Stop Laughing, It Could Totally Happen
Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed! This comes after a promise last month about that exact thing never happening again. For some reason, this latest bit of news has me proper concerned about how this game is going to turn out. But why am I haunted by this sense of foreboding and dread? Games get delayed all the time, especially in the plague era. Let’s break it down, then maybe my dread will dissipate.
First off, there’s the delays. This marks the fourth release date for Cyberpunk 2077. It’s probably not even that high of a number, right? Surely other titles have been delayed even more that turned out great. What about the Final Fantasy VII Remake? That one got kicked all over the place! Or what about Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64? That got pushed back by at least a year and a half, and it turned out okay in the end, right?
Perhaps it’s the crunch that’s bothering me. But again, this is a normal part of AAA game development. It’s not a healthy practice, but it’s a pretty common one. If the team has been working day and night for several months, that’s probably to make sure the game is perfect. It’s not like studios ever break their employees just to make sure a game is playable, right? This isn’t some long lead-up to a sarcastic Google reveal, I truly want to know. We tend to think of shitty games as being shoved out the door in six weeks, but sometimes it’s a murderous year-long slog.
No, I think what’s bugging me is much simpler than that. CDPR has never made a first-person game before, and their initial foray into that world is an enormous, interconnected behemoth. To players it might seem like an insignificant distinction, but a first-person view is a lodestone, a design decision which the whole game revolves around. On top of that, the team hasn’t made that many games. CDPR might be savants at a very specific style of game. We might be expecting a ballet dancer to sub in for an NFL quarterback, here. On the other hand, I can’t overstate how speculative all of this is. I could be fretting over nothing, here! Cyberpunk 2077 could just blow us all away this December, a perfect expression of life in a neon dystopia. Still, I can’t shake this sensation that something is amiss. Fingers crossed that I’m like, waaaay off base this time around.