CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski has shared a new video acknowledging that the studio "underestimated the task" of bringing Cyberpunk 2077 to previous-gen consoles, and promising that work on the game will continue. The update also addresses questions about why console review codes were distributed later than PC, and reveals a new DLC roadmap that, among other things, pushes the planned next-gen console update to—hopefully—sometime in the second half of 2021.
The initial plan, Iwinski explains in the video, was "to make the game look epic on PCs," and then adapt it to consoles afterward. Despite the age of the PS4 and Xbox One consoles, the job "did not look super-difficult at first," he says. "We knew the hardware gap, yes, but ultimately I think that time has proven that we've underestimated the task."
At the same time, he also said that testing failed to reveal many of the problems players encountered after the game was released. "As we got closer to launch, we saw significant improvements each and every day, and we really believed we’d deliver in the final day zero update," he said.
Cyberpunk 2077 reviews also led to controversy. The difference between PC and console reviews is stark—the PC version has an 86/100 aggregate score on Metacritic, compared to 56 for the PS4 and 61 on Xbox One—and the fact that PC review keys were sent out earlier than console codes has led some fans to speculate that the studio was intentionally trying to hide what it knew would be sub-par performance.
"When it comes to the review process for consoles, at the same time PC codes were sent out we were still working hard to improve the quality of the game on old-gen consoles," Iwinski said. "Every extra day that we worked on the day zero update brought visible improvement—that’s why we started sending console codes for reviews on the 8th December, which was later than we had planned."
The rough state of the game has forced CD Projekt to reconsider its short-term DLC plans. The promised free DLC is still coming, but the priority has been shifted to fixing the game. The next-gen console update—Cyberpunk 2077 currently runs on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X via backwards compatibility—has also been pushed back: "We’re aiming for the second half of the year and we’ll reveal more when we have more to share," the studio said in an FAQ.
It's interesting to note that while CD Projekt is obviously scrambling here, and Iwinski looks like he's really feeling the miles, CD Projekt said in the update that developers are not being forced to crunch in order to get the game back on track. "The team is working to bring relevant fixes to the game without any obligatory overtime. Avoiding crunch on all of our future projects is one of our top priorities."
The studio also said that it's working with Sony to bring Cyberpunk 2077 back to the PlayStation Store "as soon as possible," and that its in-house refund program is also "progressing according to plan." The first round of refunds was recently sent out.