Cyberpunk 2077 was a disappointing mess at launch, and despite updates of various sizes since then, it remains one. Andy Kelly went so far as to opine last week that CD Projekt should fix it and then ditch it, because regardless of the bugs, it will remain (in his words) "wildly disappointing" relative to our initial expectations, especially coming from the studio that gave us The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (opens in new tab).
I began to wonder if CD Projekt's plan was in fact to quietly extricate itself from the whole thing a couple of weeks ago, when the studio announced a change in plans for Cyberpunk 2077's multiplayer. That's apparently not the situation, however, as joint CEO Adam Kiciński told Reuters that the studio remains committed to Cyberpunk for the long term.
"I don’t see an option to shelve Cyberpunk 2077," Kiciński said. "We are convinced that we can bring the game to such a state that we can be proud of it and therefore successfully sell it for years to come."
That might sound like wishful thinking given that, for instance, four months after its removal, Cyberpunk 2077 still hasn't returned to the PlayStation Store. (Kiciński said CD Projekt has "friendly relations" with Sony.) It's not entirely beyond the realm of possibility, though. CD Projekt said in an April 2020 report that 2019 was The Witcher 3’s second-biggest sales year, surpassed only by 2015, the year of its release.
That delayed sales boost was no doubt driven by the launch of the game on the Nintendo Switch and the not-entirely-expected success of the Netflix series, but it demonstrates both the value of long-term commitment and CD Projekt’s willingness to hang in—although whether it can maintain that tenacious grip for a clunker like Cyberpunk as well as it did for a massive hit like The Witcher 3 is something that only time will tell.
Despite all its troubles, Cyberpunk 2077 is a huge sales success, selling more than 13 million copies on the strength of pre-release hype alone, so there is definitely motivation there to keep at it. If CD Projekt can also turn it into a game that at least approaches its initial promise, that'll be a real accomplishment.