Has your opinion of CD Projekt gone down?

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liquiddragon

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Poll Has your opinion of CD Projekt gone down? (657 votes)

Not at all. I still think highly of them. 8%
Not at all. I never liked them. 7%
A little bit but not a ton. 17%
For sure. I still think they're good but no longer think of them as one of the elite developers in the world. 18%
For sure. I didn't love them before but I now actively think negatively of them. 24%
For sure. I really liked them before but I now actively think negatively of them. 13%
I loved them before but now their reputation is completely in the toilet. 4%
Poll 10%

With all the pre and post release fumbles. scandals, and drama of Cyberpunk 2077, what do you think about CD Projekt in the aftermath?

Is it something that'll blow over or have they caused irreversible damage?

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sweep

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#51 sweep  Moderator

There are plenty of talented and hardworking people at CDPR, but it seems like total incompetence at the highest levels of that company have completely undercut all of the development efforts and likely long ago doomed Cyberpunk 2077 to release in its current extremely undercooked state.

I think this is the saddest and most upsetting part of this whole drama, that there's clearly a lot of talented artists and programmers working on the game who have absolutely no influence over how the game is marketed or released, and their endless months of soul-destroying crunch have been completely squandered by one or two individuals at the upper management level (who have likely never even stepped into the studio). There are conspiracy theories about how this release was incentivised (Jeff talks about staff bonuses for getting the game out before the holiday on this weeks Bombcast), but regardless of their reasons for prematurely releasing/misrepresenting the final product, the devs in the trenches are not at all responsible for any part of this clusterfuck.

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bill_mcneal

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firecracker22

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Wow. They pulled the game?

That's...wow.

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Efesell

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Yikes, Sony fed up with their bullshit.

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JasonR86

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A little bit. It's weird. Having watched Danny's NoClip documentary on GOG (I didn't watch the one on the Witcher) I really appreciate what that company does. GOG is a part of CDPR, but they aren't the same company, right? I doubt GOG had any involvement in Cyberpunk aside from some marketing on their site. But, the two are linked in my mind. And as such, I still really like GOG's take on distribution and their commitment to making older games playable on new computers.

CDPR, though, is a bit different. I liked the Witcher 2 and 3, but not nearly as much as others. Especially 3, which was really buggy for me (more so than even what others were experiencing when it launched on PS4). That said, I've always appreciated their ambition and there have always been aspects about their games that I like a great deal. Enough that I've wanted to play through them, despite complaints. Right now, I'm feeling the same way about Cyberpunk, which I'm playing on a high end PC so I should presumably have the best experience out there at the moment.

What has changed for me is my impression of their management, their marketing, and my own issues with crunch. It really does feel like the management around the game, from game director to producer, marketing management to the corporate at CDPR. All of them failed the game, the average developer working on the game, and misled the press and their audience. It all feels sleazy and gross to me, like they are ambitious developers run by snake oil salesmen.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Scene: Gearbox''s head office. RANDY PITCHFORD in purple robes with crescent moons holds a wand in one hand and scrolls through the news with the other. His eyes light up and he pushes away from the desk.

RANDY PITCHFORD: Excellent. Someone! Fetch me my wizard's cap. Medieval Times is back on the menu, boys!

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Krataur

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Not at all. The Witcher 1-3 are some of my favorite games of all time, and now Cyberpunk 2077 is a contender for my GotY.

They should probably think about rearranging some of their upper management, though...

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jamesyfx

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Nah,

I still appreciate their output, and overall what they've done with gog.com. Plus rather selfishly I've not had any of the Cyberpunk 2077 issues first-hand so I'm really happy with the product. Sucks for those wanting to play on last-gen though.. especially since really when the game was announced it was intended for them.

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Eroq

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If there was an option for completely indifferent, I'd pick that. Just like in any other company, management is completely divorced from the rank and file workers who are creating the product. I'm sure the devs who have sunk a boatload of time and effort into creating this game would've been happy to delay it if it meant a more complete product, but I'm also sure there were boardroom meetings promising the game would not slip into 2021, for financial reasons or otherwise (gotta hit holiday 2020).

I'd bet money on upper management being shifted around after this, especially whoevers idea it was to put out that press release saying "look, I don't know, go ask sony for a refund or whatever and we'll try to figure something out." It's kind of wild how sideways this launch went.

