We’ve had an issue this generation with game announcements, Cyberpunk 2077 being no exception. They get announced too early with little to show after the announcement, leading to droughts of info. We’ve seen time and again over the past few years that big, ambitious titles get announced, the workload is more than both the developer and the publisher expect, and they get pushed back and pushed back every presentation, practically an expectation for E3 presentations. Cyberpunk 2077 is that latest victim, as it has been delayed yet another time, finally sitting on December 10th, 2020. And it’s really killed my excitement for the game.
When it was announced in 2013, I was very excited to see it for myself. A Cyberpunk game with the scope of Witcher, with the talent behind Witcher? An absolute no brainer. While I never fully jumped into the Witcher series, I’ve always heard the games were astounding, downright masterpieces. So CD Projekt Red is announcing a game that fits in more with my interests and aesthetic, a cyberpunk open-world dystopia? Absolutely, sign me up, no more questions asked. With movies like Bladerunner, Total Recall, Johnny Mnemonic, and Tron Legacy, and games like Deus Ex, VA-11 Hall-A, System Shock 2, and Final Fantasy VII; it’s always been something I show more interest in just one setting alone.
And then there was silence, nothing new to see. This is understandable; Witcher 3 was released and was still being worked on, with Hearts of Stone and Blood & Wine being announced and released. Despite my hyperbole in the previous paragraph, I did want to see more! But they had to focus on The Witcher 3, so I waited. But thankfully, in 2018, my eyes were graced with a new trailer and a whopping 48 minutes of gameplay. It filled my heart and soul with robotic neon magic. But it was taking forever for a release date, so I felt blah about everything a few months after. Like, “is it gonna come out”? There wasn’t even a date yet!
If I thought E3 2018 was great, E3 2019 was even better than that. I was hooked even harder the next year with not only tight looking gameplay, but they even put the cherry on top, revealing that Keanu Reeves was going to be in the game! He’s playing Johnny Silverhand, a rad rocker boy ex-veteran that’s completely central to the story. So CD Projekt Red pulled me in hard after the feeling of disenfranchisement came looming in.
But the game got delayed. That’s fine; these things happen. Considering the state of the world, I completely get it. But stories started coming out in July of mechanics that were no longer present in the game. Third-person cutscenes, gone? Then what would the point be of a customizable character if you can’t even see him? Wallrunning, gone? That was a really cool idea, and now it’s nixed. The Subway system and vehicle customization gone? That would’ve made the world so much easier to get around in. It’s unfortunate, but I suppose I understand. Not every mechanic present in pre-release footage makes it to the final game. And I’m no game developer; there had to have been logistical reasons why it couldn’t be possible.
Cyberpunk got delayed again to September. And then November. And now December. It became exhausting to start yourself up and then abruptly stop. It’s like you’re in a car with a nervous student driver. You can’t ever get a proper flow going because you have to step back and wait again. And between the removed mechanics, which seemed like initial quality of life decisions, and the constant delay, I no longer am really interested in Cyberpunk 2077. I’ll play it; eventually, it looks good, don’t get me wrong on that. But the hype? The one that was there in 2013, 2018, and 2019? That’s just been drained from me.
I think something similar to Devil May Cry 5’s announcement to release schedule was the most ideal I’ve ever seen. Announce it one year, and by next year’s event, it’s already out. You got people excited with the announcement, you keep that excitement going with impressions and trailers, and by launch, the game is flying off the shelves with how excited people are to get it into their hands. It’s not an ideal formula for everyone, but I think personally, it’s a good standard to hold yourself to.
It’s kind of like that sometimes. Where a game gets announced at E3 or some event, and it blows you out of the water. But the years upon years that you’re waiting, you eventually lose interest altogether. You could call it The PS4 Effect since a lot of games Sony put out in the middle of this gen ended up getting delayed a lot, even shown off at multiple E3’s to the point you stop caring until it comes out. Spider-Man was bordering on that for me. And I do not doubt that I won’t love Cyberpunk 2077. But I want it to come out already! No more teasing me, trying to hype me up. I’m already sold. This is a major release that most people already know about. Just let it come out, and that’ll be that.
What personally astounds me is that the game went gold earlier this month. Now for those who don’t know, going gold means that development is complete. It’s ready to begin production, where the game can be burned to a disc and thrown into a manufactured box, sent out to stores where you can then buy it. So if there’s no more work being done on the game, why is it being delayed? Could it be for a day one patch? Would they have to take back going gold? Not sure if any company has needed to do that before.
Whatever the reason is, it’s definitely amusing that the social media team tweeted during the previous delay that there would be no more delays. It certainly harkens back to the days of Mighty Number 9, which is not the parallel you want to draw when you have to make an announcement. At least we can hope that Cyberpunk 2077 won’t end up the same way.
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