For those in the gaming world, you would be well aware of the much anticipated release of Cyberpunk 2077… a game that was first announced back in 2013 and was even more hotly anticipated after the updated release trailer was featured at the E3 last year with Keanu Reeves featuring as an in game character.  Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world, action-adventure story from CD PROJEKT RED and was released cross platform last week and it represents a lot about what is right… and what is wrong with the gaming industry today. No mistaking that it (can be) is a visual masterpiece with a massively immersive world with a proven adapted gameplay model, however for me, it is a great example of what can go wrong in the software industry when things are ready before they are done.

In the most dangerous megacity of the future, the real you is not enough. Become V, a cyber-enhanced mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant — the key to immortality. Customize your cyberware and skillset, and explore a vast city of the future obsessed with power, glamour and body modification. The choices you make will determine the story and shape the world around you.

While Cyberpunk has done extremely well since its release (pulling in over 480 million USD in the first 24 hours of availability including pre-sales) it’s been plagued with issues. Not so much the fundamentals of the gameplay, but with a number of significant performance issues and sometimes hilarious bugs. In fact, if you want a good laugh, I suggest you spend some time going through the #Cyberpunk2077Bugs hashtag on Twitter. From all the reading I have done on the release it seems like the PC version of the game was the most optimized, with the console releases suffering most from performance and stability issues. In some of the older Playstation’s and XBOX’s the game is hardly recogonizable compared to how it looks on an adequately spec’ed out PC gaming rig.

I think this article sums up the situation well… while offering some hope about how the game will end up.

The way CD Projekt executives handled the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 – especially on last-gen consoles – was deceptive, disingenuous, and downright dirty. Fans had no idea that they were paying a lot of money for something that was largely defective, and given that the game had already been delayed three times, it seems as if the higher-ups in Hugo Boss suits just wanted to push it out before Christmas to capitalize on holiday sales, whether it was functional or not.

No doubting the amount of programming talent that goes into coding a game like this… in fact I still find it crazy that zeros and ones get turned into realistic worlds. But the fact remains that these games are released more and more incomplete and not optimized for all systems they are compatible with and with a tremendous amount of bugs. This didn’t happen back in the early days of the gaming industry and it certainly can’t happen in the IT software Industry… can you imagine if VMware Released a new version of ESXi where the VMs simply disappeared or cross pollinated in someway? Or if Veeam released a major version that told you it backed up a set of workloads, but really wasn’t?

We Can’t Have Glitches…but they are expected

Bugs are indeed a fact of life when it comes to software, but the enterprise world of software that runs, operates and protects most of the world today has very very different expectations and standards than that of the gaming world. As we increasingly move towards total reliance on software the pressure to release code that is stable, reliable and secure is magnified. This alone adds an element of pressure on the vendor executives, which in turn heaps pressure on vendor QA and R&D Teams.

That being the case the reality is that not every corner or edge case can be tested for before release. The industry is flush with buggy software and some glitches end up costing customers millions. Patches are released and mistakes are corrected as those edge or corner cases are discovered.

Backup 2077

The reason behind this post was I asked myself the question and the fact that here at Veeam, we have a history of releasing extremely stable code with very few significant bugs. Over time there has been a couple of serious ones, but they are generally picked up and handled very quickly. Veeam’s track record of releasing product when it is ready has helped build our reputation in the industry and helped with our success and growth.

If Cyberpunk 2077 (as it exists in the now) was a backup product… what would be the scenario after such a release? In a nutshell it would be a disaster! Just imagine upgrading to the latest version or doing a fresh install on previously owned hardware that was said to be supported and in-spec and having half a console load up… not being able to see workloads … having backup jobs mixed together and retention points jumbled… or in the worst case having data disappear or corrupt.

Cyberpunk 2077 is software, but it is intrinsically bound to specific hardware and platforms. Therefore it is not agnostic. This is always the risk in having the two tied together… there is an element of lock in here that needs to be considered. It’s clear that you can’t play the game on past/current-gen platforms meaning that if you want to play the game you need to buy the next-gen or put in for a serious hardware upgrade. This is something that Veeam doesn’t suffer from. Being software driven and giving customers flexibility of choice relative to recommendations means that the level of agnosticity is beneficial to the customer.

At the end of the day, CD PROJEKT RED will get this corrected and they will have an amazing product… but there has been a lot of collateral brand damage done. In the computer game industry there is scope for companies to recover and recover strong from such events… but this is less the case in enterprise software.

Floating NPCs equals trouble!

Disclosure: I have purchased the game from Steam and have played 8 hours up to this point.