The Polish Studio Underwent a Lot of Trial and Error Developing Cyberpunk 2077
E3 2018 provided our first look at CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077 unless you count 2013’s first reveal. But even now there’s no release date, which leaves fans to wonder why the wait has been so long. There are a few explanations, actually.
Sitting down with Jason Schreier over at Kotaku, studio co-founder Marcin Iwinski claimed Cyberpunk 2077‘s long development process resulted from changes in direction. He said that “being an independent developer and a—I really don’t like the word publisher, but we are self-publishing—we have 100% of the fate in our hands. If we don’t like something, we have no problem saying, ‘OK, we have to redo this part.’ It can mean we are throwing away six months of work, and there were bits and pieces happening like that.”
Where the development process is concerned, our only insight came from a series of Glassdoor reviews spotted last year. The Warsaw-based studio had replied to news of disgruntled employees by stating that development for Cyberpunk 2077 was progressing as planned. During Schrier’s interview, Iwinski mentioned that the game underwent changes. This required scrapping months of work, which the co-founder claims angered members of the studio.
“At the very end the only thing that’s important is the quality,” Iwinski said. “So if the quality’s there and we need to iterate three years, we are lucky enough to be able to afford it first of all, so we have this capability and possibility… Sometimes if you hear something outside it might sound scary but I hope there are no fears anymore.”
Furthermore, development on Cyberpunk 2077 stalled thanks to CD Projekt RED’s focus on The Witcher 3. Initially, the studio’s plan was to develop two games simultaneously. In hindsight, Iwinski believes this was a naive decision.
“We would love to have this knowledge, maybe over time… I think it’s also our testament to quality, because theoretically we could have, but then Witcher 3 wouldn’t have been what it was. And again, we thought with expansions, all hands on board, Blood and Wine being 40-50 hours. That’s all thanks to the fact that there was a smaller group working on Cyberpunk. Our initial intention, or bravery, or naivety was, ‘Yeah we’ll pull it off, but hey it’s not working out.’
“This time was not wasted because we had a very solid preproduction so we were not rushing things. There was a lot of thinking about the world and the concepts and whatnot. So this helped them accelerate much faster once we had the teams free after The Witcher 3.”
Judging by the reactions coming out of their closed-door demo, CD Projekt RED has crafted a quality title. new information, like the demo’s hardware specs and the game’s improved dialogue system, occasionally arrive. We’ll have more news as it comes.