But the question is, what can they do to restore trust, and is just fixing the game going to do that? I fear that for a lot of people CDPR just shattered that trust because of poor management and greedy corpos, can it ever regain it in your eyes or will it be relegated to another Bethesda or Ubisoft in your eyes?
Let me know your thoughts
1. Provide clear upfront communication about what they are going to do to fix the game both in general and per-platform going forward and an approximate time scale.
2. Do not announce even the development or intention to provide any paid expansion packs until AFTER the game has been fixed satisfactorily.
3. Issue a public promise to continue to support and patch the game for years if necessary to make it what they intended for it to be, and what they showed off in marketing materials that it would be.
The developer of No Man's Sky - Hello Games a few years ago released a game that was missing over 100 features they promised would be there, and hyped their game up to massive sales, and at $66 CAD for what was an indy game too. It became one of the most hated new release games of all time and dropped to ultra low ranking on Steam and elsewhere. Since then, the developers of the game have continued to develop and patch the game with new content and feature updates for 4 years now, all as free updates to the game. I have to admit that I was shocked that they didn't take the money and run, they actually supported their game and tried to come true to their promises despite not being able to meet them at launch.
As a result, in many people's eyes Hello Games has redeemed themselves, and the game's popularity and acceptance has only grown over time while rescuing them from one of the lowest rated games on Steam to something much better than that, currently holding a 66% positive rating with 144808 total reviews so far. It has a 95% positive rating over the last 30 days showing that the company's dedication to their game and their customers over time - despite fucking up big time at launch, have managed to do the right thing and earn back trust and respect in the process.
CD Projekt RED did an amazing job with the release of The Witcher 3, and patching up bugs in the game post-launch and IMHO did a great job of supporting their product and winning over fans across the board. I've been playing Cyberpunk 2077 since release day and while I'm enjoying the main story and side quests, it is pretty clear that Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that was released way before it was properly ready for release in order to hit the holiday season sales window and avoid displeasing investors by missing the window. Having said that, there are other ways to displease investors, like releasing a product before it is ready and having the entire Internet come down on you hard for doing so. #JustSaying
I have had a huge amount of faith in CDPR and in GOG over the years through thick and thin, and more often than not they fix things when they screw up. I don't expect anyone or any company to be perfect or to not screw things up sometimes, but I do expect that when they screw something up that they own up to it like a boss, and then commit fully to correcting the situation, and then executing that to a T.
Will they complete the development of the game to make it what it was supposed to be? Will they patch the multitude of bugs/flaws in the game to bring it up to par with the experience of their former titles? Can they save face now in light of their blunders and botched launch in the eyes of gamers? Time will tell. They should be contacting Hello Games now and asking for tips on how to fix things over the next several years.
Having said all of that, I'm more disappointed in the company than with the game overall. The story and side quests are pretty good, but the game has the crappiest NPC vehicle and pedestrian AI I've ever seen in any game ever. Many have said the city feels unlived in and sterile and I'd have to agree. People walking around like brainless robots for example, or trying to just take a step without bumping into someone and having a 3 mile radius around you panic like you are a terrorist for daring to bump into someone, then being shot to death by police that spawn in 10 feet away... just for accidentally bumping into someone due to the stupid dodge mechanic being too easy to trigger. <sigh>
I have seriously mixed feelings about the game. Going to withhold a full review until I've completed the game at least, and potentially until they've had a chance to patch it up significantly.
Witcher 3 was soooooooooo good, and I felt bad for only paying $37 with loyalty discount for what I deemed to be the best game ever made. I told my friends they should have charged $80 for it like any other AAA game, and that Cyberpunk should be $80 due to its likely epicness. I was happy to pay $80 for it in fact, feeling they earned the money for Witcher 3 being so good. But right now I'm feeling like they have taken advantage of everyone's trust and good sentiments and just hardline cashed in on it.
I guess every party has to come to an end.
Historically I've never bought pre-order games nor new releases in the past, but I started with Witcher 3 and it was a solid bet. Cyberpunk's current state I can't say the same, and that coming on the tail of GOG's announcement of integrating Epic Games and potentially other storefronts into Galaxy. It hurts me to say it, but I wont be buying CDPR pre-orders or new releases of games or expansion packs but will be waiting a bare minimum to see post-release reviews #knockonwood in the future as with all other game companies. Who knows, maybe I'll just wait until they become freebies on Epic Games Store and claim them for free through Galaxy client? #OofTooSoon
Honestly, I don't hate the company and I'm not even angry. I'm just extremely disappointed, but more disappointed at how bad it is for everyone else especially console players after all of the marketing hype etc.
So... I don't buy Early Access games... but Subnautica is one of the best games I ever played and Unknown Worlds has provided amazing long term support for the game, backporting fixes to the engine etc. from their sequel in progress Subnautica Below Zero. I've been eagerly awaiting the release of this game for eons also and it is now announced that it's being released on January 5th, and with a price bump to $29.99USD. I decided to buy it yesterday to get the early access pricing, and because the company has earned my trust by how well they've supported the first Subnautica game, plus Below Zero has 93% positive reviews on Steam. Will I regret this? Who knows, but it very well may be the last pre-order or new release purchase I make for years to come now after the big let down of the Cyberpunk release overall.
Please do the right thing and fix the game CD Projekt RED. You screwed up, but that can be forgiven if you do the right things and communicate properly. It's all up to you and how you want your company to be seen going forward. I want you to succeed and for us to get more games from you in the future, but you've got some work to do now to set things right.