Impatience leads to worry… worry leads to fear… fear leads to releasing a game that is so broken and buggy that even the “Dark Side” won’t have anything to do with it. CyberPunk 2077 was supposed to be a genre-defining experience that broke the mold of sci-fi gaming the same way that the Witcher did for fantasy games… but the only ground they ended up breaking was being the first game in HISTORY that was so broken that it was pulled DOWN from the Sony online store for purchase AND united both Xbox and PlayStation to give ALL consumers who purchased a digital copy of the game a FULL REFUND. Not exactly the history making moment that CD Projekt Red had in mind when they finally released their magnum opus. It is not often that Sony and Microsoft agree on something… but they both aligned pretty quickly that CyberPunk was dead on arrival and needed to be flushed down the toilet with URGENCY. So what went wrong?
Eight years ago CyberPunk was unveiled to the masses and quickly became a game that was occupying some serious hard drive space in every gamer’s mind. As the release date neared, the excitement level reached a fever pitch… culminating in an unforgettable appearance by the one and only Keanu Reeves as he announced his participation as a primary character in the game. But even he could not save this game from the stress fractures that were about to be revealed as one released date was pushed, followed by another…. and another. The assumption was that these delays were merely adding some final coats of polish on yet another remarkable masterpiece from the CDPR team. We would all safely be inhabiting the neon-drenched streets of Night City soon, it was just a matter of time. But we were all SO very wrong…
What happened next will probably go down in gaming history for generations to come, told as a cautionary tale to future game publishers and developers as they attempt to craft their own dreams without flying too close to the sun. Early reviews looked great as critics praised the narrative and visual accomplishments of the development team… but those review copies were played on high-end PCs and next-gen gaming consoles, not on base model PS4’s and Xbox 1 systems. The problem? There are over 150 million PS4 and Xbox 1 systems still being played, and those gamers received a DRAMATICALLY different experience than their PC/next-gen HW brethren. We aren’t just talking about some grainy textures and rough visuals either… these were game-breaking bugs, entire missions that simply wouldn’t work, and framerate issues that were LITERALLY making players physically sick.
All of the goodwill that CD Projekt Red had previously earned went up in smoke instantly, and despite the hard work of the development team to get a patch out that would solve many of the issues that were plaguing gamers, the damage was done. Refunds were demanded and given, metacritic scores plummeted, and no matter how hard they work to restore faith in the title, the brand name is tarnished. So let’s cut to the heart of the matter. As much as it would have made people upset, this game should have been delayed again, at least on current generation consoles. It wasn’t ready, and anyone can see that now. Irreparable damage has been done both to this franchise as well as the development studio because they were so committed to hitting this release date after SO many embarrassing delays. Would it have hurt? Of course… but it would have saved them the unprecedented indignity of being REMOVED from digital store shelves and setting refund records.
We can blame this on hubris, but the reality is that the team wasn’t trying to unite the entire gaming world in hating on their game. They WANTED everyone to enjoy their experience. They simply didn’t demonstrate the patience needed when taking on the challenge of developing a game that would be played on not one, not two, but over TEN unique hardware configurations. Between the multiple different models (and corresponding differences in power and architecture) of PS4, Xbox, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X (not to mention the myriad of different PC HW options), this was already an almost impossible mission. They should have taken the time to insure EACH experience measured up to their quality standards, even if it meant another unpopular delay. But their impatience ultimately made them famous, just for all the wrong reasons.
Interestingly enough, our issues with patience are at the heart of more of our problems than we often realize. Many times I have tried to understand the root cause issues of my own sins and moral failures, and now in retrospect it is easy to see where I went wrong. While it is true that all of our sins have their basis in our own selfish desires (James 1:14), Jesus never shamed anyone for wanting to have their needs met. As a matter of fact, in Matthew 6:8 Jesus told us that God KNOWS our needs and in the Lord’s prayer specifically told us to ASK the Lord for our “daily bread”. Wanting things is not a sin… but choosing to take them BEFORE we are supposed to have them is a BIG problem… a lesson I have learned many times the hard way.
