CD Projekt Red has "reconsidered" Cyberpunk's multiplayer amidst a major strategic restructure

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It's no secret that CD Projekt Red's latest release, Cyberpunk 2077, didn't exactly have the smoothest launch. Plagued with controversy over the crunch its staff endured, hit with constant delays, and technical issues so severe that it was delisted from the Playstation Network, Cyberpunk 2077 has been disaster after disaster and is responsible for nearly single-handedly ruining the once impeccable reputation of its developer. CD Projekt Red has issued a series of apologies and clarifications since then, but this most recent one is the most comprehensive, outlining their plan to restructure their entire development process.

The first thing made clear from the video is that, despite its rocky start, CD Projekt Red is committed to Cyberpunk as a franchise, as much of the video revolves around how to bolster it moving forward. Developing future Cyberpunk titles in tandem with the Witcher franchise is a priority moving forward, as their custom-made REDengine will be retooled to better serve both franchises, which will also enable them to have staff work on both titles, rather than needing to support two separate teams, indicating that more games in both the Cyberpunk and Witcher franchises are likely being worked on. They also speak about how, while AAA RPGs will always be their primary focus, they've had success with expanding The Witcher into various other types of media--such as the live-action Netflix series, Gwent card game, etc.--and that they are already planning to push forward with those plans concerning Cyberpunk 2077, such as with the spin-off anime title Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.

Another issue many players had with Cyberpunk 2077 was what they saw as misleading marketing, and frustration over constant delays and removed features. In response to this, CD Projekt Red has promised to reconsider the way it communicates with its audience. New projects will be announced further into the development cycle and much closer to the final release date, avoiding the endless wait that Cyberpunk 2077 had. Presentations will also focus on more polished demos and will showcase footage from all platforms, rather than only showing the game on high-end PCs as they did with Cyberpunk. This change reflects another internal policy shift for the studio, where, instead of working off of five-year plans, they will focus on annual roadmaps, allowing them to adapt their priorities and announcements more deftly. On the docket for 2021 are next-gen updates for Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the release of an AR mobile title, and further updates and development for Gwent and Cyberpunk.

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Notably absent from the 2021 roadmap is Cyberpunk 2077's multiplayer. A multiplayer component to that game had long been expected, and while details were vague, it appeared to be something quite large, as CD Projekt Red considered it a separate, AAA title. However, they've reconsidered their attitude towards multiplayer moving forward. They want online experiences to be an important aspect of their games moving forward, but only want to implement them when they "make sense." "Let's stress this here: CD Projekt Red makes single-player, story-driven, AAA RPGs," says President and Joint CEO Adam Kiciński. "Given our new, more systematic and agile approach, instead of primarily focusing on one big online experience or game, we are focusing on bringing online into all of our franchises one day. We are building an online technology that can be seamlessly integrated into development of our future games." Presumably as part of this new initiative, CD Projekt Red has acquired Canadian developer Digital Scapes, which has worked on Cyberpunk 2077 since 2018.

 

RyRyIV

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Man, pretty bold of CDPR to include the Witcher show and books here, especially considering that they had nothing to do with either. And considering their history with author Andrzej Sapkowski.

It’s a symbiotic relationship for all three mediums, there’s no doubt; without the books there were no games, the games pushed book sales, and the franchise popularity led to a show which in turn pushed more book and game sales. But still, seeing CDPR claim those even with a disclaimer caught me off guard. And definitely makes it seem like they’re trying to take credit for those successes.
 

relauby

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Man, pretty bold of CDPR to include the Witcher show and books here, especially considering that they had nothing to do with either. And considering their history with author Andrzej Sapkowski.

It’s a symbiotic relationship for all three mediums, there’s no doubt; without the books there were no games, the games pushed book sales, and the franchise popularity led to a show which in turn pushed more book and game sales. But still, seeing CDPR claim those even with a disclaimer caught me off guard.

They also claim a Witcher anime that Netflix is doing as well. It's weird for them to use The Witcher's success as evidence that if they keep pushing Cyberpunk it'll find the same success. Especially when it took until the third game for The Witcher to go into the stratosphere like that.

