts they sign they forgo any overtime pay in favor of a lumpsum bonus upon the games release.

        If you are an extra shitty company (*cough Gearbox) they will worm their way out paying any extra all the while the people who didn’t do the heavy lifting get 6 figure bonuses.

    • This is definitely how i feel also.

      while it can be detrimental, crunch is only ever talked about as a bad thing that should never happen, but in reality, while it may suck at the time, it is a huge part of many industries, and from my experience of it, has demonstrated my value and commitment to the company and has always been rewarded in some way.

      It would be great to see an article that looks at crunch in a less negative, or at least in a less biased way.

      • Yes, it can often be detrimental. And it always sucks at the time. And it may even be a huge part of many industries. But none of this is good.

        And while your benevolent employers may have gifted you the generous opportunity to demonstrate your “value and commitment to the company” and rewarded you for it, what would have happened if you had said “sorry, no, this is unreasonable and will impact my life in a negative way”?

  • CDPR: Actually pays overtime, Overtime is limited, Devs get share of revenue once game releases. – Attack repeatedly by games media for “Crunch”

    Naughty Dog: Doesn’t pay overtime, Treats workers like shit, Plenty of crunch – Universal praise from the media, Gets award for being best games studio.

    Hmmmmmmmm.

  • I dont think this game will be as good as ppl are thinking it will be. Witcher 3 is the only game they have that has been spectacular. 2 and 1 were meh.

    I honestly hope Im wrong. New genre, having to saddle between consoles and various pc set ups, characters ( they used a quite distiguinshed author for the witcher series).

    As I said Im honestly hope Im wrong, but to me it looks like riding on the boot straps of the witcher series, of witch only one was great.

  • Don’t you DARE prod fate like that.
    I’m agoraphobic, and live vicariously through video games (PSVR has been a godsend), and the world I’m most looking forward to living in is that of cyberpunks Night City.

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