What would the reception have been if Cyberpunk 2077 released today?

Why wasn't Cyberpunk 2077 delayed again? It's been a lingering question ever since its launch back in December 2020. Very few people will know the true reason for releasing Cyberpunk 2077 in the state that it was in and everything that came to light in the aftermath indicates that ignorance and greed were the main factors behind it.

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What's interesting to us, looking back at the various versions of the game, is that if Cyberpunk had received one last meaningful delay, would it have helped the game all that much?

One More Delay

Let's think realistically about the state that Cyberpunk 2077 released on PS4 and Xbox One. The game was, for a huge number of players, a broken unplayable mess. Given that the PS4 and Xbox One were still the largest market share consoles at launch (and still are currently) how was this version of the game the most broken?

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Fast forward to August and Cyberpunk 2077 has not long been allowed back on the Playstation Store following its removal, but still has a warning about its performance issues, placing the accountability for the issues at the feet of the user. This warning essentially says if you buy it, you do so knowing it's a mess, even after eight months of work and updates.

Performance is said to have improved on these versions of the game but it's just so troubling that they're not considered finished nearly a year after release. This is one major aspect of Cyberpunk 2077 that has me thinking a further delay still might not have been the answer.

Perfection on PC?

Comparing the last-gen versions of Cyberpunk 2077 to what was released on PC is night and day. The PC version of the game suffered what I would call Bethesda-level bugs that were mostly humorous, sometimes irritating and not often game-breaking.

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That being said, for the standards that CD Project Red are held to, it was disappointing for many fans to see these included at launch. Overall, the game was playable and even completable with a little stress. When looking at where the PC version of the game is today, all of the major fixes have been implemented and the game is much closer to what was hoped for at launch.

A delay, maybe even of just a couple of months, could have seen the PC version perfected and presented in a much better light. Certainly much more salvageable than the last-gen version of the game.

The Middleground

Lastly, we have the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro versions of Cyberpunk 2077. This was my introduction to the game as I played it on the Xbox One X and certainly had high hopes.

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The build that was available for these consoles was passable and that's being very lenient. I know I personally encountered 4 or 5 game-breaking bugs in the first 5 hours of play that led to constant frustration.

As soon as Microsoft announced no questions asked refunds on the game, I cashed in and purchased the PC version instead. It was an easy decision because I still wanted to experience and play through the game despite the issues.

Aftermath

While the state of the game on all available platforms was utterly unacceptable, the main question I'm trying to answer here is whether or not another delay would have helped. I honestly don't think it would have.

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The pressure that was placed on the studio towards release and having already announced multiple delays meant that everyone was backed into a corner. CDPR decided to release the game and ask for forgiveness rather than make people aware of what they were paying for a work-in-progress game.

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Fear not, as some good came out of the whole ordeal, even if it's not so much for CDPR or their staff. Game delays are taken with much more understanding and grace by the gaming community now and whenever one is announced, there's almost always one mention of Cyberpunk 2077 in the replies.

While Cyberpunk 2077 is a game well worth playing, on PC at least, its legacy will always be a negative one and should warn developers, publishers and fans alike that patience truly is a virtue.