The right thing at the wrong time is still sin, and it can have catastrophic results. The best example of this is in the case of King Saul in 1 Samuel 13…
1 Samuel 13:7-14 As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him. And Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
The people of Israel were hiding in caves for fear of their enemy, and King Saul was waiting on the arrival of the prophet Samuel to come and make the sacrifice that would insure the Lord’s blessing on the upcoming battle. But Samuel didn’t make his projected “release date”, and Saul didn’t believe he could wait any longer. Rather than wait for the right timing and trust the Lord, Saul chose to just “release the game”… in this case make the sacrifices to God that were not his to make. He wanted God’s blessing without waiting for God’s timing, and no sooner did he complete his act of impatience then Samuel showed up… not at the time Saul wanted, but at the time that God had appointed. The result? Saul would lose the kingdom he was desperately trying to protect… not because Saul didn’t WANT God’s blessing, but because he wanted it on HIS terms and on HIS timeline. His impatience was the impetus for the downfall of his kingdom… Saul ended up winning this particular battle but he lost the war in the process.
Are you ready for an eye-opening realization? The last FIVE of the Ten Commandments (found in Exodus 20:13-17) actually have their basis in PATIENCE. Now you might not have ever seen it that way before, and are more accustomed to viewing this as a list of “Thou shalt nots”. See for yourself…
“You shall not murder. (WAIT for the Lord to bring justice – Romans 12:19)
“You shall not commit adultery. (WAIT for your marital partner to satisfy your needs – Proverbs 5:15)
“You shall not steal.” (WAIT until you can afford what you want – 1 Timothy 6:6)
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (WAIT for the truth to set you free – John 8:32)
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (WAIT for the Lord to provide all of your needs – Philippians 4:19)
I certainly didn’t set out to break any of these commandments…. but due to my impatience with the Lord’s plan for my life I found myself in violation of many of these, and I (along with those who I hurt) paid a heavy price each and every time. I didn’t have any intentions of committing these sins when I woke up that morning… the reality is that it was my impatience that led to my desire to take even the good things the Lord had for me before it was time for me to have them.
I would encourage each of us to reflect on our own decisions before we judge the makers of CyberPunk too harshly… have we always waited patiently for the goodness of the Lord to reveal itself in His timing? Or have we also made the mistake of buying the cart before the horse, put it on a credit card that we had no hope of paying off, and then topped it off by wishing we had someone else’s cart because it looked roomier and had a leather interior? And then we doubled down on our mistakes by killing our neighbor’s horse when nobody was looking and lied about it? Ok, maybe that analogy went off the deep end with all the horse murder… but I think we are all on the same page now.
It is our impatience that often leads to our greatest mistakes, and much like the flawed release of CyberPunk even the best of intentions can be sabotaged when we choose to chase self-imposed deadlines rather than wait for the timing to line up. So here is the big question… what deadline have you or someone else placed on you that is pressuring you to compromise on your beliefs ? Is it the pressure to get married, have kids, start your career, buy a house, upgrade your vehicle, or any number of other good pursuits that in and of themselves are fine, but outside of God’s timing can result in shipwreck? I have been Saul many times, seizing the moment instead of waiting on God’s timing, and each time I have dropped an epic, CyberPunk-level nuclear warhead in my life and the lives of others as a result.
It is my prayer that this encourages you today to avoid the pitfalls of impatience… the siren song of “releasing your game early” may be weighing on you, but only the Lord’s timing is right on time. Impatience is the root cause of HALF of the sins listed in the Ten Commandments, and to be honest it is actually at the root of breaking the first commandment… to have no other “gods” before Him. When we place our trust in ourselves, our plans, our schedules, or anyone else’s guidance we have placed these ABOVE God. It is the equivalent of telling the Lord, “Thanks for the idea, now let me handle all the details. I got this.” We may not intend it that way, but the reality is that the moment we take Him out of the driver seat, we have committed a violation of the very first rule.
Perhaps you have already made mistakes of impatience that you are currently burdened with… I know I certainly have. But it is never too late to turn even these burdens over to the Lord. He died for ALL of our sins… past, present, and future. How do I know? Because when He died ALL of my sins were still in the future… I hadn’t even been born yet. And unless you are 2,000 years old, you weren’t either. He died KNOWING we were going to impatiently make a mess of our lives… and He is STILL ready to make a masterpiece out of our mess. Give Him your messy, bug-filled, broken “CyberPunk” choices today, no matter how tempting it is to think you can still fix it if you just try a little harder. We CAN’T… our plans, just like CyberPunk’s release, were doomed from the day they were announced. We just didn’t know it at the time. All the Keanu Reeves hype in the world couldn’t save CyberPunk from it’s own cardinal sin… the sin of impatience. And no amount of additional resources, good intentions, or hopeful dreams will change our path either…only patient submission to the will of the Master will right our course. As David found in Psalm 27, it is at our point of tapping out that HIS strength will be revealed in our situations…
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