Cyberpunk 2077 bug montage reveals the industry’s dirty little secret
What comes across as a major misstep is a common practice in the video game industry.
A Cyberpunk 2077 bug montage created by CD Projekt Red developers leaked online over the weekend, and it showcases numerous glitches from the game in a comedic format. These files were supposedly leaked due to the targeted ransomware attack the company experienced in February 2021.
Following the montage’s leak, CD Projekt Red became under fire yet again, as this was evidence the company was well aware that Cyberpunk 2077 was in no shape to launch in December 2020.
The thing is, many developers have commented about the leaked bug montage with the general consensus that having footage like this is completely normal and is an essential part of the process — thus revealing a dirty little secret about the video game industry.
Bug montages are no indication of the final product and, according to many developers, are commonplace.
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These kinds of videos are “pretty standard”
To set the stage, we first recommend taking a look at the footage above. It’s comprised of numerous short clips edited together to quickly cut between them for comedic impact. You can see a myriad of issues such as characters clipping through objects, cars flipping into the air, and other wild bugs.
Throughout the development of a game, bugs happen. This is not isolated to only Cyberpunk 2077. Most games undergo rigorous playtesting prior to launch to catch bugs like the ones seen above. In order to document the bugs that appear, the team often records videos of them to make them easier to keep track of and ultimately squash.
This notion was corroborated by the senior technical designer of Rainbow Six Siege, Dmitry P., who explained on Twitter: “Fun fact, to reproduce bugs, 99.9 percent of the time there is a video included in the Jira.”
The developer went on to describe a bug he had experienced while working on a different game. “Bugs are part of the process,” he wrote. “I remember a bug in Far Cry 5 where there was an animation included with a dead body being tossed, but that body had voice lines still and was singing. Was freaking hilarious.”
So, the presence of bugs in a game prior to launch is not indicative of its quality after launch. Though, in this case, many dogpiled on Cyberpunk 2077 due to its poor reception. And to be fair, it was buggy when it came out, but it was nowhere near as bad as what was depicted in the montage.
Palle Hoffstein of Ubisoft Massive called the montage a “non-issue” on Twitter, adding, “Pretty standard for these to exist. Doesn't mean there weren't problems, but this is not evidence of problems.”
Damion Schubert of Bossfight wrote, “Boy, if you hate this, wait until you hear about literally every other game studio.”
Giuseppe Navarria, a lead gameplay programmer at Splash Damage, wrote something similar. “People are obviously not getting that these kind of videos are normal and it's something people do on every single game ever,” he said, “it's just a montage of funny bugs from someone from QA probably ... sigh.”
“Having fun during a production is good for mental health.”
Based on the reaction from developers, putting together these montages is simply a way to blow off some steam during the process. It’s nothing more than the equivalent of a blooper reel you’d see in films.
Yet another developer, Brenan Wayland of Epic Games, chimed in to say, “Documenting bugs is a natural and vital part of development, and there’s nothing wrong with devs getting a little catharsis by poking fun at them. ... It’s not ‘proof’ that the devs were lazy. You could probably make a montage like this for any game.”
Twitter user Vyxos, a 3D animator at Arkane Studios, went so far as to say that creating these montages is good for mental health. “Every studio I know does bugs montages videos,” they wrote. “It's fun and it's stuff that we find and try to correct.” The developer added, “And having fun during a production is good for the mental health.”
One of the main takeaways with this is that CD Projekt Red initially tried to throw its QA testers under the bus following Cyberpunk 2077’s poor performance. “Our testing did not show a big part of the issues you experienced while playing the game,” the company’s co-founder, Marcin Iwińsk, said in an apology video.
Evidently, based on the bug montage video, the QA team was well aware of the bugs and had clear documentation of the game’s issues. With this in mind, it’s unfair for Iwińsk to say the team “didn’t show” the bugs players experienced. The executives were well aware of the game’s condition and decided to ship it anyway. That isn’t on QA. That’s on the executives.
Ultimately, seeing this bug montage isn’t any indication of the final product. It just so happens that Cyberpunk 2077 was critically panned for its bugs and so the narrative around the game’s reception is negative, leading to outrage over the montage video. Though, it seems many developers like to poke fun at their games, regardless of how the final product turns out.