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CD Projekt Red Emergency Board Call Recording Online: Refunds, Multiplayer, More

kretos

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Downloaded and saved. Should be an interesting listen.
Link is from the front page of their website: https://www.cdprojekt.com/en/
I'll live update as I listen and ad some personal comments.
  • CEO says they want to gain the trust of gamers back because they know they've lost it. CEO puts on a "humble" facade that quickly disappears later in the call.
  • 17 minutes in, as one of the developers is finishing up answering a question about what they will do to fix the game on last gen consoles, he tells the investor to not expect any graphical or game system type changes, as their only intent is to make the game playable from start to finish without crashing on last gen.
  • Last gen console versions of the game weren't given to reviewers because the dev team was still working on those versions during the review period for the game. They were working on them "up until the last minute".
  • They also state earlier in the call there was limited QA testing done on the game, it was all done "in house" and no experienced third party contractors were used. CDPR employees played iterative builds of the game in their homes due to the pandemic and that's how they tested the game. They say there wasn't much attention put on the last generation console versions of the game. (you know, the consoles the game was originally made for before the delays)
  • 21 or so minutes in, the CEO says they plan to let the Cyberpunk team rest "until February". (good, the actual developers deserve a ton of rest after what their management team has done)
  • Multiplayer is tentatively scheduled to release in 2022, but could be pushed to 2023. Depends on how long it takes the development team to actually finish the game (referring to the planned DLC's & expansions) as well as fix what was and is currently being sold to customers.
  • Several investors seem to be very concerned about the game being refunded. One asked how the refund process works through Microsoft and Sony and if the investor will still keep his cut. (this person seems to have no regard for customer satisfaction and is only focused on keeping his cut of the money, even after a customer refunds the game.)
  • No plans to lower the price of the last gen console versions, despite the depleted experience. The PC version has very clearly been their main focus. All console versions seem to be an afterthought.
  • One investor asks if the development team needed more actual developers in order to finish the game on time. CDPR's answer was no, that the number of developers wouldn't have changed anything. The CEO took responsibility for their management team rushing the development of the game and not understanding the technical limitations the dev team was up against. (yo what happened to "Coming: When it's ready" ???)
  • It's very apparent throughout this call the CDPR management team keeps referring back to the "next gen upgrade at no additional cost" for console owners, but they fail to explain to these investors that doesn't change anything if you don't have a next gen console. They are using that as a response to questions about the last gen console version of the game. Pretty scummy way to frame their answers in my opinion, and it's happened multiple times now.
  • Stadia version will be updated once before their holiday break. After that there is no further update (bug fixing updates) planned for the Stadia version of the game, but this could change in Q1 of 2021.
  • An investor specifically asks about the NPC and AI behavior, citing the backlash it's received online by customers. CDPR's answer is that the AI and NPC behavior is part of the bugs, and the patches that come in January and February will address those issues/bugs. Nothing more in depth was said about the AI.
  • One last time before ending the call, CDPR yet again touts the "next gen upgrade at no additional cost" and hopes gamers will keep the game instead of refunding it so that they can experience the next gen upgrade as soon as it's ready. But again, as I stated earlier, they fail to explain to these investors that if you don't have a next gen console, this next gen upgrade is useless to you.
That seems to be the highlights of the call. The rest of the time was filled with investors asking questions about sales numbers of different types, how "sticky" the game is to players (as in how addictive is it), and other types of "how much money we gunna make" questions.
I encourage you to listen to the call yourself instead of reading my paraphrasing mixed with personal comments and form your own opinion. But my opinion after listening to this is that this game was 100% rushed to take advantage of the wombo combo of console generation change + holiday season + global pandemic. This combo will likely never happen again, so it was a once in a lifetime chance at a massive payday. The CDPR management team says they didn't understand the technical limits the development team was facing, but I don't buy that at all.
~Bonus content~: One investor possibly leaks Witcher 4 lol. He asks something along the lines of "I know you haven't officially announced it, but how is work on Witcher 4 doing and how many people are allocated to the team?" Don't take this as an actual leak, but CDPR was pretty tight lipped about answering that question, as in they didn't.
Edit: Removed a quote about the next gen console version, implying it was ready but held back because I misunderstood the context of the conversation on my first listen of the call. Thanks to u/Paciorr for pointing the mistake out.
 
