A planned standalone multiplayer version of Cyberpunk 2077 is “re-evaluated”
In a “strategy update” video posted on Tuesday, CDPR CEO Adam Kicinski mentioned that the team had previously “indicated that our next AAA would be a multiplayer Cyberpunk game, but we have decided to reconsider this plan given our new more systematic and agile approach [to development]. “
Instead, CDPR will focus on “building an online technology that can be seamlessly integrated into all of our future games,” Kicinski said. That means developing technologies that can “drive electronic components that we choose to add to our games without any technological lag.”
While such online features will be “an important part of our future games,” Kicinski stressed that “CD Project Red creates single-player story-driven AAA RPGs. It does not change.” Online features will only be implemented in future games “when it makes sense,” he added.
Parallel development and cross-functional teams
CDPR’s new partial focus on electronic functions comes in an internal restructuring of CDPR’s project management. Kicinski said that instead of focusing on a big-budget title at a time, the company will “shift and adapt our focus to enable parallel AAA game development.” This means using “cross-functional teams” that can do simultaneous work at stake in both CDPR’s large franchises –The Witcher and Cyberpunk.
The goal is to create faster iteration and more seamless contact between teams, said studio co-founder and joint CEO Marcin Iwinski. This goal is gaining extra importance since Iwinski said in January that poor internal communication was partly to blame for the company missing massive errors in the “latest generation” console versions of Cyberpunk 2077 before the game was released.
“We underestimated the scale and complexity of the problems, ignoring the signals of the need for extra time to refine the game on the latest generation consoles,” Iwinski said in a conference call in December about the same problems. “This caused the loss of players’ trust and the reputation that we have built through a large part of our lives.”
Under the new structure, the company’s Red Engine technology will be refocused to serve both franchises at once, said CTO Pawel Zawodny. The newly centralized version of the engine will allow the team to “prepare certain features that can be used in both franchises,” meaning that features such as NPC routines and character control can be programmed once and applied to multiple games in parallel. Zawodny said he hopes the strategy will give CDPR games more technical consistency.
CDPR also said that in the future it will change the way it markets its upcoming games before release. Promotional campaigns for future titles will be much shorter and start closer to the game’s planned launch, with only short teasers being released longer in advance. Senior VP of Business Development Michal Nowakowski also promised that the team would focus on showing actual game footage before release, not just concepts, and would ensure that all planned platforms were represented in pre-release materials.
Elsewhere, in a Q&A session with investors, Nowakowski said he feels the latest updates for Cyberpunk 2077 has got the game closer to a planned return to PlayStation Store after the delisting in December. “Every [patch] brings us closer to going back to the PSN store, ”he said. “The final decision, you have to understand, belongs to Sony. We think we’re closer than longer, but of course the final call is theirs, so let’s wait and see.”