How Cyberpunk sold a promise in 2077 – and manipulated the system

CD Projekt Red had almost a decade to design the greats Cyberpunk 2077 Myth. The game critics only had a few days to judge and were excited to see how they could portray it. Players who lost $ 60 in this cyberpunk amusement palace in 2019 staggered; All the hot air came out. A professional reviewer, Kallie Plagge, gave Cyberpunk 2077 a 7/10 on GameSpot– not even a pan – criticizes it for one-dimensional world formation, separate side quests and major technical problems. Mass harassment participated in the review. The reactionary YouTubers, who had no access to the game, devoted long videos to breaking down their criticism, analyzing their playing time and their style of play. But only a few days later, when the players finally played Cyberpunk 2077 many made a 180 themselves. “Everyone’s been talking shit about her, but I’m starting to agree with Kelly [sp] Plagge “, read a popular post on / r / cyberpunkgame.

CD Projekt Red isn’t the first or only gaming company to do marketing psy-ops. In 2016 Nobody’s heaven literally promised the world and infinitely others; it should be the most expansive, the most immersive, the most most Play up to that point. With the studio behind it, Hello Games, not offering it to reviewers at all prior to launch, players found out how difficult it was to deliver basics like multiplayer connectivity. This year alone, WIRED received over a dozen offers to review major games with NDAs attached. It’s not always about hiding mistakes. Sometimes the point is to prevent spoilers or the outcome of an overzealous PR team. But when you handcuff reviewers like this, it ultimately hurts the people who buy the games.

With the gaming industry market sized at $ 60.4 billion, the pressure to micromanage the rating system continues to mount. As an an example, Bloomberg reported that CD Projekt Red developer bonuses were 90+ at Metacritic. (That changed after it was released.) The company had built the video game equivalent of a genie in a bottle. So it did what everyone does when they gain a minimum of power: control the narrative. CD Projekt Red declined WIRED’s request for comment.

The same incentives also target developers who take up six-day working weeks and sacrifice work-life balance in order to manifest slogans such as “a city that is bigger than life”, “new standards in terms of graphics, To set complexity and depth ”. These are the modern expectations for a 60 hour AAA open world game – an increasingly bloated and increasingly unsustainable genre. In June, former PlayStation manager Sean Layden lamented the enormous financial and workload involved in developing such games for “I think the industry as a whole needs to sit back and go. ‘Okay, what are we building? What is the audience’s expectation? What’s the best way to convey our story and say what we have to say? ‘”

However, eight million pre-orders say all of this stage management benefits someone. Video games are especially prone to decoys and switches. Games are both identities and hobbies: a place where you can be yourself and find out who you are and what you do and own. Better customization, bigger worlds, bigger graphics – more, more, more – it can’t go on exponentially. But a system that feeds on hope is only as great as the trust placed in it.

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