Last night CD Projekt Red hosted an emergency board call. This comes amid the heating debate around the recent release of highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077. The full recording is available from the CDPR website, which you can listen to with the below link.
But to save you some time, we’ve condensed the conversation below, with a little help from social media.
CDPR Emergency Board Meeting – 14/12/20
Comments from Reddit User dkb_wow
CEO says they want to gain the trust of gamers back because they know they’ve lost it. CEO puts on a “humble” facade that quickly disappears later in the call.
The current Gen Question
17 minutes in, a developer is finishing up answering a question about fixes for Cyberpunk on last gen consoles. He tells the investor to not expect any graphical or game system type changes. He says their only intent is to make the game playable from start to finish without crashing on last gen.
It’s very apparent throughout this call the CDPR management team keeps referring back to the “next gen upgrade at no additional cost” for console owners, but they fail to explain to these investors that doesn’t change anything if you don’t have a next gen console. They are using that as a response to questions about the last gen console version of the game.
Last gen console versions of the game weren’t given to reviewers because the dev team was still working on those versions during the review period for the game. They were working on them “up until the last minute”.
Lack of QA
They also state earlier in the call there was limited QA testing done on the game, it was all done “in house” and no experienced third party contractors were used. CDPR employees played iterative builds of the game in their homes due to the pandemic and that’s how they tested the game. They say there wasn’t much attention put on the last generation console versions of the game.
Possible delay to Multiplayer
Multiplayer is tentatively scheduled to release in 2022, but could be pushed to 2023. This will depend on how long it takes the development team to actually finish the game. This in addition to fixing what was and is currently being sold to customers.
Several investors seem to be very concerned about the game being refunded. One asked how the refund process works through Microsoft and Sony and if the investor will still keep his cut.
No plans to lower the price of the last gen console versions, despite the depleted experience. The PC version has very clearly been their main focus. All console versions seem to be an afterthought.
One investor asks if the development team needed more actual developers in order to finish the game on time. CDPR’s answer was no, that the number of developers wouldn’t have changed anything. The CEO took responsibility for their management team rushing the development of the game and not understanding the technical limitations the dev team was up against.
21 or so minutes in, the CEO says they plan to let the Cyberpunk team rest “until February”.
Stadia version will be updated once before their holiday break. After that there is no further update (bug fixing updates) planned for the Stadia version of the game, but this could change in Q1 of 2021.
An investor specifically asks about the NPC and AI behaviour, citing the backlash it’s received online by customers. CDPR’s answer is that the AI and NPC behaviour is part of the bugs, and the patches that come in January and February will address those issues/bugs. Nothing more in depth was said about the AI.
One last time before ending the call, CDPR yet again touts the “next gen upgrade at no additional cost” and hopes gamers will keep the game instead of refunding it so that they can experience the next gen upgrade as soon as it’s ready. But again, as I stated earlier, they fail to explain to these investors that if you don’t have a next gen console, this next gen upgrade is useless to you.
Money money money…
That seems to be the highlights of the call. The rest of the time was filled with investors asking questions about sales numbers of different types, how “sticky” the game is to players (as in how addictive is it), and other types of “how much money are we going make” questions.
See the full post on Reddit here.
Before jumping to any conclusions, we strongly encourage you to listen to the call yourself, and form you own opinion. A precis of a conversation will naturally take on the opinions of the author, encompassing all biases and preconceived ideas he may already have formed. That said, it’s pretty damming evidence that CDPR knowingly rushed the launch of Cyberpunk with little consideration to current gen console owners, lumping all possible objections under their “free upgrade” solution. It seems little to no consideration was given to those of us unable to upgrade at this time.
There’s also a very, very subtle nod to a possible Witcher sequel in the works, but we will leave that to the curious among you to find yourselves.
But what are your thoughts on the increasing controversy? Have you purchased the game and are you enjoying the experience? Certainly that is not beyond the realm of possibility. Either way we’d love to know, so drop your comments below.