If a similar experience is like a roller coaster, “The Witcher 3” has already stabilized at the top, and “Cyberpunk 2077” has not yet climbed out of the bottom.

Editor’s note: This article is from the micro-channel public number “Touch Music” (ID: chuappgame), Author: Feng Xin Yang.

On March 30, CDPR released the 1.2 version update patch of “Cyberpunk 2077”. The patch has made a lot of corrections and improvements to the game content, with a total of about 420 update items. The PC version update package is about 31GB, and the console version is about 44GB. This may make people think of the 17GB patch of the 2015 “Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” 1.10 version update-a big number back then, after all, people are not as familiar with the first day patch of dozens of gigabytes as they are now-this patch There are a total of 328 update items.

It’s not just giant patches that are similar. It has never been repeatedly postponed to the extremely high media ratings before the release, to the shrinkage and bugs of the game after the release, and to the subsequent update and repair. The two games seem to have many similarities. Every news event in “Cyberpunk 2077” also happened to a certain extent in “The Witcher 3”.

The description text of the 1.2 patch exceeds 16,000 words

But things are not a simple cycle. “The Witcher 3” has also faced some problems after its release, but they are more like the kind of problems that all masterpieces will face, and they are far from the point of opening up a refund channel. Since its inception, CDPR has never faced the scale of condemnation it is today. Moreover, CDPR’s actions are now even slower than the quick response of “The Witcher 3” when faced with doubts. Five months after its release, “The Witcher 3” launched the acclaimed expansion pack “Heart of Stone”; in the same five months, “Cyberpunk 2077” came out with a 1.2 patch that fixes a large number of bugs, even small ones. There is no news from DLC.

After many similar and dissimilar stories, it may reflect the difficulties faced by the CDPR model. To this day, CDPR is still a unique company. They started from scratch, starting from the first “Witcher”, betting on every work, like a snowball, until they become a giant in the industry. It can be seen that they also hope to form a new leap between “Cyberpunk 2077” and “The Witcher 3”, but the company has reached this point, will the old method still work?

What we can see is that the situation of the two games is to a certain extentThe above is similar, but every challenge faced by “The Witcher 3” has been enlarged here in “Cyberpunk 2077”-maybe it is too big to their own expectations, and even faced out of control at one time, so it came. today.

Postpone, and postpone again

In May 2014, the “Witcher 3” team promised that they would never postpone the game’s release date. “The Witcher 3”, which was originally scheduled to be released in the fall of 2014, was announced to be postponed to February 2015. Although it was rushing to work, CDPR still reassures players that “it will not sell unfinished games to make money.” However, after more than half a year, on December 9, 2014, the sale time was once again postponed to May 19, 2015.

At this time, CDPR stated that “the next-generation game market can no longer tolerate junk games”, and the “Witcher 3” production team every time a ticket bounces to “guarantee game quality.” According to the original plan, “The Witcher 3” could have become a game on the market within the first year of PS4’s release, and this possibility no longer exists after two ticket bounces.

CDPR co-founder “Lao Ma”‘s speech is now widely used in various occasions

Similar to “The Witcher 3”, which bounced twice, “Cyberpunk 2077” was postponed several times before the release, but it was one more time than “The Witcher 3”. On January 7, 2020, CDPR announced that “Cyberpunk 2077” will not be released in April as originally planned, but will be postponed to September 17.

Although CDPR has repeatedly reiterated that it will not postpone it again, less than half a year later, they had to postpone the release time again. In June, “Cyberpunk 2077” was announced to be postponed to November 19. Finally, when the sale time was postponed again for 21 days, it was finally set to be on December 10th and it had already experienced 3 full postponements.

The classic yellow background of the postponement announcement has become a hot Internet meme

Of course, for now, the encounters between the two games are different after they are released.

In contrast to “The Witcher 3”, “Cyberpunk 2077” basically caught up with the release node of the next-generation console. In addition, CDPR relied on the reputation of “The Witcher 3” and more powerful announcements, “Cyberpunk 2077” “Has gained more attention than “The Witcher 3”, and next-generation console players are eager to try, hoping to get a better experience on brand new devices.

