Update (August 27): CD Projekt decided to release the footage in question. Watch the 4K Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay demo here (opens in new tab).
Original story: As Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab)'s gameplay footage remains this mythical thing, passed along by lucky E3 attendees like a folk tale about a yeti sighting or something, I'm reminded that the game is probably years away yet. Perfectionism is the goal, based on Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith's recent conversation with IGN (opens in new tab)—and we're going to have to wait for it.
"We have an awful lot of stuff that we want to do, and it's going to take time to do it. And I'm hoping the fans are going to give us the time to do it." Pondsmith says the game is "pretty damn close" to what it would be like if he built the entire thing himself in a broom closet, which seems like high praise. He adds that to get the kind of perfection the game is going for takes time and iteration.
IGN says that Pondsmith later explained it was "very smart not to show the whole world gameplay." Which, hey, is all well and good when you've actually seen it. Personally I would like to see the footage in action, but I also think there are legitimate reasons not to release it, especially after the downgrading conversation around The Witcher 3 (opens in new tab). Loads could change before now and launch.
Pondsmith also added this on the project. "If we're going to do stuff that has never been done before—or has never been done the way we're doing it—we need space, we need time, and we need the privacy to mull it over."