As Iwiński says in the video, Cyberpunk 2077 was developed with PC first and foremost in mind. This was reflected in IGN’s review of Cyberpunk 2077 where the PC experience was relatively smooth but nearly unplayable on base PS4 and Xbox One systems.Currently, console players, even those with PS5 and Xbox Series X systems, are playing a backward-compatible version of the PS4 and Xbox One game.
The performance issues for Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles are so widespread, CDPR opened up an unprecedented refund policy, and companies like Sony even removed digital versions of Cyberpunk from the PlayStation Store. CDPR is also currently being investigated by the Consumer Protection Agency regarding the launch.
Iwiński’s video, which is nearly five minutes long, briefly touched on several questions about Cyberpunk 2077’s launch, including why there’s such a gap between PC and console versions of Cyberpunk 2077, and over how it handled review copies.
Below, you’ll find CD PROJEKT’s co-founder’s personal explanation of what the days leading up to the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 looked like, sharing the studio’s perspective on what happened with the game on old-generation consoles. pic.twitter.com/XjdCKizewq
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) January 13, 2021
In regards to bringing Cyberpunk 2077 to consoles, especially older ones, Iwiński says “things did not look super difficult at first, while we knew the hardware game, ultimately, time has proven that we’ve underestimated the task.”
He says the main culprit was the in-game streaming system, which is “responsible for ‘feeding’ the engine with what you see on screen, as well as the game mechanics.” Iwiński cites the disk bandwidth performance on older systems as being unable to keep up with the packed city design.Iwiński also says its internal testing “did not show many of the issues” players experienced and that each day of work “saw significant improvements” to performance. But even then Iwiński says the developers were working on optimizing the console version for the Day 0 patch up until launch. This accounts for the delay between getting PC review codes out and console review copies out on December 8th, according to Iwiński.
As for early 2021, CD Projekt will push several patches regularly throughout the year. The first update will be released “in the next 10 days” and a larger “more significant update” will be released weeks after that.
There are still plans to release free DLC as with The Witcher 3, but they may not target “early 2021” as previously expected as CDPR has shifted its priority to “working on the most important fixes and updates” and DLC will follow afterward.
CD Projekt Red faces several hurdles since launching Cyberpunk 2077 in December 2020. The company faces lawsuits over “misrepresenting” Cyberpunk 2077 as a product and have had to deny rumors about its development problems. Despite these issues, Cyberpunk 2077 sold over 13 million copies, despite refunds, and earned back its full development and marketing costs.
Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.