Looking back, we stepped out under the neon towers of Night City and began our journey in the grimy underbelly of Cyberpunk, blissfully oblivious to the errors in this universe. It looked like Blade Runner. Played like Grand Theft Auto. We all guessed we were entering a world of trickery and controversy. Who knew that this dreamscape would become entangled with reality? Our enigmatic mercenary, V, was just a cybernetic pawn, desperately trying to improve his combat and hacking skills. While the world outside brawled with legal jargon and accusations of subterfuge.
Attack of the Dreaded Bugs
Following the widely acclaimed 2016 release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine, Cyberpunk promised to be ready and relatively glitch-free for its multi-platform launch on 10 December 2020 (the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S release came later – on 15 February, 2022). Developed by a 500-strong team, wielding the REDengine 4 game engine out of Wroclaw, Poland, it seemed this game had everything going for it. Keanu Reeves even had a starring role.
Mired in performance issues, Cyberpunk 2077 stumbled quickly after largely being praised by critics and gamers. The graphics and settings were immersive. The gameplay felt fresh and stylish. Yet Cyberpunk was plagued by more bugs than a Starship Trooper on outer world patrol. At one point, from December 2020 to June 2021, Sony actually pulled it from the PlayStation Store. CD Projekt then attended to some of the ongoing problems and dealt with class-action lawsuits for downplaying the game’s technical faults upon release.
Attack of the Dreaded Lawsuits
Now, the 2020 action RPG, developed by CD Projekt Red, has finally surfaced from a drawn-out lawsuit with a settlement of $1.85 million. Investors sued the company in 2020 and will now be paid administration costs, taxes, attorney’s fees, and more, if they bought stock from January 16, 2020 to December 17, 2020. The claim was that CD Projekt Red had hidden the state of Cyberpunk and launched it in spite of bugs that largely made it unplayable to many. Another lawsuit was settled in December 2021 for the same figure.
Despite multiple post-launch lawsuits, plus several updates by the CD Projekt Red team, the game that could’ve been is still not entirely lost. A resurgence of gamers have helped to bring Cyberpunk back from the brink. Huge advances have been made since February 2022, with the next-gen update and Version 1.5 for PC. Bug fixes and free DLC helped to sweeten the sour taste left from the initial release. If that wasn’t enough to appease any naysayers, the developer included a popular Edgerunners update in September, alongside the launch of the anime series.
The game had sold more than 18 million copies by April last year, with the Phantom Liberty expansion still expected for ninth generation consoles in 2023. A sequel, codenamed ‘Orion’, is also in the works. It seems that Cyberpunk will redefine itself in the New Year, despite its faltering start.