CD Projekt Red has again apologized for Cyberpunk 2077, this time in a five-minute video in which co-founder Marcin Iwinski comments on some points of criticism. The studio has also published a roadmap 2021 for Cyberpunk 2077 - but this is causing uncertainty.
The roadmap is a synonym for a strategy or a project plan. In the field of software development, the "road map" should indicate when, which parts of a system should be created or which milestones have to be processed one after the other, according to the definitions in the Community lexicon Wikipedia for the term that has been in the dictionary since 2004. CD Projekt Red recently published such a roadmap for Cyberpunk 2077. Instead of fixed dates, intermediate goals were set - but the developers marked them out relatively crudely.
Players will probably have to say goodbye more and more to the idea of a detailed roadmap with fixed dates. What Blizzard once described as "when it's done" now applies to almost every game project: It's done when it's done. Anyone who names specific dates usually has to postpone them – players don’t like that either.
Cyberpunk 2077 in 2021: Two patches, DLCs and a console update
One thing becomes clear from the roadmap for Cyberpunk 2077: All resources are currently being used for the development of the two patches 1.1 and 1.2, which should appear sometime in spring - probably in January and February. CD Projekt Red did not specify any other content in the development roadmap until the patch releases. Then it gets vague: Several updates and improvements will be released over the year, including free download content and the update for the new current-gen consoles Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X | S.
When will the content and improvements be released? There is no more detailed information on this. If you follow the visual design of the roadmap for Cyberpunk 2077, at least one DLC is probably planned for the first third of the year, the console update, on the other hand, is expected to appear in the last third of the year or even the fourth quarter. CD Projekt Red does not name specific dates, but fans would probably have wished for this after all the chaos surrounding the console release, which was completely different from the PC release.
The loudest message this vague roadmap mentions: "We'll be improving and updating the game throughout the year." Is that a good thing? That depends on what exactly is meant by "Multiple Updates & Improvements". Although it is unlikely, it is theoretically possible that serious errors will take so much time to correct that they will take until the end of the year to be corrected. On the other hand, CD Projekt Red could actually refer to innovations and gameplay improvements that fans are actually excited about. If you look very closely, you will see that the timeline does not break off at the end of 2021 - so it will continue in 2022 - which of course is not a surprise.
It has become part of the system that developers nowadays be careful about specific deadlines. Games are becoming more complex, hardware more powerful and more components, fans more demanding - this is reflected in the pre- and post-development time. It takes time to get a title where it belongs. In other words: Subsequent submission of updates and patches is a constant process that usually accompanies a video game for months or even years after its release. If you do not mention dates, you take some of the pressure off the developers to publish - which is good. On the other hand, the uncertainty factor increases for gamers, as does the question: When should you actually buy a game if it is not foreseeable when important content may be published?
After all, you create a kind of tension curve for aftercare for video games. Since projects like Star Citizen at the latest, one could also say: It doesn't matter when a title appears, it just has to accompany the fan for a long time - and not even playfully. So can CD Projekt Red be criticized for the roadmap maneuver? Yes, probably because one had hoped for more. Should you do that, however? No, because at least the patches, updates and power console versions should be as the developers imagine - and they need time for that.
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