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After Many Delays, The Wait Is Over For 'Cyberpunk 2077'

NOEL KING, HOST:

After eight years of teasers, trailers and rumors, a feverishly anticipated video game is here.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Cyberpunk 2077.

KING: Here's NPR's Ziad Buchh.

ZIAD BUCHH, BYLINE: Cyberpunk 2077 lets players explore the futuristic dystopia of Night City. You play as V, a mercenary who shares his head with an anticorporate terrorist played by...

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Please welcome Keanu Reeves.

BUCHH: It's difficult to overstate how anticipated this game has been. Development studio CD Projekt Red has a track record of huge hits, and there's also the years of waiting, says game critic Brittany Vincent.

BRITTANY VINCENT: We've been kind of drip-fed information over a very slow period of time. There's been a steady build up of hype that's kind of reached a fever pitch now.

BUCHH: CD Projekt Red first announced Cyberpunk 2077 eight years ago. When they finally set a release date, April 16, 2020, the hype train chugged full speed ahead until a tweet from the developer earlier this year slammed on the brakes. Citing a desire to perfect the game, CD Projekt Red delayed the release to September. When the pandemic struck in March, the studio said it wouldn't affect that date. Three months later, they announced another delay, this time until November. Gamer Harry George planned to take that day off from work, but he was wary.

HARRY GEORGE: I should just quickly tweet them and make sure that the release is going through.

BUCHH: The game's Twitter handle responded, saying full confirmation, and then 24 hours later, it was delayed again. CD Projekt Red also said it would be ordering its employees into crunch time, an industry term for excessive overtime, despite several promises not to. On Twitter, studio head Adam Badowski called it one of the hardest decisions I've had to make. Harry George was able to get his vacation day back, and he says if Cyberpunk 2077 is good, it will be worth the wait.

Ziad Buchh, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.