Cyberpunk 2077: How a Game Went from Failure to Glory

, Comment regular icon1 comments

Cyberpunk 2077 went from one of the most troubled launches in video game history to one of the most acclaimed titles in the industry. In this article, understand how the game became one of the best RPGs of the decade!

Writer image

translated by Romeu

Writer image

revised by Romeu

Edit Article

On December 10, 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 arrived on consoles and PC after more than 8 years since its official announcement. The title faced a lot of criticism and was one of the most catastrophic launches in the history of video games.

Its infamy, however, turned into glory: after three years, Cyberpunk 2077 went through one of the biggest overcoming in this market and gained a strong community, in addition to being recognized as one of the best RPGs of the decade and receiving the award for “Best Ongoing Game” in 2023 at The Game Awards with its DLC, Phantom Liberty.


Understand what were the determining factors for CD Projekt RED to revive the game, and make a total disappointment become loved by fans.


The first controversy came even before the game reached the players' hands.

Cyberpunk 2077 went through several postponements, which delayed its release, and at one point it even became a meme. So much so that in the last postponing post, made by the developer on X (former Twitter), it was common to find comments joking that the game would only arrive in 2077.

Official announcement of the latest postponement / Image: CD Projekt RED
Official announcement of the latest postponement / Image: CD Projekt RED

In total, there were three postponements, which resulted in eight months of delay. It certainly not only angered the community, but also required higher quality than expected to justify the wait.

As if that weren't enough, CD Projekt RED adopted the “Crunch” practice, which consists of mandatory overtime work. The company committed to not using this method, but according to it, it was necessary due to the difficulties faced during the pandemic, and logically, it didn't please the public.


The game finally arrived in stores and on consoles on December 10, 2022. However, gamers eager to explore the wonders of Night City have encountered an issue even more frustrating than the recurring postponements.

Bugs and Disappointments

At its release, Cyberpunk 2077 was completely bugged, which made it impossible for players to immerse themselves in Night City, some characters had no textures, others literally disappeared after starting combat against them. Drivers continued to act normally when you threatened them or even shot at their car with a gun - Night City was gigantic but terribly shallow.

These errors also became a meme, as some gameplay videos with surreal bugs went viral on the internet.

Image content of the Website

Some promised mechanics also didn't come to the game, such as running through walls, vehicle customizations, delving into romances or traveling on a subway.

Crashes and Refunds

It is worth highlighting the great controversy in the last generation, as Cyberpunk 2077 was practically unplayable on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. All platforms suffered from many crashes, including on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, but the situation with its predecessors was more than serious.

The players (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) asked for massive refunds and Microsoft offered to meet these requests, while Sony initially refused, but gave in after a few days of many complaints, including removing the game from the PlayStation Store for six months.

Sony's announcement regarding refunds for Cyberpunk 2077
Sony's announcement regarding refunds for Cyberpunk 2077

Corrupted Saves

Several players reported that their saves were being corrupted, losing their progress. By default, it was noticed that the saves that were experiencing problems were those that reached more than 8MB.


Post-Launch and Updates

With the disastrous repercussions during the launch, CD Projekt RED had to work hard to regain players' trust in its product.

Fixing the Bugs

The developer's first step was to address the numerous errors that the title presented, with some patch notes throughout 2021. Updates 1.2 and 1.3, for example, brought literal hundreds of fixes in: gameplay, missions, open world, cinematic design, interface, environment, graphics, audio and performance. In addition to changes for a specific platform (PC, consoles or Stadia).

Patch 1.5 and optimization for the new generation

The RPG was almost unusable for the old generation (as already mentioned), but it still had flaws on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, which received a version of the consoles before launch. With the growth of this new generation, CD Projekt RED understood that optimizing the game for it would be essential, and thus, developed its own and more optimized version for these consoles, which arrived on February 15, 2022.

Patch 1.5 not only reduced crashes but also brought a beautiful graphical evolution to Night City! Check out the featured additions:

Image content of the Website

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

The anime set in the Cyberpunk 2077 universe was another essential point for its resurgence, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners premiered on Netflix in September 2022,

Image content of the Website

Not only was it a series with high acceptance rates, opening doors for new people to get to know the game's environment and, potentially, be part of the community, but it also encouraged and generated new topics and challenges for fans. For example, players sought to replicate builds based on characters from the anime.

“Just look at this build inspired by David Martinez!” or “Did you notice that you can do this with Lucy’s skills?” are comments that create debates and attract the public back to the game.

Cyberpunk 2077 2.0

Image content of the Website

The biggest watershed moment that Cyberpunk 2077 received was its 2.0 update, in September 2023. One of the ones that had the most impact as it not only brought many improvements, but also introduced new mechanics. Additionally, all of these changes were free, just like the previously mentioned patches. The only problem is that these 2.0 features didn't reach the last generation, only on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

The main innovations were vehicle combat, a new police system, AI improvements, more trail mechanics, a Relic skill tree, as well as item changes and more.

Little by little, the public noticed the attention given by CD Projekt to correcting and optimizing the game, even those who didn't buy the game followed its evolution through social media, starting to give new chances to the RPG.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty


Image content of the Website

Released the same week as the patch 2.0, Phantom Liberty was the first DLC for Cyberpunk 2077 and became the icon of its redemption, being the face of the game at the end of 2023, where it received the “Best Ongoing Game” prize at the Game Awards.

Phantom Liberty is one of the best DLC in video game history. Other critics also hail it as a masterpiece, and today it has an average of 89 points in media reviews on Metacritic.

The expansion brought a new explorable region of Night City, the Dogtown district - a well-populated region, with many characters for interactions. It also features a campaign lasting approximately 15 hours, with more than one ending. In addition to extra missions, new vendors and exclusive items.

To fully enjoy Phantom Liberty, you will spend at least 30 hours, and at its current price, this expansion offers much more content than entire, more expensive games on the market.

Ultimate Edition

Image content of the Website

In December 2023, CD Projekt RED made Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition available, which includes the base game and the Phantom Liberty expansion for a lower price, which attracts attention and offers a new possibility for the public to purchase the title.

Patch 2.1

Image content of the Website

Along with the launch of the Ultimate Edition, patch 2.1 also arrived, and another free version for fans. It was highlighted for adding more mechanics which had been promised years ago.

The additions on this occasion were:

  • The possibility of walking through Night City's 19 subway stations, either quickly or more slowly, enjoying the view through the window.

  • Permission to tune in to radio stations via cell phone, while walking, without the need to be in a vehicle as before.

  • A new feature to invite your partner to enjoy a night in your apartment, this mechanic will only become available after completing the romance path with this character.

  • When you complete The Beast in Me, a series of replayable races will now be available. Driver AI has also been improved

  • Addition of binoculars at various tourist spots to enjoy the views of the city!


    In short, Cyberpunk 2077's redemption was possible with a great effort to provide free updates that fulfilled, even if late, some promises. Most versions brought hundreds of fixes, in addition to the additions of new systems in 2.0 and 2.1.

    Phantom Liberty was another great success, and we also cannot ignore the influence that the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime had on the gaming community in 2022, at a time when the title needed it most to begin its triumphant return with patch 2.0.

    And don't forget to comment whether you played Cyberpunk 2077 after the updates or at the launch, what your experiences were and your thoughts about the game!