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THEAP99

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Big doubt in regards to the world AI interaction comment. Someone in the reddit comments said that's false
 
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rofif

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As polish... this is the most polish sentence "They also state earlier in the call there was limited QA testing done on the game, it was all done "in house" and no experienced third party contractors were used. CDPR employees played iterative builds of the game in their homes due to the pandemic and that's how they tested the game. "

Polish companies are so cheap, they would 100% ask devs to beta test themselves in home for free in their time. I absolutely see this...
 

THEAP99

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Also what do they mean by the next gen versions are on the shelf? Why not release it now!? Wtf!?
 
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MastaKiiLA

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Fuck investors. They are garbage level people.

Other thsn that nornal problems like every other company.

Idiots in managment vs. Developers
They help fund the company. Preorders are one thing, but investors help to keep the company grow their infrastructure. They deserve to know that their investment is being used properly. Releasing a product that gets a ton of backlash, endangers that investment. Personally, I decided a decade ago to never invest in a game developer, because a lot can change with just a single release.
 
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CDPR is not in a good position right now but I have to wonder, who decided or who "forced" them to develop/launch such an ambitious project for last-gen consoles? Was the MS/Sony cash that big that they couldn't ignore? I know they "had" to but they really shouldnt have. They could've gone down in history as the first next gen only game, no bugs, no crunch, etc. I guess in the end, money does corrupt everyone. Ironic that CP2077 is such an anti-corpo game and yet they are doing exactly what any corporation in CP did.
 

prinz_valium

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  • They also state earlier in the call there was limited QA testing done on the game, it was all done "in house" and no experienced third party contractors were used. CDPR employees played iterative builds of the game in their homes due to the pandemic and that's how they tested the game. They say there wasn't much attention put on the last generation console versions of the game. (you know, the consoles the game was originally made for before the delays)
The game was always a PC first game, tho
 

ruvikx

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Most companies couldn't grow or survive without investors. That general anti investor sentiment is ridiculous.

Are there idiot investors? Yeah, idiots are everywhere.

The issue with the "investors" in this instance is the pressure they applied to get the game released in order to maximize profits on all systems (including last gen, before the ps5 & Series S/X send them into retirement next year). If investors don't care about the quality of the product (or at least, care far more about their own short-term money than the image of the company they've invested in), then there's a serious problem. I refuse to believe CDPR were happy with the fact their game looks & runs worse on base consoles than most other titles on those systems, so the pressure to release was purely financial in nature.

But this is one for the books, i.e. an epic failure of everyone involved. Clearly those investors were sold a "vision" by CDPR which they couldn't meet themselves, so there's blame all around.
 

regawdless

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The issue with the "investors" in this instance is the pressure they applied to get the game released in order to maximize profits on all systems (including last gen, before the ps5 & Series S/X send them into retirement next year). If investors don't care about the quality of the product (or at least, care far more about their own short-term money than the image of the company they've invested in), then there's a serious problem. I refuse to believe CDPR were happy with the fact their game looks & runs worse on base consoles than most other titles on those systems, so the pressure to release was purely financial in nature.

But this is one for the books, i.e. an epic failure of everyone involved. Clearly those investors were sold a "vision" by CDPR which they couldn't meet themselves, so there's blame all around.

Blame CDPR for taking money from stupid investors and empowering them.
 

waquzy

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As polish... this is the most polish sentence "They also state earlier in the call there was limited QA testing done on the game, it was all done "in house" and no experienced third party contractors were used. CDPR employees played iterative builds of the game in their homes due to the pandemic and that's how they tested the game. "

Polish companies are so cheap, they would 100% ask devs to beta test themselves in home for free in their time. I absolutely see this...
This explains all the glitches and bugs then... in house QA testing?! lol
 
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GHG

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Got a link to this? I don’t really understand what you mean in relation to the AI interaction comment

AI interaction (along with the police behaviour) is currently by design. If it were "bugs" we would have seen instances of the AI exhibiting more advanced behaviour than they currently do but we haven't at all. They do the same bone headed stuff every single time.

They will need to overhaul the NPC AI completely between now and February if it is to change. Without a doubt it's the most undercooked aspect of the game and was most likely neglected during development as they realised they were running out of time.
 

SJRB

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not understanding the technical limitations the dev team was up against

Imagine being a dev at CDPR and seeing your CEO say this shit. I have no doubt there have been a thousand memos explaining the poor state current-gen versions were in, hence why they were working on it "up until the last minute".

So upper management did not understand the limitations, but was fully aware of the insane workload to get things ducktaped together up until the very last minute before release..

