CD PROJEKT RED has responded to Jason Schrier’s Bloomberg article, “Inside Cyberpunk 2077’s Disastrous Rollout,” which includes interviews with developers stating that the game was not ready for public release. It’s no secret that Cyberpunk 2077‘s launch has been riddled with problems that have been hitting the studio’s reputation hard, leading to them being watched by the Polish government.
Schrier’s article itself was a response to the five-minute video from the studio’s SA Chief Executive Officer Marcin Iwińsk, which is another apology from the company. Let’s break down the situation starting from the beginning of this video.
The Iwińsk’s Video
The purpose of Marcin Iwińsk’s video was to describe the lead-up to the Cyberpunk 2077 launch as well as see a look from the company’s eyes at what happened with older-generation consoles. In the video, Iwińsk states: “Despite good reviews on PC, the console version of Cyberpunk 2077 did not meet the quality standard we wanted it to meet. I and the entire leadership team are deeply sorry for this and this video is me publicly owning up to that.”
He went on to clarify that he and the board are the “final decision makers” who should be blamed for the state of the game, not the development teams. Regarding the updates to the game, Iwińsk said “We decided to focus on the most important fixes and updates first and we’ll be releasing the DLCs afterwards,” meaning the free downloadable content in the works will be delayed. The video seemed to be helping with CD PROJEKT RED’s image, as noted in the Bloomberg article, since the studio’s “shares rose 6%, the most in six weeks, after Iwiński’s message.”
The Bloomberg Article
The Bloomberg article worked off of interviews with 20 current and former staff members of CD PROJEKT RED, most of them remaining anonymous. He said they painted a picture of “a development process marred by unchecked ambition, poor planning and technical shortcomings. Employees, discussing the game’s creation for the first time, described a company that focused on marketing at the expense of development, and an unrealistic timeline that pressured some into working extensive overtime long before the final push.”
The company took issue with some parts of the report, which led to a Twitter response from Adam Badowski, the Head of CD PROJEKT RED. Badowski first focused on the fact that the article called out the E3 2018 demo for Cyberpunk 2077 as “almost entirely fake.” He points out the “work in progress” watermark on the demo and that “Our final game looks and plays way better than what that demo ever was.” He addresses that missing features are “part of the creation process” and that “the vision we presented in this demo evolved into something” that got high praise.
Badowski talks about owning up to older-generation console issues and the company’s current strives to improve the game. He says “we are proud of Cyberpunk 2077 as a game and artistic vision” and that he wouldn’t call that “disastrous.” Badowski also takes issue with the article only interviewing 20 mostly anonymous employees when their team has over 500 employees and the claim that this represented “most” of the team.
The last point Badowski addresses from the article is that employees shared stories of other employees speaking Polish in front of them, which resulted in worries they were being bad-mouthed. Badowski insists English was used “during meetings” and that company-wide emails and announcements were also in English. He also points out that this does not mean people did not speak Polish or another non-English language when no one was around because of the “multicultural environment.”
There are definitely a lot of conflicting takes in the ensuing Twitter thread after this response. What are your thoughts on the situation? Was a response from Badowski needed here? Should it have addressed more in the article if it was going to be written at all? Let us know in the comments below.
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