The bigger difference is that although the first release version of “The Witcher 3” has a lot of problems, it is not difficult to play. However, on the console platform, the old generation version of “Cyberpunk 2077” can also be run on a new generation host. It can only be said to be “barely playable”. Their PS4 and Xbox One versions are even difficult to run due to frame issues and other issues. The native PS5 and XSX versions of “Cyberpunk 2077” have yet to have a clear release date.

Configuration, bugs and shrinkage

In the direction of media evaluation and player comments at the initial release, the experiences of “The Witcher 3” and “Cyberpunk 2077” are similar.

When “The Witcher 3” was first released in 2015, IGN gave a high score of 9.3, GameSpot scored a perfect score of 10, and the first batch of foreign media scored an average of 91 points. The media generally believe that “The Witcher 3” has some minor problems, but this does not prevent it from becoming a good game.

In 2020, “Cyberpunk 2077” also received an average of 91 points from foreign media when it was released. Many media reviews have mentioned issues that affect the game experience to some extent, but the vast majority of reviews believe that CDPR will fix these issues before the official release.

Compared with the extremely high media ratings, both games encountered complaints from players in the early stages of their release.

The first is shrinking and optimization. “The Witcher 3” has extremely high requirements for computer performance and is called a “graphics destroyer” by the media. Under this premise, the screen of the official version of the game has dropped a lot compared to the trailer. In the 2015 “Witcher 3” news, the keyword “shrink” can be seen everywhere. Even if the player has the computer configuration recommended by CDPR, he can only experience the “Witcher 3” which is different from the promotional film in a 30-frame environment. The console version also has dropped frames at first, and players can’t say that they are very satisfied.

Compared with the promotional video released in 2013, the official version has indeed shrunk to varying degrees

“Cyberpunk 2077” was also entangled in shrinkage after 5 years. As early as before the game was released, CDPR had said, “It is impossible to realize all the early ideas in the game, and the same is true for “The Witcher 3″.” These remarks did not satisfy the players. After discovering that the final gameplay and graphics of “Cyberpunk 2077” were significantly shrunk compared to the publicity, many people chanted “cheated”.

In addition to shrinking, games also have certain hard bugs. In the trial evaluation of “The Witcher 3” before the release, many media mentioned many bugs. After the official release, players found more bugs and crashes. Geralt becomes bald in a second, the character separates his head and body when swimming, horses fly into the sky, and certain operations can cause archive damage. “The Witcher 3” has so many strange bugs that it has been edited into various funny video compilations.

5 years later, “Cyberpunk 2077” repeats this scene, and the problem is much more serious than before. “Excellent gameplay” and “excellent plot” won some praise for “Cyberpunk 2077”, and the endless bugs received fierce negative reviews from players. Using the configuration recommended by CDPR to play “Cyberpunk 2077”, PC players will experience various crashes, black screens and display errors. Rendering errors or NPCs flying around can be seen at any time in the game; host players also have to face more obscure Vicious problems such as images, lower frame rates, and bad files are also common.

It is worth noting that CDPR did not provide the media with a trial opportunity for the console version of “Cyberpunk 2077”. The console players actually did not have a rating to refer to. Therefore, when the current generation of console players started the game and found that the “Cyberpunk 2077” they got was almost impossible to run, angry voices filled the social network for a while. Most of the console players who don’t have a refund put the game down and wait patiently for the update, or wait for the bonus PS5 version, which is completely different from the mood when viewing the “Witcher 3” bug with a ridiculous mentality.

Geralt, whose head is in a different place, and “Carrot” can appear anywhere…

Both “The Witcher 3” and “Cyberpunk 2077” are bothered by the alternation of generations. Although they have adopted completely different solutions, the results are not satisfactory.

