According to the studio's co-founder and the head of CD Projekt Red, the decision was made to give the team time to balance the game and fix bugs before its release.
"At the time we are writing these words, Cyberpunk 2077 is finished both content and gameplay-wise... But with such an abundance of content and complex systems interweaving with each other, we need to properly go through everything, balance game mechanics and fix a lot of bugs."
The studio says it understands the disappointment fans must feel but says the decision was made to give the game lasting appeal. As a peace offering, CD Projekt Red says that it's offered journalists a demo of the game and says that previews with their impressions will be arriving shortly.
An important development update pic.twitter.com/uFGrt9TqpiJune 18, 2020
What does that mean for next-gen consoles?
As for the rumors that November 19 could be the day that next-gen consoles launch... well, there's not any proof of that and it feels more like wishful thinking. CD Projekt Red has already announced that the game will be coming to next-gen consoles... but says that an enhanced version likely won't be available at launch.
There's always a chance that the extra time in development might change things on that front – with a cross-gen launch – but don't get your hopes up.
The good news here is that, if you're buying an Xbox Series X, buying the game on Xbox One and then re-downloading it later on Xbox Series X when it comes out will ensure that you have the latest and greatest version thanks to Microsoft's Smart Delivery platform that CD Projekt Red says it's using.
Ready when it's ready mentality
As disappointing as the delay is, you have to hand it to the developer to sticking to its 'It's ready when it's ready' mantra. Since it was unveiled, CD Projekt Red has consistently stuck to the message that the game will be delayed until it meets the developer's high standards – something that has so far held true.
The Witcher 3, CD Projekt Red's previous big-budget smash faced a similarly delayed launch schedule and, when it finally released, won dozens of Game of the Year awards, proving that the mindset translates to quality.
We won't know if Cyberpunk lives up to the hype until it launches, but the hold it til it's ready mentality is respectable all the same.