Saturday, September 23

The resurrection of ‘Cyberpunk 2077’: how Netflix has lifted the most catastrophic launch ever

We recounted it in our review of Studio Trigger and CD Projekt Red’s terrific anime on Netflix: It was such a relief that after an overtly negative reaction to the game when it was released in late 2020, the source material was still capable of generating a product. as interesting as ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’. At the very least, it was proof that the lore created in the 1988 role-playing game and reshaped by the CD Projekt Red game, it was still attractive and had great potential.

Player rush. But there is more: half because the game has done its homework and has corrected a good part of its problems, half because you should never underestimate the impact of a Netflix series, the interest in ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ has run amok until levels never seen since its launch. For example, at the end of last week it reached a peak of 136,724 players on Steam, making it into the weekly Top 10 of the most played.

These are figures far from the 1,054,388 simultaneous players that it accumulated at its launch, but even so, it is a very notorious amount, multiplying by seven the figures from just a couple of months ago, and reaching a million daily players total. It’s a surprising resurrection for a game that, admittedly, has generated progressively more interest with successive patches that have corrected its bugs, but whose fame did not quite take off. That situation may have changed.

Netflix's 'Cyberpunk: Edgerunners' anime is everything that the CD Projekt Red video game aspired to and fell short

Patch apocalypse. Practically from the first moment, ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ was receiving patches that were solving some of the most criticized problems of the title, and that at times made it unplayable: from dead-end missions to save files that were corrupted and thrown overboard game hours. Little by little the subtle changes in the mechanics were arriving: improvements in the control of vehicles, a more rational behavior of the police and much more.

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Starting with patch 1.31, even visual improvements to the game began to be noticed, and patch 1.5 was so huge, in February of this year, that CD Projekt Red skipped the entire 1.4 block: skill tree restructuring, smarter enemies in close combat, profound improvements in driving, varied behaviors for passers-by, reformulation of the game economy…

What happened in his day and what happens today. All of these patches were to, well, patch a chaotic release that did damage to the name of the game from which it continues to slowly recover. The game sold 13 million copies at launch, yes, but the performance on consoles was so poor that it led to the game being pulled from the Playstation store.

Those days are definitely behind us thanks to the patches, but the memes remain, and a certain bitter memory for the players too. The game is now available again for consoles, it has an unquestionably superior finish for the new generation (which arrived later), and the positive opinions have resurfaced thanks to the patches. Sales of the game, thanks to the good results of the next-gen versions, have skyrocketed, and CD Projekt Red speaks of 50.4 million dollars in revenue at the start of 2022.

What has been lost from the greatness of the Cyberpunk of paper and dice when it became the controversial video game

The future of Cyberpunk 2077 is… cyberpunk. The CD Projekt Red game is experiencing a sweet moment, but it is clear that ‘Edgerunners’ is still a remnant of that ambitious initial project with tentacles in different media, and that it has been partially frustrated. For example, patch 1.6 is the last patch Xbox One and PS4 players receive, who will also not receive future DLC for the game.

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This DLC could mark the future of the franchise if it were to succeed, as the possibility of a second DLC promised at launch is up in the air. Most of the CD Projekt Red team is focused on ‘The Witcher 4’ and it is unlikely that they will be redeployed to get that second expansion off the ground. At the moment, ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ is progressing much better than it promised in its first steps, which is no small thing.

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