CD Projekt released patch notes for Cyberpunk 2077 version 1.2, which hit systems Monday. The notes rival novellas in length and promises literally thousands of fixes and updates to the sprawling, dense role-playing game.
Some of the biggest, and best fixes include an update to police response to V’s crimes in Night City, new vehicle steering sensitivity controls, achievement access for Epic Game Store players and hundreds of clean ups for game-breaking bugs. Some lesser, but truly ominous updates including, “It is no longer possible to perform Gorilla Arms finishers against civilians,” something I never thought to try in my time with Cyberpunk 2077, but also that, “Gorilla Arms damage has been increased by 20%,” meaning villains ought to beware because the gorilla arms are now stronger, and solely for them.
Players can see the full patch notes here, but the conclusion is that several hundred of the game’s most glaring issues have been killed. Instead of celebrating the plugging of Cyberpunk 2077‘s several hundred holes, why not instead ask how upper management thought such a ship was seaworthy? Since the game’s release, CD Projekt programmers and designers have come out, anonymously or not, saying it was wholly obvious Cyberpunk 2077 was not ready to ship. That isn’t hard for players to imagine either considering the multitude of bugs being cleared the 1.2 patch that would generally be fixed in quality assurance game testing.
Even though Cyberpunk 2077 was not ready to ship, it did. This is because of an increasingly toxic and trust-shattering system in the games industry where corporate returns outweigh developer realities. Companies have proven to prefer shipping an unfinished game on a promised release date rather than afford developers appropriate time to finish games. Game development can have a near-infinite amount of roadblock, especially in development cycles of more than five years like at CD Projekt. Directions change, developers move and bugs happen. Instead of allowing developers humane time to produce a quality product, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, managers and corporate leaders instead tried to guilt developers into 100-hour work weeks to meet deadlines.
Instead of allowing half-finished, under-cooked games to flood the games market, punish the companies that try to fix their game after a snake-oil launch. As a consumer, your power is personal and limited, but it still exists. Use your voice and your wallet to demand humane work conditions and expectations of game developers who are treated more and more like indentured servants to executives’ capital ventures.