Cyberpunk 2077 was finally released after an incredibly long wait since its first announcement in May 2012 and its trailer premiere in 2013. Supposed to be the game of the decade, if not one of the top 50 games in History, Cyberpunk 2077 had been eagerly awaited by both the fans and the industry. Yet, it has not turned out as well as expected due to massive failures in the game’s physics design, A.I., and so on.
If you were to ask any gamer the question, “What are the most awaited games of the decade?”, Cyberpunk 2077 would arguably be on top of that list. Whether or not the First-Person open-w0rld game deserves to be the most notable video game of our generation, it’s indisputably an “either you love or hate it” sort of dilemma.
But before we get to the actual game, let’s take a look at the timeline of Cyberpunk 2077’s development and release.
As displayed in the timeline, the initial release date to be announced was April 16th, 2020, communicated to the public on June 9th, 2019. Billions of gamers were hyped about the news, probably because the game had first been advertised about six years before. In between the announcement of the initial release date and the first delay, more clips and small pieces of gameplay were officially shared and posted on different social media platforms. As one of the most comparable open-world games to the GTA series, the gaming community expected CD Projekt Red to provide an incredibly hot-blooded and cutting-edge gameplay experience.
Regardless of the enormous support shown by both the gaming community and the investors, the game’s development process did not unfold as originally planned, as the developers strived to optimize the gameplay performance. Consequently, the game was held up by the development team on January 16th, 2020, through a Tweet claiming that “[the designers] need more time to finish playtesting, fixing and polishing” the product. Surprisingly, the delay did not trigger a backlash effect, at least among the Twitter community. Indeed, most users were rather supportive and expressed their understanding stating that there is no rush for greatness.
On the other hand, the delays aroused greater reverberation from the fans on other social media – more aggressive stricture, and even death threats. Next to that, the Polish studio was pressured by the investors and the owner company itself, urging designers and programmers to communicate the ultimate releasing date.
The Reasons Behind the Cult of Cyberpunk 2077
Every game is unique in its own way.
Every game is unique in its own way. Consider, for instance, the extensive flexibility for mods, texture packs, and exploration of Minecraft, or in contrast, the simplicity and fast-paced gameplay experience offered by CoD Modern Warfare. And it is thanks to their outstanding characteristics, that both games are within the most profitable ones, according to opening and total sales.
So, back to us, let me introduce you to the four distinct elements that have led to the “cult” of Cyberpunk 2077.
CD Projekt Red
CD Projekt Red is one of the most prestigious studios in the gaming industry. Enough to say that one of the best-selling franchises, The Witcher, was born there. Just like Rockstar, CD Projekt Red has the reputation of creating the most interactive, engaging, and customizable open-world games. Hence, Cyberpunk 2077 could be considered the CD Projekt Red version of GTA 5, if we were to make a comparison. However, some say that CD Projekt Red trailers and products are overstated and too ambitious, but I won’t discuss it here.
The cyberpunk community and culture were born way before the first 3D video game appeared on PCs. Indeed, Henry Jenkins stated that the cyberpunk movement started off in the 80s, as an expression of postmodernism, a form of conspiracy, and obviously, a punk vibe.
The adulation for Cyberpunk 2077 partially stems from its dystopian and corporate-controlled society, which accurately replicates ours, only with an extremized mixture of futurism and techno-orientalism.
The realization of a well-liked tabletop game
In 1996, Arcane Magazine published a list of the top 50 role-playing games (RPGs) of all times, and Cyberpunk placed itself tenth on the list. No need to say that it is conceivable and understandable why the fans of the original RPG have such high expectations and standards for CD Projekt Red products.
John Wick… Oh no, Keanu Reeves
Before I continue, I must say that I love Keanu Reeves. Yet, he being one of the protagonists arguably brings excitement to another level. Indeed, thanks to John Wick’s popularity, or else one of his characters, even people who are remotely familiar with video games might still be able to recognize him and his famous line, “You’re breathtaking”.
Overhyped Community Versus Buggy Game
As widely known, high hopes often yield great disappointment. On the day of the public release, people were extremely excited to see how the seven-year project, promoted as the best in gaming history, had turned out to be. However, the ultimate product failed to satisfy such expectations. Indeed, although the cityscape is arguably fascinating, bugs can’t go unnoticed.
If you were to look for comments and reviews on YouTube, it is highly plausible that you’d find nothing but caricatures, ridicules, and sarcastic clips. Some commentators even compare the A.I. and customizability of Cyberpunk 2077 to that of GTA San Andreas, a game released in the early 2000s, when 3D graphics were still pretty primitive. Partially due to the negative feedback and the widespread complaints, Sony decided to withdraw the game from PlayStation Store and offered refunds to unsatisfied customers. Worse still, financial investors sued the owner company for such a disappointment.
However we cannot solely blame the studio for being “sloppy” – after all, the programming team attempted multiple delays to live up to players’ expectations. And most of all, although it might feel exasperating if a long-awaited release gets postponed so many times, this does not justify gamers sending death threats to the studio. Next to that, as stated before, you can’t rush greatness, thus we couldn’t expect perfection, as the game was forcedly released way before the actual finalization. What we can do instead, is wait for new patches, and in all likelihood, we could still get the best open-world RPG in History.
Cover: CD Projekt RED