Earlier today, a handful of Cyberpunk 2077 devs jumped on CD Projekt Red’s official Twitch channel to provide an overview of the game’s upcoming 1.3 patch and the new in-game content the studio plans to make freely available to everyone who downloads it. Like most things having to do with the notoriously broken game, however, the underwhelming showcase seemed to leave viewers wanting more.
Cyberpunk 2077 launched last December to a resounding wave of criticism. Many felt the final product, no doubt hobbled by having to run on older consoles, was fundamentally flawed on a technical level and didn’t come close to matching the lofty experience promised by the developers in the game’s years-long pre-release hype cycle.
This forced CD Projekt Red to offer refunds on the broken game, which was eventually pulled from the PlayStation Store altogether. It felt like all the goodwill the Polish developer built up with The Witcher vanished in an instant.
Since then, CD Projekt Red has released several small patches to address Cyberpunk 2077’s core performance issues, but it remains a black mark on the studio’s reputation.
“This is our first stream of this kind,” said senior quest designer Patrick Mills. “Since launch, as all of you are definitely aware, things have not gone exactly as planned, so this is something that we’re experimenting with. We know that there’s not been a lot of communication from us about what’s going on with the project, where we are with things, and why things are taking so long. This is our attempt to sort of try to fix that situation.”
“We’ve learned our lesson about talking about things before they’re done,” he added a little later, setting the tone for today’s broadcast early on.
After detailing a few of the quality-of-life changes coming in the next Cyberpunk 2077 patch, like a mini-map that actually expands when you enter vehicles, the devs previewed some of the “small” downloadable content offerings the patch will include. They left a lot to be desired, basically amounting to a couple of new jackets, a new car, and an alternate look for Johnny Silverhand, the digitised rockstar-turned-freedom fighter played by actor Keanu Reeves.
Apathetic stream watchers frequently derided the proceedings, demanding more from the devs and using emotes like “ResidentSleeper” to drive their lack of enthusiasm home. Two major sore spots seemed to involve the general lack of forward-looking information, particularly where the promised next-gen ports and first major expansion were concerned.
At one point, senior level designer Miles Tost compared patching an already-released game to “open-heart surgery,” prompting walls of exasperated responses from viewers.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a game folks love to hate. I don’t know if CD Projekt Red can say anything these days that won’t result in even greater pushback from those who feel cheated by the dismal state in which it was released last year.
It’s a shitty situation all around; no one wants to see developers harassed over CD Projekt Red leadership’s decision to release an obviously unfinished game, but they’re often tasked with playing defence for the overpaid executives who should bear the brunt of the playerbase’s ire.
Increased communication is great, CD Projekt Red, but you could spare your devs by saving the piecemeal DLC announcements for a simple blog post next time.