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Valve boss Newell has "a lot of sympathy" for CD Projekt over Cyberpunk 2077 launch

Valve boss Newell has "a lot of sympathy" for CD Projekt over Cyberpunk 2077 launch

The founder of Steam and PC games developer Valve Gabe Newell has said he feels sorry for CD Projekt.

Speaking to New Zealand media outlet TVNZ.co.nz, the exec said that the Polish studio should proud of what it has achieved with Cyberpunk 2077 and that he feels it's not fair to throw stones at other developers in the industry.

"I have a lot of sympathy with a situation that every game developer finds themselves in," Newell said.

"All I know is that there are a lot of very happy gamers in the PC space, which are the ones that are most visible to us.

"There are aspects of the game that are just brilliant, and it shows a tremendous amount of work — it's unfair to throw stones at any other developer, because just getting something as complex and ambitious as that out the door is pretty amazing."

Newell also said that he and Valve have angered gamers in the past, but said that the best way of handling negative feedback is to try and learn lessons from the experience.

"When people have those kinds of reactions, my first thought is that this is an opportunity for us, and I assume that the Cyberpunk 2077 developers are similarly just using it to crank through an make improvements that are going to be beneficial to their customers," he said.

"They have a long history of doing a great job, of continuing to invest in their products over time and I suspect that they're going to be very good at making their customers happy over time.

"Everybody knows that if you're in this business, expectations are high, and if you do it well people are going to let you know and if you failed to meet those expectations they're are going to let you know — that's part of why it's a fun industry."

This comes in the wake of Cyberpunk 2077's rather disastrous launch on December 10th. The game shipped with myriad bugs and errors, especially on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions. These editions of the release were of such low quality that both Sony and Microsoft are offering refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 and it has been pulled from the PlayStation Store.

CD Projekt has apologised for the launch a number of times. Recently, co-founder Marcin Iwiński said that management was to blame for Cyberpunk 2077's sub-par quality and insisted that a number of the issues that had arisen since release didn't show up in bug testing. A report from Bloomberg refuted this apology, with staff saying that they were aware of major bugs in the final version of the game. Employees didn't think the game would ship until 2022. 

CD Projekt is facing lawsuits from investors over allegations they were misled by the studio. The Polish firm has vowed "vigorous action" to fight these cases.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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