How Cyberpunk 2077 sold a promise and rigged the system

CD Projekt Red took nearly a decade to design the big one Cyberpunk 2077 myths. Reviewers of the game only had a couple of days to evaluate it and were hampered in how they could interpret it. Players who lost $ 60 at this cyberpunk pleasure palace in 2019 faltered; all the hot air came out sizzling. A professional reviewer, Kallie Plagge, gave Cyberpunk 2077 a 7/10 onwards GameSpot—Not even an overview — criticizing him for building one-dimensional worlds, disconnected side missions, and large-scale technical problems. Mass harassment participated in the review. The reactionary YouTubers, who did not have access to the game, devoted lengthy videos to dismantling his criticism, analyzing his playing time and style of play. But only a few days later, once the players had finally played Cyberpunk 2077 themselves, many have done 180. “Everyone has talked about her, but I’m starting to agree with Kelly [sp] Plagge, “reads a popular post on / r / cyberpunkgame.

CD Projekt Red isn’t the first or the only game company to run psychological marketing operations. In 2016, No Man’s Sky he literally promised the world and countless others; it was programmed to be the largest, the most engaging, the most most game up to that point. But since the studio behind it, Hello Games, didn’t offer it to reviewers ahead of launch, gamers found the hard way that it failed to deliver basic elements like multiplayer connectivity. This year alone, WIRED has received more than a dozen offers to review big games with NDA attachments. It is not always to hide the flaws; sometimes it’s to avoid spoilers or the result of an overzealous PR team. But putting that kind of handcuffs on reviewers ultimately hurts the people who buy the games.

As the gaming industry market size reaches $ 60.4 billion, the pressure to micromanage the review system grows more and more. As an example, Bloomberg reported that CD Projekt Red’s developer bonuses were subordinated to 90+ on Metacritic. (That changed after the release.) The company had created the video game equivalent of a genius in a bottle. So he did what everyone does when they get a modicum of power: control the narrative. CD Projekt Red declined WIRED’s request for comment.

The same incentives also rig the system against developers, who spend six-day working weeks and sacrifice work-life balance to manifest slogans like “a city larger than life”, “sets new standards in terms of graphics. complexity and depth “. These are modern expectations for a 60-hour AAA open world game, an increasingly bloated and increasingly unsustainable genre. In June, former PlayStation executive Sean Layden complained about the huge financial and business burden of developing these types of games for GamesIndustry.biz. “I think the industry as a whole has to sit down and say, ‘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?'”

Eight million pre-orders, however, say all this phase management benefits someone. Video games are particularly susceptible to bait-and-switch. Games are both identities and hobbies – a place to be yourself and explore who you are and a thing you do and own. Better customization, bigger worlds, wider graphics – more, more, more – can’t go exponentially. But a system that feeds on hope will grow as much as the trust placed in it.


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