CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 delay will not take the pressure of the teams working on the game, and crunch will still be a reality for the studio (via VG247).
Last year, CD Projekt Red explained that the “tight deadline” Cyberpunk 2077 was targeting meant the teams were “pushing it to the wall.” The excitement surrounding the game put the developer “in a vice, in a way, which takes its toll on the team but there is … a healthy, extrinsic kind of pressure to make [the team] really excel.” Studio head John Mamais elaborated: “We’re doing the best we can to keep the work under control. But sometimes when you're doing some big-ass game like this, it’s not always possible to do that. It takes really hard work to make it really awesome.” It seemed that the game was pitching towards April without a hitch, with senior vice president Michal Andrzej Nowakowski remarking that the studio wouldn’t be fazed by a clash with Half-Life: Alyx.
Yesterday, CD Projekt Red announced that Cyberpunk 2077 will be delayed to September 17, 2020. “We are currently at a stage where the game is complete and playable, but there’s still work to be done,” said co founder Marcin IwiÅ„ski and studio head Adam Badowski. “Due to the sheer scale and complexity of it all, we need more time to finish playtesting, fixing, and polishing.” However, this does not circumvent crunch conditions for the team. In a press conference held after the announcement, CEO Adam Kicinski confirmed this would be the case. “To some degree, yes—to be honest. We try to limit crunch as much as possible, but it is the final stage. We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately,” said Kicinski.
Cyberpunk 2077 “sets new standards in terms of visuals, complexity and depth,” with an “open-world, action-adventure story” wherein players will be able to customise their character freely and that these choices “shape the story and the world around you.” It’s a formidable undertaking, and the company wants Cyberpunk 2077 to be its “crowning achievement for this generation.” But, the crunch that will be endured to make this game the best it could be will be a stain on its acclaim. It is a serious issue in this industry, and it burns people out.
In the press conference, CD Projekt Red also stated that the game won’t be cross-generation, even though its new release date coincides with the launches of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. “Our games are always designed for strong machines. We are thinking about the next generation, but for now we are focused on the current generation,” explained Kicinski. Additionally, the delay was a “unanimous” decision, and will cause the multiplayer side of Cyberpunk 2077 to be released in 2022 at the earliest. And finally, CD Projekt Red is not seeking developers to bring onto the project and help it to its finish line: “We are good. We have a team which works well. We really are in the final phase.”
Cyberpunk 2077 will be released for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 17, 2020.