At PAX Australia
we had a candid discussion with John Mamais, the head of CD Projekt Red
’s Krakow studio. To talk about all things Cyberpunk 2077
. So much so that we've put split our chat into two parts - one focusing on graphics and tech
, and the other the ambitious open-world design
. Finishing up our discussion, we touched on the current state of the game and the looming April 2020 release date.
Where even though we've seen some rather polished and seemingly feature complete slices of gameplay, CD Projekt Red is still adding content into the game. In the sense that when testing the teams come across closed-off sections and missing elements all the time - which John referred to as 'blockers'.
“We're playing it all the time,” John explained. “But there are blockers all over the place, because stuff is still going into the game. And that can be technically challenging for us. It's like if we can't do that now, at this point, we’re fucked. Now's the time to start really testing it all.”
On that front, John reminded me that when it comes to development there's a lot that happens and comes together right at the very end. And that the current state of Cyberpunk 2077 is one that is still very much "in development".
That, said he wished the studio hadn't announce a release date.
“I wish it wasn't like that, and that we didn’t have to set a date," John tells us. "It's weird to have to set a date, but you have to start advertising and there's significant investment in marketing. So if you don't hit the date according to what your plan is, you're throwing away shitloads of money."
"We’re a publicly traded company now which changes things a little bit too," he adds when we brought up the original 'whenever it's ready' response the studio gave prior to the Cyberpunk 2077 release date announcement. "So you can't just say whenever it's ready. Maybe some companies can, maybe we can for the next game, do that and not have to worry about publicising what we’re doing. I don't think we're that giant or big a studio that we don't have to publicise or market the game. Maybe Rockstar can, they can announce something at the last minute and people will still buy shitloads of copies. We're still trying to get there.”
This article is sponsored by ASUS.