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cikame

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Hasn't changed, i wasn't expecting this game to blow me away and it hasn't, i'm enjoying it, it's a fine game despite the bugs (subject to change, i haven't finished it).
Their recent dismissal of a game due to "gamers" but actually meaning "China" is sad, but it's something every company is guilty of at this point.
If i was using a console i'd probably be a bit more peeved about Cyberpunk, but on PC it's fine, i guess that upsets me a little anyway but Sony and MS are partially to blame for certifying it, though i don't know how bad the console versions are, is it really that bad?

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Jesus_Phish

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Like others I was never super attached to them, because they're a company. But I always thought well of them as a company, similar to say how I think well of companies who are known to pay their employees well and take care of them.

I look at all companies as - do I think this company deserves my money? Are they actively doing more harm than good? Do they at least give their employees proper benefits and compensation.


But over the last few years, and keystoned by this game and it's launch, my opinion on them has dropped to the point that I would rather not give them any more in any way. Amazon is a company I will not give money to. I know it's impossible to not use their products in a round about way because of stuff like AWS, but I can at least not buy things off of them. And yes it costs me more because I can't just buy things cheaper from them, books cost me more, but the dude I buy my books from is a guy who owns his store and has employees that have worked for him for years because he treats them well.

CDPR have approached Amazon levels of screwing over their employees, coupled with lying to their customers, coupled with just absolutely shitty edgelord level marketing, in game writing and social media presence that I'd rather my money go elsewhere.

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rawrz

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Nothing about them to me has changed for me. The game as expected is buggy and will be hopefully fixed over time. I've very much enjoyed what I've played so far and continue to want to play more of it.

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noboners

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#63  Edited By noboners

I think I was previously attaching my love for all things The Witcher to them as a developer. Either way, I've always seen them as a corporation, just one that still at least considered the consumer.

Now, not so much.

I should note I'm mostly only referring to the executives.

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OurSin_360

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No not really, I didn't know they were a publicly traded company before though. The problem with being publicly traded is they are controlled by the share holders, who often times only care about the return on their investments. The CEO is not the boss, the share holders are, and She/He is on the chopping block as well when that's the case.

I think this is the biggest game they've ever released and they faced pressure like they never had. It's easy to say stuff like "we will never crunch" when you are making pretty underdog games like the witcher which was probably not speculated to perform as well as it did. But when you have the biggest hype of the century, being developed for probably the most simultaneous platforms ever, it's a bit different pressure going on. I think you can see why developers typically push back the pc release a year to focus on the consoles or vice versa.

I'm just glad the Developers reportedly got their bonus they were promised. I am sure they will patch the game to run well at some point

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briarpack

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My opinion of CDPR has gone down gradually during the last couple of years. I more or less called things ending up like this back when Cyberpunk got delayed the second time in June so these latest developments haven't really affected that much; as far as labour practices and management goes, my opinion can't sink much lower at this point.

As a game Cyberpunk is okay, if you get lucky and can look past the bugs, poor performance and missing features, there's a solid core in there somewhere. Unfortunately getting this game to be of acceptable quality for everyone will no doubt come with an unacceptable human cost, because why stop now.

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fisk0

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The Devotion thing is a debacle that hit closer to home for me than the Cyberpunk stuff. Granted that’s more GOG territory than CDPR, the game developer.

Same here. They've also had curation issues on GOG for several years and the social media team has been atrocious pretty much since the monk thing 10 years ago. I despereately wish they'd get some competition in the DRM free space, but since they're the only major store doing that still, I go there. To me anti-DRM is a hill worth dying on.

I was never all that into The Witcher games, and for several years had the feeling they really didn't get what cyberpunk (the genre, not the RPG) was about, so I didn't have high expectations on the game, though it's still been quite a surprise to see just how badly they handled it.

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Brendan

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My opinion hasn't really changed. There is not a single developer in the over 20 years I've been gaming that hasn't fucked up or been underwhelming at some point. I don't really have any industry entity on a pedestal at this point.

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Colonel_Pockets

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I really enjoyed The Witcher 2 and The Witcher 3, but I can't say I extremely hyped for Cyberpunk. I was always just going to play it when it was discounted. My opinion of them has lowered though with the way things have gone. People won't forget this when their next big game is released and neither will I.