Man CDPR, what the hell happened to you guys..
 

Jigsaah

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Who's to blame here? The gamer for pushing for a release, or CDPR for falling prey to the demand?

Personally, I'm going with the latter. CDPR should have stuck to their guns. Delayed til Spring 2021. The game is great, and would be a masterpiece if not for all the bugs. Good thing CDPR is known for applying fresh coats of paint to their IP's.

I dodged a bullet not buying this on my next gen console, feel sorry for those who were so excited and bought the game on last gen. They're basically left holding the bag if this is any indication. Now with consoles selling out like they are, if they don't have it now, they may end up waiting until February anyway to get their hands on a playable copy.
 

GHG

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I dont know how devs operate but isnt qa having close ties to engineering the best approach i.e in house?

In theory yes because it enables feedback of a more technical nature to be given (which can lead to quicker fixes). However it can also lead to bias whereby those testing will potentially only test things in the way that they know things have been designed to work.

You also need people who have no prior knowledge of the software to test it. Outsiders will do things you didn't expect as developers and that will throw up a whole host of new bugs and scenarios that you didn't think of (or didn't know existed).

In this scenario general feedback from those outside the project is also useful. Like how does it feel to play? Is the gameplay loop rewarding/satisfying? Etc etc.
 
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Stiflers Mom

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I still don't understand why they didn't target last gen consoles, made that their primary version, and then went to upgrades for PC and next/current gen.

People just expected the fidelity shown in the gameplay trailer two years ago. My guess is that would have been achievable on base PS4.
 
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Komatsu

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People just expected the fidelity shown in the gameplay trailer two years ago. My guess is that would have been achievable on base PS4.

CDPR are primarily PC developers - that's their bread & butter since the days of using the Aurora engine. I suspect their experience with Witcher 3 - their first and only console title, lest we forget - led them to massively overestimate how much they could cram on the 1.4TB boxes that came out in 2013/14.
 
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Stiflers Mom

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CDPR are primarily PC developers - that's their bread & butter since the days of using the Aurora engine. I suspect their experience with Witcher 3 - their first and only console titles, lest we forget - led them to massively overestimate how much they could cram on the 1.4TB boxes that came out in 2013/14.
Well, then they really need to rethink their communication strategy.
 

GHG

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I still don't understand why they didn't target last gen consoles, made that their primary version, and then went to upgrades for PC and next/current gen.

People just expected the fidelity shown in the gameplay trailer two years ago. My guess is that would have been achievable on base PS4.

It's funny because of discussions we were having earlier this year about development processes and whether games are "scaled up" and made first for the least powerful hardware the game is intended to run on or "scaled down" from the highest end machines possible.

This is a poster child for why developers typically don't "scale down" and how so many pitfalls can arise from taking that approach.
 

Zathalus

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CDPR are primarily PC developers - that's their bread & butter since the days of using the Aurora engine. I suspect their experience with Witcher 3 - their first and only console title, lest we forget - led them to massively overestimate how much they could cram on the 1.4TB boxes that came out in 2013/14.
Witcher 2 was on the 360 as well, and they actually did a good job there.
 
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Stiflers Mom

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It's funny because of discussions we were having earlier this year about development processes and whether games are "scaled up" and made first for the least powerful hardware the game is intended to run on or "scaled down" from the highest end machines possible.

This is a poster child for why developers typically don't "scale down" and how so many pitfalls can arise from taking that approach.
It seems to me at one point of time they were perfectly able to get a decent version out on base PS4s, but then decided to integrate all the newest bling bling.

But then on the contrary they released only those horrible last gen versions along the PC version.
This feels so dishonest and dumb.

Wrong strategy and bad communication about it.

What were they thinking?
 
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Cato

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I only know bad investors lol even our own investor was an idiot that couldnt manage his own and our company.

I don't think you know any investors or even what an investor does. Your original post strongly indicates a complete lack of idea of what an investor is, why there are investors and what they do.
 
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Sentenza

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Honestly, with all the problems I have with the current incarnation of Cyberpunk (and there are MANY, aside for the bugs) all this focus on the "old gen consoles" in the public discourse about it is getting on my nerves.

Fuck your old gen console, ok? The biggest mistake CDPR made was releasing on these in the first place.
They needed to come to terms with the fact that making this game run on that hardware was just not feasible... Like everyone with an ounce of sense told them it wasn't, for the last two years and half after the original reveal.
 
