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What The Cyberpunk 2077 Upheaval Means For Multiplayer

The rocky release of Cyberpunk 2077 may mean delays for the action RPG's multiplayer mode, which developer CD Projekt Red planned to work on separately following the initial launch. Since its release on Dec. 10, players have reported a laundry list of bugs and glitches, mostly on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, to the point where CD Projekt Red issued an apology and offered refunds. Now, the developer plans to focus on getting out patches.

According to a report from Bloomberg, brokers Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc predict that Cyberpunk 2077's multiplayer feature, whenever it should arrive, will be crucial for sales. However, it may take longer to prepare, thanks to the game's current bugs and glitches. These technical errors have caused a $1 billion cut in CD Projekt's wealth, as Bloomberg stated. CD Projekt's shares have also plunged by a third in the last six days.

Beyond the numbers, the issues surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 have also plagued CD Projekt's reputation, as the developer scrambles to prove that the game works just as well on previous-generation consoles as it does on PC. Tomasz Rodak, an analyst at BOS Bank SA in Poland, told Bloomberg in an email, "There is now [a] huge scar on the reputation of both the studio and its management. In only a couple of days, CD Projekt fell from the most adored studio to the most hated one. Restoring trust is not impossible, but would need much time and effort."

Multiplayer may be the only thing that can save Cyberpunk 2077, but unfortunately, that may not be coming for quite some time. As reported by Gamesradar+, a since-deleted Reddit post on Dec. 15 included audio from an emergency board call regarding Cyberpunk 2077's poor launch on PS4 and Xbox One. When asked about the future of the game's multiplayer and DLC, CD Projekt president Adam Kiciński said that it's "too early to judge."

However, Kiciński also added that Cyberpunk 2077's multiplayer is on its way and will be discussed next year, allowing the studio to focus on the game's necessary improvements right now. "We're in a situation which wasn't planned, and we'll have to reassess where we are, and that's the plan for January. So now we are managing the situation of the single-player, we are working on patches and communication, and to refocus on gamers. We have to sit and discuss," he said.

As Bloomberg noted, CD Projekt plans to release a strategy update in 2021.

At this time, there's no information on what Cyberpunk 2077's multiplayer will look like. However, back in November, Kiciński noted in an earnings call (transcribed by Seeking Alpha) that CD Projekt is viewing multiplayer as a "standalone product" and not a "mode." Basically, it will be connected to Cyberpunk 2077's single-player release, but it will operate on its own. "It's a separate dedicated production, a big production," Kiciński said.