CD Projekt's SA Chief Executive Officer, Marcin Iwiński, has responded on Twitter to allegations that his company showed a fake demo for Cyberpunk 2077 at 2018's E3 conference.
The allegation regarding a largely fake demo gained voice at Bloomberg, where journalist Jason Schreier reported his findings from speaking to 20 people that had worked on the game (some current CD Projekt employees, and some that have left the company).
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Keep on reading and we'll do our best to explain this story in full...
What's all this about a fake demo?
The Bloomberg report is well worth reading in full, but if you just want to read the bit about the fake demo, see below.
While discussing the development period for Cyberpunk 2077, Bloomberg states, "Much of CD Projekt’s focus, according to several people who worked on Cyberpunk 2077, was on impressing the outside world. A slice of gameplay was showcased at E3, the industry’s main trade event, in 2018. It showed the main character embarking on a mission, giving players a grand tour of the seedy, crime-ridden Night City.
"Fans and journalists were wowed by Cyberpunk 2077’s ambition and scale. What they didn’t know was that the demo was almost entirely fake. CD Projekt hadn’t yet finalized and coded the underlying gameplay systems, which is why so many features, such as car ambushes, were missing from the final product. Developers said they felt like the demo was a waste of months that should have gone toward making the game."
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What has CD Projekt said in response?
CD Projekt's Marcin Iwiński took to Twitter and reacted to the claims, even going so far as to quote-Tweet the original Bloomberg report.
Iwiński wrote, "It’s hard for a trade show game demo not to be a test of a vision or vertical slice two years before the game ships, but that doesn’t mean it’s fake. Compare the demo with the game. Look at the Dumdum scene or the car chase, or the many other things. What the people reading your article may not know is that games are not made in a linear fashion and start looking like the final product only a few months before launch. If you look at that demo now, it’s different yes, but that’s what the ‘work in progress’ watermark is for. Our final game looks and plays way better than what that demo ever was."
Badowski added, "As for 'missing' features, that's part of the creation process. Features come and go as we see if they work or not. Also, car ambushes exist in the final game almost verbatim to what we showed in the demo."
Clearly, this is a tale of two opinions. If you want to make up your own mind, a 48-minute video of the demo can still be viewed on the official Cyberpunk 2077 YouTube page at this link.
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