When “The Witcher 3” was released, at the time when PS3/Xbox 360 and PS4/Xbox One were replaced, it became a question of which platform should be used as the basis for development. In the end, CDPR decided that “The Witcher 3” would notThe Xbox 360 and PS3 versions were launched on the grounds that the old platform version would have a long loading time and a bad picture, and they would not allow this to happen. This choice dissatisfied players who were not ready to start the new generation of consoles in the first place, and CDPR was also scolded for this-although compared to today’s story, perhaps this is nothing.

By the time “Cyberpunk 2077”, CDPR learned its lesson and announced early that it would land on two generations of consoles at the same time. As soon as the news came out, it received unanimous praise. However, after the game was officially released, the PS4/Xbox One version performed extremely poorly. On the other hand, the next-generation version promised by CDPR was not released for the first time, and the old-generation version is still running on the next-generation host. In the end, the performance of both sides was not satisfactory. Judging from the results, CDPR is not as good as learning “The Witcher 3”, and it will not be as difficult as it is now.

In this way, CDPR fell twice in different ways in the same place (in the alternation of generations). So, will they get up in the same way?

Fix, Patch and Now

Now, when we mention these two games, their reputations are completely different. Excellent quality, sufficient to excessive content, low price, DRM-free belief… “The Witcher 3” has long become the best example of “Conscience Game”. In fact, from the Steam data, since the second week of release, “The Witcher 3” has begun to quickly restore its reputation. On the other hand, “Cyberpunk 2077” is still in the stage of being slammed for serious quality problems: the game’s evaluation on Steam is “different”, the platform makes an exception to accept refund requests from players, and Sony even removes the game from the game. The PS Store was removed, and it has not been restored.

In order to “satisfy consumers”, Sony announced that the digital version of “Cyberpunk 2077” will be removed from the shelves

Of course, “The Witcher 3” did not become a “game of conscience”. After the release of “The Witcher 3”, CDPR continued to produce update patches, fix bugs and try to improve the picture effect, and the UI and menu were also greatly adjusted. Although several updates have experienced postponements, the patch is often close to 10GB, and the update also brings new problems, but the general direction is always good. With the resolution of various problems, the evaluation of “The Witcher 3” has been rising all the way. “The Witcher 3” also launched a lot of free DLC—-CDPR’s attitude is very sincere. They said that these DLCs are free and they deserve it, because they “owe players”.

What really pushed “The Witcher 3” to its apex were the two high-quality and huge-content expansion films “Heart of Stone” and “Blood and Wine”. Many players believe that these two expansion films “both contain content equivalent to a complete game”, some call it “The Witcher 3.5”. In August 2016, the annual version of “The Witcher 3” containing the game itself, two expansions and all DLC appeared in front of players. At this time, it was not only praised in the plot, but the content was almost perfect, and no obvious bugs were found. ——It has won the trust and recognition of players all over the world with its rich content and conscientious after-sales service.

Even if the chart is enlarged several times, the bad reviews in the first few weeks of “The Witcher 3” are still not very obvious

In contrast, “Cyberpunk 2077” seems to be in a very early stage of “fixing bugs”. Tactile has done statistics before. Among the 420 updates in the 1.2 patch just released, the word “correction” appeared 284 times and the word “problem” appeared 248 times…Although the same was true in “The Witcher 3” back then Come, but the scale of its restoration project may be difficult to compare with “Cyberpunk 2077”.

As mentioned earlier, also 5 months after its release, “The Witcher 3” has released a large expansion film “Heart of Stone”. In “Cyberpunk 2077”, CDPR has previously promised the first DLC. It is still very far away, and various problems in the game have not been completely resolved.

Recent evaluation data of “Cyberpunk 2077” on Steam. In some periods, the negative reviews are more than the positive reviews

Not only is the difference in scale and magnitude, the problems faced by the two games are not exactly the same. From a certain perspective, today’s CDPR is even more unlucky. Not only are there factors such as the impact of the epidemic, but while facing player criticism and the stock price plummeting,CDPR also claimed to have received blackmail from hackers: their game source code and various internal company information were stolen by hackers, and they refused to bow their heads to the hackers and did not consider paying the ransom. These may have delayed the pace of game updates.

