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"It was cool not to like it" CD Projekt Red VP of PR believes Cyberpunk 2077 was unfairly dunked on at launch

With the Phantom Liberty DLC around the corner, this might be an opportunity to save face.

Michal Platkow-Gilewski - the vice president of public relations and communications at CD Projeckt Red - has stated he believes it became "cool not to like" Cyberpunk 2077 at launch, in spite of vast technical issues and controversial practices with review copies.

This quote and additional thoughts from Gilewski come from a interview. In it, Gilewski goes to great length in describing the arduous journey involved in bringing Cyberpunk's quality up to the expectations of the community in what he describes as an effort to "fix the relationship with our players".

Throughout the piece, Gilewski explains the drastic changes that occured within CD Projekt Red following the launch of Cyberpunk 2077. "We had to rebuild a lot of things inside of the company. We started with pipelines on the dev side, we started to think should we tie our future with a different engine or should we stay with our own? We made some decisions about how we work, how we are structured. It was a big rebuilding."

Despite the drastic changes made as a result of poor general reception, Gilewski remains firm in his belief that the game on launch was better than online sentiments would have you believe. This is highlighted in the closing paragraph: "I actually believe Cyberpunk on launch was way better than it was received, and even the first reviews were positive."

"Then, it became a cool thing not to like it. We went from hero to zero really fast. That was the tough moment. We didn't know what was happening. We knew that the game is great, yes we can improve it, yes we need to take time to do it, and we need to rebuild some stuff."

However, it's hard to ignore the glaring and widely reported issues with Cyberpunk 2077 at launch. The game had a serious spread of bugs that plagued the game, with post-launch patches having to fix features like the mini-map which was busted on release. While the game did end up selling well, it recieved a staggering number of refund requests on launch, with the company even having to face down lawsuits following the tumultuous launch window.

It's as Gilewski states, a lot of work went into the game post-launch. The game eventually returned to the PlayStation store following its removal, and if you boot up the game right now, it's a damn fun time. Though, it's odd to see this statement come from the VP of PR and comms of all people. A generous viewing of the quote places it as the perspective of someone who was in the trenches with the team and had fond feelings towards the launch product. To be uncharitable, it could be percieved as gaslighting for those who had to see a bare-assed V ride motorbikes across Night City.

It's obvious to see why CD Project Red would like to but its troubled past behind it. It remains in the mind of early adopters as a genuine dissapointment in spite of its genuinely great narrative and a world that's brilliant to explore. Also, Phantom Liberty is around the corner, and it is exhiliratingly good. With the DLC reworking how much of the game works, and fixing many remaining issues with the game that linger from launch, the depiction of Phantom Liberty as a second launch seems warranted.

This perhaps is a sentiment Gilewski points towards in the interview, a rough road to a much-needed second chance: "After the release it was tough, but I knew that we had the same people. The gamers are the same… we just need to fix our relationship. The only thing we can truly do is just deliver what we are capable of. I have a feeling that soon we will be able to do that and hopefully that will be a new beginning for everyone."

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