Phantom Liberty’s Lead Director Says Abandoning Cyberpunk 2077 Was Never an Option


Phantom Liberty’s Lead Director Says Abandoning Cyberpunk 2077 Was Never an Option

Surya Kumar
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Gabe Amatangelo, the Lead Director of Cyberpunk 2077 and the Phantom Liberty expansion joined CDPR in May 2021, shortly after the title’s initial release.
Cyberpunk 2077 is steadily picking up its pace with over 185,000+ concurrent players on Steam.

Cyberpunk 2077 has had a long and gruesome journey ever since its release in December 2020. The game was riddled with game-breaking bugs and glitches and overall offered an unpleasant experience. Tons of negative reviews were left on several forums, criticizing the studio for releasing the game in such a horrendous state.

With the release of the 2.0 update and the Phantom Liberty expansion, CD Projekt Red has definitely turned things around and has made significant improvements to the game, fixing a lot of the bugs and glitches while also providing numerous quality-of-life updates.

Lead Director Says He Believed in the Cyberpunk 2077 Team and the Brand

In an interview with PC Gamer, Gabe Amatangelo, Game Director of Cyberpunk 2077 said that abandoning the title was never considered as an option. “I believe in the team, I believe in this IP, but I want to do it right. And I'm going to need the support to do that,” he said.

The game received patch 1.5 back in February 2022 featuring improved graphics for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S as well as changes to AI, NPC driving, new gear, character appearance, etc. Patch 1.6 aka the Edgerunners update brought changes inspired by the anime. It also brought three new gigs, 11 new weapons, a cross-progression feature, and an arcade racing game called Roach Race. Evidently, it also brought a slew of bug fixes and tweaks to the game.

Gabe Amatangelo also talks about the groundwork they put into the 1.5 and 1.6 patches. He says that it was all culminating in plan 2.0. "It was mapped out. Loosely mapped out and it got more refined over time, but it was mapped out. You can see some of it with the slight AI improvements in 1.5—that was built upon to get to 2.0.

The thought process of the team was - 'What are the gaps, and how do we fill those gaps to do the complete experience that hopefully everyone imagined and wants to play?

Cyberpunk 2077 Is Now Better Than Ever Before

CDPR’s 3-year roadmap to fix and enhance the game has certainly worked out, as several fans are jumping into the game after the 2.0 update. The game is now holding on strongly as a top seller on various platforms, especially on Steam. 

Those gaps mentioned above seem to have been filled with the 2.0 update and enhanced by the Phantom Liberty expansion, as it brought vehicular combat, an overhauled wanted system, new weaponry, a brand-new area called Dogtown, Relic skill trees, and several other minor changes that add up over time.

Considering all of this, the studio will now be focusing more on the sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 code-named Project Orion, and the next installment in The Witcher series. These titles will supposedly be developed on Unreal Engine 5, which will make Cyberpunk the last IP created on the Red engine.

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Surya has been an avid gamer all his life with an emphasis on single-player titles since the PlayStation 2 era. After switching to PC, he has also dabbled in the world of Valorant ever since its beta. He aims to spread his passion for gaming through his writing.

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