Cyberpunk 2077 Lead Gameplay Designer Exits CD Projekt 

cyberpunk 2077 fakes cars in the distance

Cyberpunk 2077 Lead Gameplay Designer, Andrzej Zawadzki, announced through a Twitter post he is leaving developer CD Projekt RED. Zawadzki, worked at the company for eight years. He issued the following statement: 

“After almost 8 years, my time at CDPR has come to an end. It’s time for the new adventure. To every person I’ve met on the way – thank you. It was an honor and pleasure. See you around.” 

Cyberpunk 2077 and The Long Road to Recovery

Cyberpunk 2077 has a long tough road ahead. Performance, graphical issues, and a wide gamut of glitches permeate through all versions of the game. However, these issues are especially prevalent on the last gen console versions of the game.  

The situation got so bad, that many players demanded a refund. Sony pulled the game out of its PlayStation store in response.  Since then, CD Projekt has been working on an assortment of patches and hot fixes to try to salvage the game.  

Patch 1.1 Improved performance of the PS4 version in a noticeable way. Framerates would drop to the low 20s instead of the mid-teens on the console in areas where the game struggled. While not optimal, or even good by any stretch of imagination, the improvement was welcomed. The Xbox One version saw no such improvement, however, as CD Projekt seemed to prioritize Sony’s console on the update. 

Will Zawadzki’s Departure Hurt the Game’s Recovery Timetable? 

Cyberpunk 2077 Patch timetable

At this point, who knows? If Cyberpunk 2077’s development and disastrous launch showed us anything, is that CD Projekt is currently a mess. Key personnel that worked on The Witcher 3 left the company in the midst of Cyberpunk 2077’s development. Zawadzki’s departure is only the latest blow to the development team. 

After being setback by a hack back in February, one must wonder where the company’s proposed timetable stands. Upcoming patch 1.2 promises to fix issues with Cops spawning behind players, and others, such as fixing the game’s driving mechanics. However, no mention has been made about continuing to optimize the base and premium console experiences of the last generation of consoles. Consequently, Sony has yet to make a statement regarding to whether or not it intends to put the game back on its storefront.  

Considering that a few years ago insiders thought that the game would be ready in 2022, given the promises made and how far behind schedule CDProjekt was with the game, it is easy to question whether we will see the ‘Next Gen’ versions of Cyberpunk 2077 arrive this year as scheduled.  

Will Cyberpunk 2077 Ever Be Fixed on Last Gen Hardware? 

Cyberpunk 2077 NPC

This is the big question. It would be embarrassing and disgraceful if the game never attains an industry standard level of quality on last gen hardware, nonetheless it might be best for CD Projekt to move on.  

Cyberpunk 2077 was announced before the PS4 and Xbox One were launched. It is disappointing then, that the game runs poorly, and looks subpar in hardware released in late 2017 (Xbox One X). This, in addition to broken A.I., a gargantuan number of glitches, and cut features have damaged the reputation of the developer. Keep in mind that the Xbox One X had an official game themed bundle which raised the expectations for the then relatively new machine to be a good place in which to experience the game.  

The rate at which CD Projekt is rolling out updates is relatively slow. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla has had many major updates and fixes all the while we have only received one “big” Cyberpunk 2077 update that didn’t really fix the wide range of console problems that persist to this day.  

At some point in late 2021, early 2022 perhaps CD Projekt will find that it is best to move on to the newer more powerful hardware in order to deliver a closer experience to the competent PC iteration of the game. While we would hope that last gen console owners would get major improvements on their Cyberpunk 2077 copies, the likelihood of it happening seems slim, and getting slimmer by the passing month. 

Can CD Projekt Surprise us One More Time? 

It could be that the recent patch notes released by the developer of its upcoming 1.2 patch were purposely made to be underwhelming in order to surprise gamers with a more robust upgrade. However, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. Since December, CD Projekt has demonstrated that at the current moment the developer is very inefficient and somewhat disorganized in comparison to other AAA studios in the industry.  

The game’s early sales success, and the fact that the company wants to save its reputation, makes it unlikely that Cyberpunk 2077 is abandoned (even if last generation hardware is dismissed). The next six months should prove interesting for Cyberpunk 2077 fans and CD Projekt itself.

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By Samuel Rivera

An avid video game player and book reader, Samuel has been playing video games for the last 31 years. He has played nearly every PS1 JRPG known to man, and loves Ocarina of Time more than any other game.