Image Source: Cyberpunk 2077, via Twitter
Cyberpunk 2077 is easily the most highly-anticipated games of the year, and perhaps of the last few years.
Its intriguing universe based on the tabletop RPGs of Mike Pondsmith and the goodwill earned by developers CD Projekt Red over the years have earned the title a huge following.
Add in steady trailer and gameplay reveals with a sprinkling of Keanu Reeves, and everyone who enjoys single-player games has had their eye on the announced 16 April 2020 release date.
Now, however, Cyberpunk 2077 follows in the steps of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII Remake and Marvel’s Avengers to delay its release date.
Cyberpunk 2077’s release date is now in September
As you can see from the statement released by CD Projekt Red above, the studio will be delaying Cyberpunk 2077 to a 17 September release date.
The brief states that while Cyberpunk 2077 is “complete and playable” they need more time to finish the play-testing phases as well as apply fixes and polish. They say that “postponing launch will give us the precious months we need to make the game perfect.”
As is the case with the Marvel’s Avengers delay, if the development team needs five more months to make the game the best that it can be at launch, pushing the release date back to 17 September 2020 is perfectly fine.
Sure, fans won’t want to see a game that they’re looking forward to delayed, but it’s a necessary step to take in modern gaming.
Too many titles have been released in a poor state in recent years to then hope to deliver updates and get up to standard down the line – Anthem, Fallout 76, No Man’s Sky, WWE 2K20, and EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II to name a few.
It looked to be the start of a dangerous trend of triple-A publishers being happy to release incomplete products at full price. It was an increasing habit which punished the most loyal fans who bought the games early and were then forced to put up with a bad game until it was potentially fixed.
To avoid tarnishing the brand and potentially losing fans forever, CD Projekt Red made the right choice to delay Cyberpunk 2077. The game studio has certainly earned enough faith from players that most should be on board with waiting a bit longer for a perfect game.
There may be more crunch for the Cyberpunk 2077 team
During an investor Q&A session, per Eurogamer, this delay means some more crunch for the development team.
Crunch has been a hot topic in gaming, with employees required to work long hours to meet deadlines. It was brought to light with the troubled development of EA and BioWare’s Anthem but is said to be a very common practice across the industry.
“We try to limit crunch as much as possible, but it is the final stage,” said CD Projekt Red president Adam Kiciński to investors. He continued: “We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately, [there may be crunch].”
With an additional five months to get through the final phases of Cyberpunk 2077 development, the hope is that they will be able to reduce crunch – or at least, spread it out – as much as possible.
A move that clusters the game calendar, once again
Cyberpunk 2077 was voted the Most Anticipated Game of 2020 in the @funandserious awards!
Thank you for all your votes! ¡Gracias a todos por vuestros votos! pic.twitter.com/ras6DGwKDI
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) December 10, 2019
The April-May release window in video gaming looked to be a very punishing one on the wallets of gamers.
There were so many big-name titles coming out that few would have time to enjoy them before the internet became awash with spoilers or the next great game was released.
Resident Evil 3, Final Fantasy VII: Remake, and possibly Minecraft Dungeons will dominate April and Iron Man VR, The Last of Us Part II, and potentially Dying Light 2 will have May. It’s still rather cramped, but at least now they won’t need to compete with Marvel’s Avengers or Cyberpunk 2077.
While it’s a nice two-week gap, Marvel’s Avengers comes out on 4 September, and Cyberpunk 2077 comes out on 17 September.
Even though releasing in the summer has become somewhat unfashionable for big, non-Nintendo releases, Cyberpunk 2077 has enough hype around its release that it would still command best-selling sales even in June, July, or August.
Both Marvel’s Avengers and Cyberpunk 2077 already have massive fan bases, so the close release dates shouldn’t harm sales too much.
That said, some players can’t afford to fork out £100 ($120) in one month for games, nor have the time to enjoy them two huge titles sufficiently to warrant the triple-A price tags in that time frame. So, some will have to choose one over the other.
It’s a shame and could be considered a testament to the strength of the modern gaming industry. It may even be that CD Projekt Red set back the release date an extra couple of weeks for breathing room between it and Crystal Dynamics’ superhero game.
In any case, the new window has been set: the Cyberpunk 2077 release date is now 17 September 2020.