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Valve Head Defends Cyberpunk 2077 Developers

Valve president Gabe Newell was recently interviewed by New Zealand-based 1 News about a wide-ranging variety of topics, spanning Valve's current projects to potential plans for a future DOTA 2 The International tournament. Since the start of the ongoing pandemic, Newell extended a vacation with family and friends into a temporary residency in New Zealand. The prospect of moving to the country on a more permanent basis, and bringing Valve with it, served as the basis for his interview with the New Zealand-based news network. Among the subjects Newell discussed was Cyberpunk 2077.


Newell kicked off his comments about the game by stating, "I have a lot of sympathy with a situation that every game developer finds themselves in," referring to the backlash toward Cyberpunk 2077's numerous glitches and performance issues. He went on to praise Cyberpunk 2077 for including content that he found to be "just brilliant," in spite of elements of the game in its current state that may detract from those high points.

At its best, Newell explained, Cyberpunk 2077 is capable of demonstrating that a great deal of ambition went into its design, which ultimately required a lot of hard work. "It's unfair to throw stones at any other developer," Newell said, given that believed the final product, while flawed, nevertheless reflected the team's lofty aspirations.


Newell compared the situation Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red found itself in, ultimately pulling the game from the Playstation Store in response to fan backlash, to times when Valve had to respond to upset customers. "People get mad because they care," said Newell. To further explain his point, Newell did recall receiving a number of emails the interview describes as "abusive." Newell explained that he likes to treat those cases as learning opportunities, instead of replying in an equally combative manner.

Newell theorized that CD Projekt Red currently finds itself in a similar situation, taking the fan backlash toward Cyberpunk 2077 as its own sort of learning opportunity. He expressed having faith in CD Projekt Red based on its track record.

While CD Projekt Red has announced plans to introduce DLC content to Cyberpunk 2077, some fans are worried about its potential to significantly improve upon the base game. A planned multiplayer mode is among the additions scheduled to be added to the game, which is expected to receive a free next-gen upgrade later this year.