A Letter To CD Projekt Red

As we draw closer and closer to launch, people have been absolutely drowning Cyberpunk 2077 in insane amounts of hype. It’s only been matched by its insane amounts of controversy. People have harped on the negatives of crunch to no end by this point. It’s a problem in this industry that doesn’t really have an easy solution. It’s unfortunate that CD Projekt Red is committing to six-day work weeks before this game drops. That isn’t at all what I want to talk about here.

However it happens, I think we all agree that crunch isn’t exactly ideal in the games industry. At this point, I think crunch is only one problem upon a mountain of problems that CDPR has probably been dealing with surrounding this game. I’m sure a lot of it, in addition to the crunch itself, hasn’t really done much to help their mental health either. It’s to the point where the team is actually debating whether or not they should even release good news about the game’s production. I can honestly understand considering the backlash on the crunching situation they received when announcing that the game has officially gone gold.

From the ridiculous journalistic attacks on the game about gender identification to superficial issues about stereotypes and representation, it’s been pretty ridiculous. It seems CD Projekt Red cannot say anything about this game without stirring up some screeching reaction. No wonder Rockstar barely says anything about games they may or may not be currently developing.

I’m not even the type of person that follows news about big upcoming releases. I don’t really participate in hype trains, even for games that I’m genuinely interested in. Cyberpunk is no different. In fact, I’m actively ignoring a good majority of information about the game itself. I want to keep my opinions about it as untouched as possible for when I actually play it. Even so, there’s just honestly been too much crap circling around this game to ignore, and I really don’t see it slowing down in the next 5 weeks either. Hell, it’ll probably keep going well after the game’s release.

In light of all of this, I just want to give a message to the development team. Something to just reassure them that all the hard work they’re no doubt putting into the game will be appreciated.

Dear CD Projekt Red,

2020 has been a pretty shit year for everyone. Not only have we had to deal with a pandemic, but the games industry seems to have only gotten worse. Because of all of this, it’s gotten pretty hard to see the good things that we still have.

I don’t think I have to say this, but Cyberpunk 2077 is probably one of the last bastions of hope people have as far as triple-A gaming goes in 2020. As a result, I’m sure a lot of you guys probably feel you have an incredible weight on your shoulders to bring something great to your players.

I just want to say that no matter how you achieve your ultimate goal, I hope that every single person on that development team is 100% happy and satisfied with the state of the game upon release. That goes for management as well. Technically, functionally, mechanically, and artistically, I hope that you all have zero regrets with the game. I hope you can all confidently say that you did your best when working on it, despite all of the hurdles you’ve had to jump over.

Obviously, only you guys can say that definitively. We all know that things can never be totally perfect. There are always things an artist would want to change about their work. There are always going to be a few bugs and quirks to a game that may go unforeseen. I’m not even saying that the crunching situation is even ideal. It may not be so bad for some of you. It may be for others. Either way, I just really want you guys to feel proud and happy about your work. It just feels like everything surrounding this game in the media is almost specifically geared towards making the people involved with it feel awful about the project that they’re working on. It’s like you guys are being punished simply for being open and transparent with the goals you have for Cyberpunk 2077.

I don’t judge a game until it’s in my hands (or on my system), and I’ve played it. I played Marvel’s Avengers fully understanding what sort of catastrophe it could ultimately end up being. I’m not really a Marvel super fan nor did I play it just to trash the game. I did it because I wanted to form my own genuine opinion on the game itself.

I know that may sound like a pretty simple and probably even stupid concept. This is the internet age, though. The Internet is constantly influencing people’s opinions on things. We tend to take major reviewers’, YouTubers’ and streamers’ words as scripture. At the same time, we question if those same reviewers and personalities are actually being fair to the product. I think having your own opinion on something is probably more important than it’s ever been.

I get it, though. People really just don’t want to waste their money, or they’re afraid of being wrong in their opinion. In a climate like this, I don’t blame those people. It’s a really good feeling to know that your opinions are 100% yours, though, and that you aren’t just following a crowd.

I have no special ties to you, CD Projekt Red. I’ve never played any of your previous games, and to be honest, I probably never will. I will be playing Cyberpunk though. I might even review it. I’m not sure yet. I think it’d be a nice challenge. I just want you to know that at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is that, to you, the game is truly worth all the hard work you’re putting into it. This isn’t even for the sake of your players. I just really hope that you come out of this no doubt tumultuous adventure feeling proud and happy with the work you put out.

The crunch. The constant eyes on you at every waking hour since the announcement of this game. The journalists foaming at the mouth for any juicy piece of information they can get from you. Inevitably spinning it into some story that will paint your team in a bad light. Whether or not it was even warranted. While some of it can be really comforting or even funny, and make your strong core even stronger, I know not all of it can be completely healthy for your team. It’s an experience I can only imagine having to deal with every day of your life. On top of that, a lot of players are probably looking towards you to save gaming in 2020 for them. That’s a huge ask and I’m sure you don’t want to let anyone down.

If I do review Cyberpunk, you can be sure that I will be reviewing it based on what it is in my best assessment of it. Not what everyone is hoping it will be. I hope you can appreciate that among all of the fanboys and haters that will either praise it unconditionally or bash it unconditionally.

In turn, I hope that you can walk away from this project, (the singleplayer aspects of it anyway) knowing that you put your best foot forward. With how tough I’m sure that must be and/or must have been during any stretch of this game’s production. If there’s any team that has the passion to do just that despite all of the setbacks and mishaps, it has to be you. Your hard work will be genuinely appreciated. There’s no doubt about that.

Are you excited for Cyberpunk 2077? Leave your comments below!

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