Cyberpunk 2077 is Another Reminder of Why It’s OK to Ship Late
They shipped too early and are now added to the list of 2020 victims
A lot of people who’ve built successful products and companies will say ambition is great but timing is the ultimate difference maker.
During 2019’s E3 we watched everyone’s favorite human Keanu Reeves deliver a presentation that had the gaming community the most excited its ever been. There was going to be a new game coming out by the creators of the successful The Witcher franchise that won a ton of awards and even had a Netflix series created from its success.
What followed for the next 18 months was hype from the gaming community that rivaled that of Grand Theft Auto V, a game that has sold over 130 million copies since it’s launch and is set to launch on 3 generations of hardware.
The game promised a lot of features and people were excited. It’s an ambitious project with a lot of money behind it and a game development studio that has consistently delivered awesome games before.
The original release date was slated to be April 2020, and then the pandemic hit. The release was then delayed until September. A few months later they announced another delay until November, then December.
Gamers were confused and slightly upset but understood that the promises made by the studio needed time to deliver and this was a work-from-home year where everyone seems to be working more but getting less done.
December comes around and the game ships. Community is excited. The pre-orders and debut sales have already helped the company break even with development costs.
Then people start playing the game
Bugs. Lots of bugs. Everywhere.
Here are just some examples posted by the subreddit r/cyberpunkgame:
A Cautionary Tale
A studio that could have collected two of the biggest wins of the gaming generation now has to deal with being seen as a team that rushed a product only to flop.
We all know that rushed products flop, yet people still seem to repeat the mistake. Not only did this hurt the company’s sales, it stained their reputation of being a company that was unorganized and couldn’t deliver after delaying three times.
We should all learn from this. Delivering a great product experience is more important than getting it out on time. Had the development team spent an extra year fixing most of the bugs, we’d be having a completely different conversation and this could be talked about as a game that would rival Grand Theft Auto V in terms of longevity.