Image: CD PROJEKT RED

One of the excuses that CD PROJEKT RED had initially given for Cyberpunk 2077’s bug-ridden launch in December 2020 was that the QA company it had hired failed to catch all of the bugs in its ambitious sci-fi RPG. Now, a year and half after the game’s release, YouTuber Upper Echelon has reported on a 72-page document sent by a whistleblower that offers some insight as to why CD PROJEKT RED placed significant blame on Quantic Lab, a QA company that was allegedly problematic for various reasons. Among the allegations made in the extensive document is Quantic Lab having over-exaggerated the size of its team in order to maintain its contract with CD PROJEKT RED, something that would explain why so many bugs were missed and ended up tainting the reputation of the original release. Others are even more serious, including the claim that most of the staff were amateurs with only half a year of QA experience despite Quantic Lab supposedly suggesting otherwise. The document shared by Upper Echelon includes names, production schedules, and other sorts of internal information that seem to confirm its authenticity.

  • Quantic Lab overexaggerated the size of the team working on Cyberpunk 2077 in order to keep the contract.
  • Quantic Lab said the team was made up of senior staff, but it was instead juniors with under six months experience in QA.
  • Quantic Lab had a daily quota of reported bugs, which led to CDPR getting thousands of relatively pointless bug reports from the testers which took up a lot of time, and caused gamebreaking issues to not be found or prioritized.

If true, this certainly would explain at least some component of Cyberpunk 2077’s launch issues, albeit of course it ultimately falls on CDPR to decide whether a product should be released in a given state. And I still remember CDPR saying the game performed “surprisingly well” on last-gen consoles, which was demonstrably untrue, and I don’t think there’s a “QA contractors tricked us” explanation for that one.

Still, if true, this is a story and could be at least a partial explanation for what happened with Cyberpunk at launch, if CDPR was flooded with pointless bug reports to fix from junior staffers attempting to meet quotas. And if this was the problem, it certainly seems like something that can be rectified in the future as I doubt CDPR would work with Quantic Lab again. I’m going to keep looking into this to see if I can dig anything else out of whatever the hell happened here.

Source: Upper Echelon (via Forbes)

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8 comments

  1. So they either hired the wrong QA company or didn't give them sufficient time/access/resources to complete the job properly.

    "The buck stops here" is a phrase that seems to have been forgotten by so many. Always gotta be someone else's fault.

    Quantic Labs may have been trash - but who made the decision to hire them, who required the daily bug quota that messed up the system, who kept them on after it was shown they were inadequate -- and mostly -- who decided to ship even though it was still filled with bugs?
  2. I'm not sure I buy that.

    This would be an excuse if they missed some corner case bugs that require extensive testing to find.

    The fact that Cyberpunk was not ready for launch would have been immediately evident if they even as much as tried launching their own product.
  3. Right, and noone at CDR had ever tried to play the game?
    As someone who has experience developing stuff, testing your own program is the worst idea ever. Because you instinctively know how it works, and do what's expected. You need outside QA (or at least people who did not take part in development) to actually start finding bugs.

    Of course a company the size of CDPR on a project this big ought to have some internal testing, unless they pulled a microsoft and fired their QA department "let the users test it".
  4. As someone who has experience developing stuff, testing your own program is the worst idea ever. Because you instinctively know how it works, and do what's expected. You need outside QA (or at least people who did not take part in development) to actually start finding bugs.
    I'm sure that's true for minor bugs or rare ones, but CP2077 had some realy obvious ones like the T-poses and the crappy performance that should be clear to anyone.
  5. Yeah, I seem to recall CDPR also not showing the base console versions of the game before release (or it mightve been brief snippets.)

    They knew what a terrible state the game was in and were trying to hide it.
  6. I'm shocked CDPR didn't throw them under the bus from day 1. But there is no excuse for the truly huge game breaking bugs. If you hire a bunch of randos off the street with little/no QA or game experience... all they are going to find is stupid cosmetic stuff. They won't likely be trying to thoroughly play the game.

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