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The Rough Launch Of Cyberpunk 2077 Led To A Massive Structural Overhaul At CD Projekt Red


Following the infamous launch of Cyberpunk 2077, CDPR’s workflow has become more agile and supportive

Three years after a rocky start, Cyberpunk 2077 is in great shape thanks to a steady stream of updates and patches, as well as the release of the Phantom Liberty expansion, which brought significant changes to the game. When compared to the original version, Cyberpunk 2077 is almost unrecognizable, a lean and mean open-world sci-fi experience that succeeds in making you feel like an Edgerunner with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

But, as a result of negative reviews, player backlash, and a tarnished reputation, developer CD Projekt Red had to do some serious soul-searching. No studio wants to disappoint its fans, and the developers in the trenches who poured their hearts and souls into the game knew they had a long road ahead of them as they focused on improving Cyberpunk 2077.

“I think after the release, we did everything we could. Literally, everything we could,” global art director Jakub Knapik reportedly explained. “We invested a lot of effort with the 1.5 next-gen release, where it was a massive priority to fix the game. Making the team to work on that game and fix it was really the hardest thing ever. To motivate the team, to put in more effort, was a really hard thing because everyone was devastated after release.”

While morale was low at the time, CDPR knew it could not abandon this IP, especially one with so much potential. This renewed focus resulted in an organizational overhaul as CDPR sought to create more open lines of communication among its team members, more flexible approaches to fine-tuning any issues that arose during development, and a supportive workflow environment.

Cyberpunk 2077 female character

“In the base game, we had this situation that we called Silosis, art director Pawel Mielniczuk said. “We had art silos, we had code silos for example. A few departments working on their own part and not really looking outside of their silo, not communicating very well with each other. That’s something that we definitely fixed for Phantom Liberty, there is now much more communication. We have the strike teams who are working on the quests, so it’s not like the quests are made by a designer and he’s just ordering stuff like an asset here, a car here. Right now they’re working as one team.”

CDPR’s strike teams are made up of various developers from various departments and disciplines, all working together on sections of Cyberpunk 2077 while keeping the big picture in mind. With this new production framework, CDPR’s workflow allows its teams to communicate with one another on a daily basis, providing feedback and support. “It’s invaluable,” narrative director Igor Sarzynski said. “For creative work, I think this is the only way to go right now.”

The sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 is officially in the works, and several members of the “core” Cyberpunk 2077 team are involved in this follow-up to the dystopian sci-fi adventure.