Famous for developing and publishing “The Witcher” game series, based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s novel with the same name, CD Projekt Red has made a name for itself as one of the best AAA video game companies in the world. So it came as no surprise that they created a lot of excitement when they announced the development of Cyberpunk 2077 back in 2012. The game was released to a flurry of bugs, particularly on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox X consoles. Nevertheless, it still generated a lot of interest, as CDPR’s technical issues didn’t deter fans and gamers from purchasing it. It offers nostalgic adrenaline similar to that enjoyed by free Lobstermania slots players. Several months after its initial release date on 10 December 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 continues to generate a lot of buzz in the entertainment space, especially after Sony returned it to the PlayStation store, more on that later. The question on everyone’s mind is, what exactly makes Cyberpunk 2077 a very popular game? It’s not the first open-world game, nor is it the only first-person shooter out there. Is it about the futuristic setting? Or is nightlife and crime suddenly over-exciting? Enough said, let’s take a look at some of the factors why the game remains at the top of gaming conversations.
Uniqueness & Customization
Alright, I’m not going to lie; I’m not a big fan of first-person shooter games; excerpt Call of Duty & Battlefield. However, Cyberpunk offers so much that I had to get my hands on the game. Have you ever thought about playing a game with a character you completely created yourself? Well, you are going to create:
- body type,
- background modifications,
- and even private areas.
Cyberpunk 2077 lets you do all that and more. The game also offers players the chance to determine the stats categories like intelligence, personality, body, reflexes, which are influenced by character classes that allow players to determine the kind of character V assumes. Did I forget to mention who V is? V is a human mercenary equipped with technology (cyberware implants) that provides him with superhuman abilities that can also be improved by upgrading those implants. Players begin the game with an option of selecting one of three possible life paths for V, a Nomad, a Streetkid, or a Corpo, and all three paths offer different adventures in Night City (an American megacity in the Free State of California).
Cyberpunk 2077’s is equipped with a host of side quests, interesting interactions, crime, real-life day-to-day activities, and computer hacking, all of which provide a unique storyline and narrative that is rare to find in a lot of games.
CD Projekt Red’s reputation and fanbase
For users who have only seen the series or haven’t heard about it before, The Witcher game is a big deal, a massive one amongst gamers. The last edition of the game “The Witcher 3” sold over 30 million copies worldwide; hence, one of the reasons gamers across the globe caught the excitement bug after the announcement of Cyberpunk 2077.
Cyberpunk was announced in May 2012 and was initially projected for release on:
- Microsoft Windows,
- PlayStation 4,
- Xbox One.
However, the game’s development took longer than planned, which led to the game’s availability on next-gen consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X). None of these delays or hiccups deterred fans as the game sold well over 13 million copies worldwide in its first two weeks of release. The game is believed to have sold over 15 million copies as of June 2021, and that’s more than most games do in a few years, not to talk about a period of seven months. Cyberpunk 2077 also won over 100 awards at the Electronic Entertainment Expo E3 in 2018, including
- Best Game,
- Best PC Game,
- Best Xbox One Game,
- Best Role-Playing Game,
- IGN’s People’s Choice Award.
All these were won before the release. Cyberpunk also boasts of a fan base that other games dream of; the subreddit community of the game has almost 900,000 members, which is higher than that of popular game franchises like Halo, Fallout, Diablo, and Borderlands. This community of gamers is expected to continue to grow, but one can only wonder if the fanbase is increasing for the right or the wrong reasons.
Bad publicity is also a form of publicity
Speaking of wrong reasons, Cyberpunk was released with a lot of criticism for its bugs & technical issues despite receiving good reviews for its storyline and narrative. Some video games experience bugs and technical problems after initial release. Still, the console versions of Cyberpunk 2077 had an uncharacteristically high number of them which led to performance issues. These issues forced Sony to take the game off the PlayStation Store. There have been class-action lawsuits against CD Projekt Red (CDPR) from gamers, who criticized CDPR for downplaying the severity of the game’s technical issues. Sony and Xbox were at some point forced to refund gamers who were frustrated enough to ask for them.
All of this unwanted drama has led to Cyberpunk 2077 topping the trends table on social media platforms like Twitter and Twitch, as fans and critics alike continued to air their frustrations. Unfortunately, CDPR are also guilty of ignoring or putting in better words, failing to properly engage with gamers with regards to the game. The Polish gaming company has found itself on the defensive through the drama surrounding the game, issuing half-hearted apologies to go along with nebulous roadmap updates added to the game itself.
While avid gamers pre-order games or at least buy them on release, there are the less avid ones who take their time (wait for a year or six months) before purchasing a game; just ask the developers of GTA V about this. There’s nothing wrong with this in any way and for some reason, they seemed to be wiser in this instance. Following claims of a fix of all technical problems in Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt Red, Sony made the game available for purchase once more on the PlayStation store, and that attracted a new set of gamers whilst increasing discussions surrounding the game itself.
CDPR will hope their days of fixing bugs are completely behind them, as they need to focus on the free Downloadable Contents (DLCs) promised to gamers before its release. Otherwise, they could find the popularity of Cyberpunk to be more of a problem than a blessing.