Also, if you watch the segment they entitled The Flywheel Effect, which is an over-complicated way of saying "if we make a popular thing people will buy things related to it," they do straight up say that if they keep making Cyberpunk games it'll hit that same point as The Witcher. Even if they're probably right, it's still irritating to have a company tell you that if they push a thing that's mostly a punchline and a failure (keeping in mind that, personally, I like Cyberpunk 2077, but it's hard to say it hasn't been a disaster overall) that you'll just buy it like the obedient sheep you are.

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I wish CDPR would just stop talking and actually do something. People will come around. People will forgive you. But you need to go away for a while and come back with a good game.
 

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Honestly I think that if they manage to release a multiplayer gamemode without too many game breaking bugs it would be pretty good, kinda like gta online. I haven't played either game but the concept seems solid. Of course, the game will probably be irrelevant by the time they release anything.
 
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AkiraKurusu

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Honestly I think that if they manage to release a multiplayer gamemode without too many game breaking bugs it would be pretty good, kinda like gta online. I haven't played either game but the concept seems solid. Of course, the game will probably be irrelevant by the time they release anything.
That's the main problem with multiplayer, compared to singleplayer; it's got an extremely limited lifetime. Once it's abandoned, it might as well not even be part of the game, might as well not be an entire released game.
Sure, some multiplayer titles might get fan-servers some time afterwards, but most multiplayers just end up in the proverbial graveyard, making me question why people care about them. Singleplayer games, as long as there's no bullshit DRM involved (or the disc doesn't get scratched or broken, or the cart doesn't get damaged, or they don't get pulled from stores, or the storefronts don't get killed off), can kinda remain for perpetuity.

I just question why people care about something so obviously transient.
 
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N10A

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That's the main problem with multiplayer, compared to singleplayer; it's got an extremely limited lifetime. Once it's abandoned, it might as well not even be part of the game, might as well not be an entire released game.
Sure, some multiplayer titles might get fan-servers some time afterwards, but most multiplayers just end up in the proverbial graveyard, making me question why people care about them. Singleplayer games, as long as there's no bullshit DRM involved (or the disc doesn't get scratched or broken, or the cart doesn't get damaged, or they don't get pulled from stores, or the storefronts don't get killed off), can kinda remain for perpetuity.

I just question why people care about something so obviously transient.

Just because something isn't permanent doesn't mean it doesn't have any value. Not to get philosophical, but sometimes the impermanent nature of something adds value to it. (or, at the very least, a sense of scarcity.) As far as multiplayer games go though, people seem to move from product to product, abandoning games much like you said. I'd assume that the value is that every other game has multiplayer these days, so if your game doesn't then the point of playing it goes down for the multiplayer-centric and fluid gamer. I think the problem is that the modern games industry has trained people to move so quickly from game to game because it increases profit. You need to have multiplayer in your game because everyone else does. Whether or not it makes sense for the game to have it is a different story. For a game like Cyberpunk, I'd assume that if a multiplayer mode was added the sandbox would be expanded. in that case, even if one were to play alone there would still be a point. Also, don't underestimate the dedication niche communities have for well crafted multiplayer games. There are still people who play gta online on the xbox 360. the difference there is that it isn't just the same cookie cutter multiplayer that every other game has. It's a unique experience. That's what people want, even if it is inherently temporary. Sorry for the wall of text, I think as I type.
 

Tom Bombadildo

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I have absolutely no idea whether this article is legit and it's blowing my mind
I could ask relauby directly but he probably would just laugh in my face
yeah, guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow
Nah it is, they announced this a couple days ago actually we're just a bit slow on the draw. They're no longer confident that a big huge online experience is "appropriate" for their singleplayer-based games, so they scrapped the big huge multiplayer expansion they talked about. Supposedly they're just going to make some kind of all-in-one online framework instead that can just be shoved into future games without much fuss, whatever that means.
 
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I wish CDPR would just stop talking and actually do something. People will come around. People will forgive you. But you need to go away for a while and come back with a good game.
yeah they should do what hello games did with NMS
went from a terrible game to one that's almost worth the $60 asking price
 
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