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Fistoh

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Seems like a studio with some extremely talented development staff but extremely exploitative management, PR, and marketers.

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Whitestripes09

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I think teenage me thought they were a "cool company" around the release of GOG and the transition from Witcher 2 to Witcher 3. More jaded adult me says there is no such thing as a cool company or one that has a customer's interest at heart.

I would say CP2077's release reaffirmed my views, but I also understand the developers aren't to blame. It's corporate and management that is driven by these insane people that wanted the end-all-be-all messiah game that will never exist in our life times and they wanted it now.

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plan6

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It is important to remember that CDProject Red went public is 2018, three years AFTER they released the Witcher 3. And from all reporting, that is the change that caused this game to get kicked out the door in an unfinished state. Unreasonable time lines from the people at the top, even as they were told the game would not be ready.

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firecracker22

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@plan6 said:

It is important to remember that CDProject Red went public is 2018, three years AFTER they released the Witcher 3. And from all reporting, that is the change that caused this game to get kicked out the door in an unfinished state. Unreasonable time lines from the people at the top, even as they were told the game would not be ready.

I wasn't aware of that. It makes sense, though. I think CDPR took what was a great book series that hadn't crossed over, and by the time The Witcher 3 came out...I don't know, I can't think of as small beginning that led to such a meteoric rise in financial and critical success as that. The hype building towards that game, and then it's release was kind of nuts, too.

But, they became a huge financial success with that game, too. So, the company then going public afterwards...does explain alot.

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Pnutz83

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They released one of the best games ever made. My opinion has just gone up up up and up. They made a perfect game 10/10. It sucked on ps4/xbox one. Yeah of course it would. Could they have been more direct, probably. But fuck all that the game is AMAZING so my opinion have gone up. Love them and hope they get out of this shitshow.

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NTM

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When it comes to the higher-ups of the company, yes, but when it comes to every individual that makes the game, not necessarily. I still think the majority of the developers working on Cyberpunk 2077 wanted a game put out that everyone would enjoy with little issue, but sometimes the people that want to make the big money make bad decisions.

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MrGreenMan

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I don't think there is anyone that is not disappointed in them. What I find really weird, is the people defending them. You really have to be a real smooth brain to defend what CDPR did here and to think it's not a big deal.

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It's mainly the management the CD Project Red works under that are causing all these disasters, the devs probably did what they could under the circumstances.

They set the bar so high in hyping this game up for 10 years and was impossible to meet expectations, the console versions shouldn't have been released and they should have focused on on the PC version first and than the consoles versions instead of spreading it out because now we're left with 2 buggy messes.

All these delays and then Corona throwing a wrench in the machines didn't help either, everyone can fuck things up and the state of the game doesn't really bother me, it's what they do next that counts.

They do however need to sit around the table for a long while and think things through how they're doing things.

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nicksmi56

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#77  Edited By nicksmi56

I was never a CDPR fanboy (haven't even started my copy of Witcher 3 on Switch, but I liked what I played on my friend's PS4), but I figured they were great based on what they were saying about them. After all of this, while Cyberpunk does have many elements that are right up my alley, I'm waiting for a couple years until it's cheap, finished and most importantly patched to hell and back. And I'll be waiting on any releases of theirs in the future until I'm sure they're not a trainwreck.

So I guess it's gone down a little bit, from interest to caution.

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MeesterO

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The work practices and the fact they announced a game 5 years ahead of when they were actually going to work on it yeah I'll probably look at them a bit differently.

But once an eastern bloc dev always an eastern bloc dev? I never had high expectations for Cyberpunk and I never really got through an entire witcher game (Tried three times, 3 on three different occasions) and just couldn't ever really get sucked into them. To expect there to be some jank in their games is pretty common practice for me.

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Justin258

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It always sounds to me like "going public" is a bad idea. I'm no economist or market analyst or whatever, just seems like something shitty always happens soon afterwards and you're left with the blame while some jerk, or small group of jerks, makes off with all the real money.

