Cyberpunk 2077 Dev Gets Emotional On Twitch About Return

Cyberpunk 2077 and the protagonists of Edgerunner travel through Night City.

Image: CDPR/Netflix

Cyberpunk 2077The launch of was one of the messiest in recent history. Praised in many initial PC reviews, so broken on last-gen consoles that it was pulled from the PlayStation Store, then plagued with post-launch delays as players waited for promised fixes and new content. Now, nearly two years later, the ambitious open-world RPG’s fortunes have been transformed by the popular Netflix anime spin-off. edge runnersand its lead quest designer couldn’t feel more vindicated.

It’s hard to put into words when you put so much heart and soul into something, and for for some of us it’s sometimes been six, seven, eight years, especially for those who started at the very beginning,” CD Projekt Red’s quest director Paweł Sasko said in a recent teary-eyed Twitch stream (Going through GamesRadar) while Coldplay was playing in the background. “So to have that moment where people love something that we’ve done, it’s really kind of unreal.”

Since Cyberpunk 2077Netflix’s excellent anime adaptation arrived on Netflix earlier this month, the sci-fi shooter has climbed the charts, once again becoming the best-selling game on Steam and attracting over a million players in total per day. This success has even sparked a new debate about how perhaps Cyberpunk 2077 was perfect all the way. A false narrative—that Cyberpunk 2077 was boring, broken crap at launch – is now being replaced by an equally overdone one.

But the game’s development and marketing campaign was truly a mess, and the current version of Cyberpunk 2077, available for $30 right now on Steam, in many ways, remains as impressive but flawed as ever. If anything, the fact that players are still finding things to love despite all the development issues and headaches is what makes Sasko’s recent stream so remarkable. It humanizes the struggle rather than presenting the latest resurgence as a definitive turning point in how fans decide to mythologize the big-budget blockbuster.

“After the release I couldn’t believe – after a while I did – but at first I couldn’t believe, and I remember Sapphire, who like me at the time, my dear girlfriend, she saw me fucking completely destroyed,” Sasko said. “But it’s good to be back, you know. It’s fucking good to be back, honestly. It was really that, it was really kind of heartbreaking.”

Before leaving, Cyberpunk 2077 was hit with delays and broken promises as developers were forced to work overtime. When the game finally released, the PS4 and Xbox One versions were pilloried for their poor graphics and terrible performance, with clips of the worst issues going viral. A Bloomberg report revealed that many inside the studio knew about the game wasn’t ready yet, and CDPR co-founder Marcin Iwiński apologized to fans for the state he came out in while promising (again) that there would be no fuss over future projects. Then, of course, there was the edgelord marketing campaignand the in-game transphobic advertising which has never been corrected.

Since its release, the game has overhauled its skill tree, improved the way cops, cars and other aspects of Night City are simulated, and added more romantic options. Finally, CDPR even recently added transmogrification so players don’t have to look like jerks during cyber heists. But these adjustments are still a far cry from the fundamental overhauls or years of expansion that made Final Fantasy XIV and No Man’s Sky the feelings they are today.

If the narration in Cyberpunk 2077 were half as convincing as the edge runners anime, it might not have taken two years for a critical reassessment. Good to see this finally happening anyway, not so the game can be definitively crowned good or bad, but so all the little details the devs have spent years researching can be uncovered, shared and enjoyed by millions more players.