The release of Cyberpunk 2077 was an absolute shitshow, and in an unprecedented move, nearly every retailer or platform that sells the game is now offering a formal refund program specifically for the game. Besides Microsoft and Sony, the latter of which outright pulled the game from its PlayStation Store last night, developer CD Projekt now says it will honor any refund requests made by December 21. Meanwhile, Best Buy is also offering refunds.
CD Projekt is hoping buyers will have faith and not request a refund — major bug fixes are coming in the beginning of 2021. But those who won't wait are advised to first try and obtain a refund through the retailer from which they purchased the game. If that isn't possible, CD Projekt will refund the purchase themselves to any buyer who emails a proof of receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. The company is paying for these refunds out of its own pocket. The cost of the make-good could balloon as Cyberpunk sold more than eight million copies prior to launch.
That's gotta hurt — The release of Cyberpunk 2077 was a major disappointment for a game that was hyped up to the public for nearly a decade as a title that would push the limits on graphics performance. The game was delayed multiple times, and CD Projekt Red eventually pushed its workforce into overtime so the game could be released during a major holiday season for gaming that coincided with the release of both Microsoft and Sony's next-gen gaming consoles.
Clearly that meant rushing, though, as the game has been plagued with bugs and poor visual renderings, the very categories where Cyberpunk 2077 was expected to shine. The game is especially bad on previous-generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. It's so bad, many critics argue it should never have supported them.
"After three delays, we as the Management Board were too focused on releasing the game," CD Projekt joint-CEO Adam Kiciński said during a recent conference call addressing the issues with the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game. "We underestimated the scale and complexity of the issues, we ignored the signals about the need for additional time to refine the game on the base last-gen consoles... This caused the loss of gamers’ trust and the reputation that we’ve been building through a big part of our lives."
Staff outrage — According to Bloomberg, the staff at CD Projekt Red is understandably outraged with management after working on Cyberpunk 2077 for nearly a decade only to be pilloried by the masses.
Anonymous staffers chalked up the failure to management's "unrealistic deadlines" and demand of "relentless overtime." The open-world game was ambitious from the start, and executives failed immensely by rushing out a game when public expectations couldn't have been higher.
Besides perpetuating an unhealthy internal culture of overwork, staff have questioned CD Projekt Red's public statements claiming the game was "complete and playable" as far back as January. It's going to be hard for the company to come back from this, and while the founders have lost a fortune, the worst part — as is usually the case in the stage of late-capitalism we all inhabit — is that executives will likely still make a killing in spite of their missteps.