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Gabe Newell has "a lot of sympathy" for CD Projekt Red over Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Valve CEO Gabe Newell says he has "a lot of sympathy" for Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red over the controversy surrounding its recent game. 

Speaking to TVNZ, Newell said he'd "had a lot of fun" playing the futuristic RPG on PC, and praised the Polish studio's ambition. Asked what he thought about the decision to pull Cyberpunk 2077 off the PlayStation store, Newell said "well first of all, as a game developer, I have a lot of sympathy with a situation that every game developer finds themselves in regarding "trade-offs" between console and PC versions. "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."

Despite the difficulties that CD Projekt Red faced in the months leading up to release, Newell says that "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."

The Valve CEO also said he had faith that CDPR would be able to turn the game's fortunes around. Referencing negative feedback that he's received from fans, Newell said that "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 and make improvements [...] 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."

While the PS5 and Xbox Series X ran Cyberpunk 2077 relatively well through backwards compatibility, the game struggled on last-gen consoles, resulting in myriad glitches and performance issues for many players. CDPR has apologized for the difficult launch and promised fixes over the coming months, but those will mean a delay to the game's next-gen update.

Cyberpunk 2077 isn't the only thing Newell has been discussing his own company's future, revealing that Valve "definitely has games in development that we're going to be announcing."

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Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.