Sony has pulled "Cyberpunk 2077," one of the most anticipated games in recent years, from its PlayStation Store after a flood of complaints and ridicule over compatibility issues and bugs from customers.
The gaming giant said it is offering full refunds to any customer who purchased CD Projekt Red’s title from the PlayStation Store -- though customers need to ask for it. Last week, CD Projekt Red announced that "Cyberpunk 2077" had been pre-ordered more than 8 million times. A day later (Friday), the company said its revenue from digital pre-order sales alone exceeded all of Cyberpunk 2077's production, marketing and promotional costs.
Updated at 18:25 GMT on Friday, December 18: Microsoft has also acknowledged that some players on "older consoles" are not happy with the gaming experience of "Cyberpunk 2077" and says it is offering refunds to anyone who has purchased the game from Xbox Store -- and asks for it. As of the time of the update, "Cyberpunk 2077" was still listed on Xbox Store, so it appears that Microsoft is not delisting the game from its store.
Updated at 19:25 GMT: CD Projekt Red says it intends to offer a refund to customers who bought a physical copy or a digital copy of "Cyberpunk 2077" at retail. "We will do this out of our own pocket if necessary," it said in a tweet. BestBuy is offering a refund to customers, too. Our original story follows.
Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners, said the delisting of a much-anticipated title is unprecedented in the gaming industry. “I don't think we've ever really seen something like this in the industry before. The only thing that comes close is when Warner Bros. delisted 'Batman Arkham Knight' from PC due to technical issues, but that was from the publisher themselves. This is the platform holder delisting the game.”
He said CD Projekt Red could have delayed the release of "Cyberpunk 2077" by another year and avoided the situation it has landed itself in. “ 'Cyberpunk 2077' was expected to become a 30 million+ seller prior to launch. But the state of the game and CDPR's handling of the situation post launch has led to this.”
CD Projekt Red released "Cyberpunk 2077," a game that was first unveiled seven years ago, on December 10 following multiple delays. Shares of CD Projekt Red were down more than 13% at the time of publishing.
Sony Interactive Entertainment “strives to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, and we will begin to offer a full refund for all gamers who have purchased Cyberpunk 2077 via PlayStation Store and want a refund,” the company said Friday. "Cyberpunk 2077" title is also plagued by bugs and other glitches on other platforms.
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Earlier this week, CD Projekt Red acknowledged that more attention should have been paid to make the game “play better on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.” The company also said it would offer refunds to unsatisfied customers, but many users said they had not received their money back.
"It's not like people didn't see this coming for a few months now," said Niko Partners' Ahmad. "From the many delays of the game prior, to developers and QA pointing out issues, to last gen footage of the game being deliberately hidden / taken down (as admitted by CDPR) and more. There are multiple lessons to learn from this."
"An important one being that management / production processes need to improve. It turns out crunching non stop for months doesn't make a game good. It negatively impacts not just the health of developers, but of the game, too. There will also be wider impacts on the industry when it comes to guidelines for marketing, certification and refunds from a publisher and platform holder level. Anyway, will be interesting to see how CDPR respond and how they can salvage the lost goodwill they built up over years," he added.
The headline and story were updated to reflect newer developments.