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Was Cyberpunk 2077’s Early Demo Fake?

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Early this week, something cropped up on Twitter that got me thinking about the subject of game demos at large. If you’ve not heard, there’s been a piece that was written for Bloomberg that has been doing the rounds. The writer claims to have spoken to most of the staff at CD Projekt Red regarding Cyberpunk 2077, and has made some pretty outlandish comments. After it was published, Adam Badowski, Head of Studio for CD Projekt Red, had somethings to say about it. Among his responses, he told the author that 50 people doesn’t constitute most of the staff at a company of more than 500, which I’m inclined to agree with. However, he also commented on the early demo that we were shown for Cyberpunk 2077, and now I’m not sure what I believe.

In the above Twitter thread, Badowski says that the demo wasn’t fake, but it was very different to the final version of the game. Features were missing, but that’s because features pop up as part of development. Given that this demo was released years before the game, I’m not that surprised that it’s different. There’s also the question of how different the game looks, but again there’s been years between the demo and the final build.

What this all comes down to is whether a demo is real or fake. I personally don’t trust trailers. They’re made to make the game look good, so your opinion of a game will usually be positive after watching one. What I like to see is an actual gameplay video, something from within the game with UI and all. It gives a better impression of what the end product is going to be, and honestly, that’s closer to what will be in your hands.

However, given what Badowski is saying, maybe demos are fake. They’re areas of the game that have been worked on specifically to make a good impression. They’re not representative of the final product, clearly, so why should we trust them? I’m not saying that I think the Cyberpunk 2077 demo was entirely false, but maybe by an extension, all game trailers are completely fake.

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