Cyberpunk 2077 launched last week to enormous sales and critical acclaim, in most cases – but the tide of public opinion feels like it's turned on the game, particularly for the versions released on PS4 and Xbox One. Players have reported hard crashes, bugs and performance issues.
In addition, the console versions were apparently not made available to reviewers before launch, and nor was footage released of the game running on the base versions of the current-gen machines.
Now, developer CD Projekt Red has responded with an apology for most of the above, using the dreaded 'black text on a yellow background' format that's now synonymous with bad news relating to Cyberpunk 2077.
"First of all we would like to start by apologizing to you for not showing the game on base last-gen consoles before it premiered and, in consequence, not allowing you to make a more informed decision about your purchase," the letter says, which is co-signed by senior CD Projekt Red personnel. "We should have paid more attention to making it play better on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One."
"Second, we will fix bug and crashes and improve the overall experience. The first round of updates has just been released and the next one is coming within the next 7 days." It then explained that two large patches for Cyberpunk 2077 are coming in January and February, and will address the main issues affecting the console versions of each game.
"They won't make the game on last-gen look like it's running on a high-spec PC or next-gen console, but it will be closer to that experience than it is now," the note says. CD Projekt Red also offers to let players get refunds if they've bought the digital or physical editions of the game, though does note that it "would appreciate it if you gave us a chance" as the developer tries to put things right.
CD Projekt Red also offers an email address for owners of physical copies where refunds aren't possible – though this only runs until December 21, which presumably means it won't cover holiday gifts.
Here's the letter in full, which also says periodic updates for the PC version will be rolling out, too – that version isn't without its issues, either.
pic.twitter.com/jtF5WKCiroDecember 14, 2020
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What a mess
It's pretty clear that Cyberpunk 2077 needed more work and bug-fixing before launch, and despite the apology here, not showing the base console versions of the game in any great detail was a deliberate choice by CD Projekt Red. It had no problem taking people's pre-order money for the game on Xbox One and PS4.
Still, the patches feel like a good starting point – and the opportunity to get a refund is no doubt welcome to players who feel like they've been sold a different game by CD Projekt Red's marketing.
On all fronts except sales of the game, Cyberpunk 2077 has had a messy launch – once again demonstrating the perils of overhyping a blockbuster game over a period of multiple years.
Still, there is a great experience to be had with the game when you see it at its best on PC right now – it just might take a while until Cyberpunk is as polished and optimized as it should be across the board.