The room leak happens to be rainy night, and various factors are superimposed. At this time, in social media, although there are some voices supporting CDPR, complaints and ridicule have become the absolute mainstream.

Will similar stories have similar endings?

Yes, there may be many differences between “The Witcher 3” and “Cyberpunk 2077”, but some of their experiences are very similar, and the “likeness” can be one-to-one correspondence. However, we have not yet seen the end of the story-if a similar experience is like a roller coaster, “The Witcher 3” has already stabilized at the top, “Cyberpunk 2077” has not yet climbed out of the bottom, and it is still very low. Bottom of the valley.

Why does “Cyberpunk 2077” encounter so many problems? There have been many explanations. Some commentators believe that the chaotic internal management of CDPR is the biggest reason. Reports about CDPR’s lack of manpower and serious overtime have appeared from time to time. There are also some views that the promises CDPR made before the release of “The Witcher 3” and “Cyberpunk 2077” are “impossible.” In addition, the inconsistency between the board of directors and the development team has also been mentioned by the media. The superposition of many factors has brought together the status quo of “Cyberpunk 2077”.

Throughout the development history of CDPR, it is like a gambler who has made great achievements with small, and every hand is All In. From “The Witcher” to “The Witcher 2” and then to “The Witcher 3”, every time it focuses The investment, the scale is getting bigger and bigger, the magic is that it has won every bet, and it has become one of the most watched game companies in the world all the way from a small workshop. To a large extent, “The Witcher 3” to “Cyberpunk 2077” is just a continuation of the previous practice.

“Cyberpunk 2077” is undoubtedly very ambitious. Even for the current version that it did not meet the original promise, it already has an excellent story and script, meticulous localization, and ample content. With ray tracing technology, Night City is even more beautiful in terms of light and shadow performance (only for PC versions with expensive graphics cards). And it has great potential-this is not a good thing. Players expect that most 3A games are of sufficient quality and quantity, not “the future can be expected”-everyone believes that with the update of CDPR, it Can get better. But the question is, why isn’t it so good in the first place?

The answer may be “can’t do it.” For the CDPR of the year, in fact, the completion of a “Witcher 3” has already done everything possible. “The Witcher 3” is already full of warnings: the development period is not enough, so it has repeatedly violated the promise and bounced tickets; the time after the bounced tickets is still not enough, so there are many B after the official release.ug; The optimization was not done in the first time, they also directly abandoned the compatibility of the previous generation…

A series that has accumulated two generations of works is like this. What about a new project that is more ambitious, starts from scratch, and strives to be compatible with all platforms?

Looking back, “The Witcher 3” is not without crisis. If the patch repair is slower, the sincerity of the DLC is less, the content of the expansion is not so sufficient, the word-of-mouth of “The Witcher 3” will not reach the current level, and CDPR will not be on the altar at all. “Sincere” has always been the secret of this company, but sincerity can’t change the construction period. If the problem facing “The Witcher 3” is still the problem that the entire industry is facing, when it comes to the scale of “Cyberpunk 2077”, things can be done too. It’s not that easy.

The good news is that the current crisis of “Cyberpunk 2077” seems to be limited to word of mouth, and CDPR does not seem to be a big problem financially. On March 29, CDPR announced the acquisition of Digital Scapes, a Canadian game studio that had previously participated in the production of “Cyberpunk 2077”. It also announced plans for more derivative works of the “Witcher” series and “Cyberpunk 2077”. It seems that they still have their own plans, and the story is not over yet.

CDPR is setting up the Vancouver team after acquiring Digital Scapes

The ending is open. Maybe “Cyberpunk 2077” is CDPR’s Waterloo; maybe CDPR will become a giant in the game industry, but it no longer has the good reputation of the year; maybe, “Cyberpunk 2077” and “The Witcher 3” have similar stories, and they can continue to be similar. Going on, when people mention it many years later, they will be confused about why such a great game has been scolded so much.