Anyway, I dunno. CDPR's reputation is built on three games, the first of which is still a janky strange mess. I'll hold that The Witcher 2 and 3 are great games, but they built a massive reputation on two big RPGs and they made the mistake of trying to "go bigger" every time. I don't blame them for their ambition and I don't blame them for letting a buggy game out the door on PC. The PC version of this game is no buggier than some other stuff we've seen over the years and none of the responses to those games has been this bad. And, frankly, I expected it to launch buggy, so the fact that it did on PC doesn't lower my opinion of them

I find three things about this whole bit unacceptable.

1) The console launch. The PC version is generic garden-variety open-world buggy and janky and it shouldn't be that, but I expected it. The console version, though... that's a different story. It shouldn't be legal to release a product in that state and charge people for it. It's awful even when it's not bugging out and crashing.

2) The crunch. This is a serious problem for the whole industry that needs to stop. There are some "that's just how it is" types and there are some "well, what about people who like working under pressure" arguments, but both of those are bullshit. Working people to the bone is awful. These guys have lives to live, if that results in longer development times or smaller games then so be it. Don't overwork your employees so that you can release the biggest, most detailed game ever.

3) Their response. Come on. After launch, there was nothing they could say that wouldn't have been shitty, but pissing off Sony so much that the game gets pulled from PSN was the worst move. When you fuck up, don't shift the hate and anger towards a company that can still make you some money. Accept that you royally fucked up and then get to work fixing it... eight hours a day, five days a week, until there's an acceptable product. If they had to release in 2020, it should have just been the PC version, perhaps with an "early access" version of the last gen consoles available.

...

I do think they can recover from this. They have already made their money back, they've got GOG sales to support them, and the game itself is merely middle-of-the-road average. Patched-up, it will be remembered by some as a good-looking graphical showcase and forgotten by most and CDPR will, hopefully, move on to make something better (and perhaps not overambitious).

But god, I just want a good 3D first-person cyberpunk Deus Ex-style game to come out. I mean, the only dev right now that can even come close is Arkane and they don't seem interested in this style at all.

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Nodima

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I'm the guy for whom CDPR was just The Witcher 3 and a spin-off card game, and while one game can certainly raise expectations for the future of a developer it doesn't necessarily cement them. So as far as their talents as game designers goes, my opinion hasn't dramatically changed, though I'm definitely less enthusiastic about whatever they have next.

As a business, though, I think the decision to release the PS4 and XBox One versions of this game was an awful one and I'm just not sure how they could have tested that product internally and felt it was proper to ship it. Games have come out in staggered releases before; they needed to suck it up and admit working from home made the game impossible to bring up to par on older hardware and they needed more time for optimization.

You'd like to give them some benefit of the doubt since they were attempting to do a lot of new-to-them stuff here, but then you just look at the UI and progression systems and mission logs and a thousand other tiny bits that add up to a game that's a summary of all the worst aspects of this generation of gaming and often feels like it's pretending to invent baked bread and ignoring all the recipes in recorded history for baked bread.

So ultimately, yea, my opinion is lesser, I guess. The Witcher 3 had flaws but they didn't make the game unplayable or confusing, it just felt kind of bad on the sticks and the inventory system was a bit...heavy-handed, let's say. CP2077 just struggles to find the fun so often that when it does it's genuinely worth remarking upon, but it'll just as quickly remind you of why a good bit is so surprising to stumble on.

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Nasar7

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Call my cynical but no, not really. If anything I would think less of solely their marketing/business departments, but honestly this is exactly how I expect a corporation to behave so their behavior is not that shocking. Their engineering team I still have very high regard for and have no doubt they are bearing the brunt of this fiasco by working overtime to put out patches.

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peffy

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I really really liked Witcher 2 & 3 (didn't play 1). When Cyberpunk was announced, I was willing to try it, but when they said it was first-person only, I lost all interest (it tends to make me feel sick, plus I think it looks ugly). Then the series of twitter fuckups happened. Then the transphobic stuff in the game. I don't need to repeat all the examples of that. And now the deceptive review tactics and botched launch. I've just completely lost respect for them.

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colinstros55

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Witcher 3 is easily one of THE BUGGIEST games I've ever played. It is the one example of a game that I can recall several completely broken quest lines that I was never able to complete. So yeah none of this surprises me all that much. Remember how broken that game was when it came out? They literally had to revamp the entire character locomotion system.

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colinstros55

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@colinstros55: I should note that I also love the Witcher 3 even though I am ragging on it a bit

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