Originally, the game needed exceptional reviews if developers wanted the extra pay (Pic: CD Projekt)
The troubled launch of Cyberpunk 2077 will not affect the bonuses that the developers get, which will no longer be tied to reviews.
Despite being a huge financial success for CD Projekt, the release of Cyberpunk 2077 has been mired by all manner of technical problems and bugs.
In an email sent to CD Projekt’s staff from executives (and acquired by Bloomberg), developers will be receiving full bonuses, regardless of the game’s critical performance.
‘We initially had a bonus system that was focused on the game’s ratings and the release date, but after consideration, we believe that measure is simply not fair under the circumstances,’ wrote studio head and creative director Adam Badowski.
‘We underestimated the lengths and complexity involved to make this a reality, and still you did everything you could to deliver an ambitious, special game.’
It used to be standard practice in the games industry to tie bonuses to a game’s Metacritic score, only handing them out should the game reach a certain score on the site – although this practice has become less common in recent years.
At the time of writing, the PC version of Cyberpunk 2077 sits at a score of 90 on Metacritic, as it’s the only version that was provided to critics for review before launch.
However, its user score is around 6.8 and the console versions have it even worse, with the Xbox One version at 3.7 and the PlayStation 4 version at 2.8
This is due to the console versions in particular being plagued with the aforementioned bugs and performance issues.
The console versions quickly became a source of mockery (pic: Michael Does Life)
Between all this and other controversies (such as the game causing epilepsy), CD Projekt appears to be running damage control on all fronts.
Earlier this morning, the studio posted an apology to audiences over Twitter regarding Cyberpunk 2077’s launch and is even offering refunds for the console versions.
It can certainly afford to, as its own website notes that development and marketing costs were completely covered before Cyberpunk 2077 even came out, thanks to pre-orders.
While some have expressed shock that the game released in such a state despite the mandatory crunch, it’s probably fairer to say that these problems arose because of said crunch.
CD Projekt has implied that the issues won’t be fully fixed until February, with still no indication of when dedicated Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 versions will be released.
Cyberpunk 2077 is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Stadia. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S versions are planned for 2021.
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