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Cato

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Is this IGNs lowest ever score, tbh honest I would have scored it less. 🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️

On PC its excellent, be it still buggy in areas, but on current gen consoles a total travesty.

WTF?
Is she retweeting this to gloat?
She just got fucking hired to be in the game?
WTF? At least if you are hired by them, shut up and let them ride the storm out.

You want to be the retard woke chick that throws your employer under the bus for quick clicks?
Ok, good luck.
 

Emedan

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AI interaction (along with the police behaviour) is currently by design. If it were "bugs" we would have seen instances of the AI exhibiting more advanced behaviour than they currently do but we haven't at all. They do the same bone headed stuff every single time.

They will need to overhaul the NPC AI completely between now and February if it is to change. Without a doubt it's the most undercooked aspect of the game and was most likely neglected during development as they realised they were running out of time.

The game seem very CPU heavy, the AI could be another sacrifice at the last gen Jaguar altar.
 

billyxci

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basically, the game is primarily made for PC and consoles are not that important to them.

these 2 major patches are just really to try shut up the whining console owners who, let's be honest, will never be happy now. either take these patches and play the game (which is actually fantastic btw) or get a refund, shut up, and go play something else.

absolutely NO WAY should they cut the price. don't buy the game. imo, they should be charging more for what the game offers.

The game seem very CPU heavy, the AI could be another sacrifice at the last gen Jaguar altar.
do what they can with AI on last gen consoles and improve them for PS5/XSX/PC.

you can't own a 7 year old piece of hardware and expect it to perform miracles.
 
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Cato

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I still don't understand why they didn't target last gen consoles, made that their primary version, and then went to upgrades for PC and next/current gen.

People just expected the fidelity shown in the gameplay trailer two years ago. My guess is that would have been achievable on base PS4.

I think people just had rose tinted glasses on and some very young fanbois got a bit too excited and overhyped.

* People expected meele to be great?: Did they fucking play w3? Did they forget how shit meele was in w3?
* Performance would be great? Did they ever reach the city in w3?
* There would be few gamebreaking bugs? Did they even play w3?
* Only thing missing are the completely retarded unbalanced game. You had two fucking decoctions you could get early on that completely broke the game and made you 100% god mode. We havent seen this in cp2077, YET.
Even in light of this, w3 was a superb game and deserves all the accolades it got. Absolutely GOTY any year it would be released. Flaws and all.

I just wonder if all these people hyping 2077 and are now butt hurt even ever played w3.
Are they all 12 year old and never played a CDPR game ever before?
 

Krisprolls

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I still don't understand why they didn't target last gen consoles, made that their primary version, and then went to upgrades for PC and next/current gen.

People just expected the fidelity shown in the gameplay trailer two years ago. My guess is that would have been achievable on base PS4.

I don't think it's achievable on base PS4 or XBO. Buildings are too big, too detailed, too close to the player. It will never run properly on base last gen consoles. Resolution or framerate will always be bad, likely both.

I'm not a dev and I understand it, so they knew it too. They made a next gen game and try to sell it on platforms where it can't run. That's scummy.
 

ruvikx

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basically, the game is primarily made for PC and consoles are not that important to them.

these 2 major patches are just really to try shut up the whining console owners who, let's be honest, will never be happy now. either take these patches and play the game (which is actually fantastic btw) or get a refund, shut up, and go play something else.

absolutely NO WAY should they cut the price. don't buy the game. imo, they should be charging more for what the game offers.


do what they can with AI on last gen consoles and improve them for PS5/XSX/PC.

you can't own a 7 year old piece of hardware and expect it to perform miracles.

Cyberpunk looks & runs worse (with worse AI) than pretty much all major open world titles on the ps4. So either every other game does perform "miracles" (Red Dead 2, Sleeping Dogs, GTA 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, Far Cry 5, Assassin's Creed Origins etc. etc.) because "how else" could they run on the ps4... or it's CDPR who've royally screwed-up.

For Christ's sake it's not the ps4 which is the problem, it's the terrible port of Cyberpunk which is at fault.
 

Stiflers Mom

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I don't think it's achievable on base PS4 or XBO. Buildings are too big, too detailed, too close to the player. It will never run properly on base last gen consoles. Resolution or framerate will always be bad, likely both.

I'm not a dev and I understand it, so they knew it too. They made a next gen game and try to sell it on platforms where it can't run. That's scummy.
Are you aware of how the 2018 trailers looks like?