THAT’S A BUG!

Buggiest game of all time?

December 28, 2020

Cyberpunk 2077 was announced by CDPR in 2012, it was hyped for close to a decade. Unfortunately, the release has been a bit disastrous due to the sheer number of bugs. This tweet from 2018 is making the rounds now

https://twitter.com/CyberpunkGame/status/1013883730929340418 

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The game when released seems to be buggy across all the platforms, it crashed both on the new PS5 and also the XBox, from what we gathered, it was even worse on older consoles it was supposed to support.

From a call transcript from a recent CDPR conference call, Adam Kiciński Joint-CEO of CD PROJEKT said the following, “After 3 delays, we as the Management Board were too focused on releasing the game. We underestimated the scale and complexity of the issues, we ignored the signals about the need for additional time to refine the game on the base last-gen consoles. It was the wrong approach and against our business philosophy. On top of that, during the campaign, we showed the game mostly on PCs.”

Sony pulled the game from its PlayStation store on December 18th and Microsoft started offering refunds but chose to leave the game in its store.

CDPR shares lost a lot of value due to this news

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One technical reason for the issues appears to be that CDPR recommends that the game should be installed on to an SSD drive. With this in mind, maybe CDPR should have concentrated on just the newer consoles with SSD drives.

It does appear that the game could have used some more time for fixing of bugs before releasing the game, but not missing the holiday season was likely a reason why the company chose to release it despite the obvious bugs. We think that the intent was to fix these bugs post release, but in this particular case, this strategy seems to have backfired.

An Engadget article said the following – “In hindsight, the studio had other, better options. CD Projekt RED could’ve scrapped the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game long ago and adjusted its marketing plans to focus on the necessary power of the next console generation. It could’ve released Cyberpunk 2077 in early access and asked for fan feedback in a welcoming, transparent manner. Instead, executives decided to publish a game that simply didn’t work on certain consoles, and lie about its performance to players and investors.”

On December 21st (i.e after Hotfix 1.05), I talked to a gamer named Ken about his experience playing the game, he said he experienced the following types of bugs pre-hotfix that he classified at three levels.

  1. Completely game breaking bugs such as infinite loops during the game, strange enemy AI that causes you to reload to a save or go back to that mission later on.
  2. Immersion breaking bugs such as AI pathfinding, NPCs will drive into the path of another car and just explode. Pathfinding for the actual cars is pretty bad. Overlapping dialogue, overlapping UI. A subtitle bug where the subtitle shows up even when you don’t enable it and won’t go away until you enable and disable subtitle. The subtitle bugs remains post patch.
  3. Bethesda layer – for example, there was a table with a lit candle under water which is immersion breaking but not affecting the game fully

Two bugs outside of this that I would like to discuss, one of the bugs that received a lot of attention was this one as it is hilarious – Cyberpunk 2077 characters can’t get their penises to stop poking through their pants. We can speculate that since this is not a crash, it is likely something that will likely get fixed a bit later.

Second bug that we thought that was pretty bad was one where there is an 8 MB file size limit, this seems like a bug that would affect people that are playing this game despite all the bugs. 8 MB is a strange filesize limit. Players have been advised to keep a lower amount of items and crafting materials by CDPR to avoid this bug. Fortunately, this bug has been fixed via a hotfix on Dec 23rd.

From what we are seeing, I expect the game to get better with a series of patches in the next month or so and the game will be pretty popular, but that is just a gut feeling without any data to back that up. My only reason to say that is because despite all the bugs, there are a lot of people still playing the game.

But, I hope that this will be the tipping point in the gaming industry where there is less of a crunch and games are released when ready.

So, is this the buggiest game of all time for a Triple-A game?

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