After news of the Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab) release date delay sunk in, the rumors started flying. While developer CD Projekt Red said the delay was necessary (opens in new tab) to allow for “more time to finish playtesting, finishing and polishing” and give it “the precious months we need to make the game perfect”, fans started speculating that there were more specific – and dire – reasons for the delay.
The rumors postulated that Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t run brilliantly on PS4 and Xbox One. CD Projekt Red just wasn’t willing to release it in its current condition, hoping that a few more months of work could shore it up. While CD Projekt Red itself didn’t directly respond to the rumors at first, God of War (opens in new tab) creative director Cory Barlog sparked off a brief Twitter thread (opens in new tab) to debunk them from his own perspective as a game developer.
The whole thing is worth reading, but the gist of it is that Barlog says no game looks good or runs well until the developers set aside their normal work to just optimize the hell out of the thing in the months or weeks leading up to launch. There’s nothing unusual or deceptive about a game looking bad and running poorly before then, even relatively close to its planned release date – it’s just how modern games are made.
“Cory Barlog hit the nail on the head,” CD Projekt Red senior quest designer Philipp Weber said on the studio’s official forums (opens in new tab). “Of course we’re optimizing for the Xbox One, and for the PlayStation, and for the PC, because that’s what you do in the last stretches of game development. While the game is made, lots of things are unoptimized, because they’re all in flux, changing, and still not finished.
“So simple answers like ‘They delayed the game because of X’ might make for a good rumor, but don’t hold a lot of truth. There’s always many reasons. Among them, and I can speak for myself, simply fixing bugs, so the game is as polished as possible. No hidden agendas, just working on making the game better.”
Maybe it doesn’t make the extended wait for Cyberpunk 2077 any easier, but hopefully most fans can go back to the “arghh I can’t wait” kind instead of the “oh no what if it sucks” kind.
At least there’s plenty to play before September rolls around – check out our guide to the most promising upcoming games (opens in new tab).