Developer ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ Plans Refunds for Unhappy Players

The creator of “Cyberpunk 2077,” one of this year’s most anticipated video games, told gamers they can seek a refund because the initial version included bugs, a rare move for a major publisher and the latest brand in a project attacked by launch delays.

Warsaw CD Project SA

CDR -7.61%

said Monday in a tweet that the $ 60 game that features Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves and appeared last week is not working properly on Sony Corp.

SNE 1.16%

PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Corp.

MSFT -0.37%

Xbox One. The company apologized and said it has addressed some issues with recent updates and more are planned in the coming weeks.

“We would appreciate it if you would give us a chance, but if you don’t like the game on your console and don’t want to wait for updates, you can choose to repay your copy,” the company said.

Analysts have predicted that “Cyberpunk” will sell anywhere from 18 million to 25 million copies in its first month. The day CD Projekt CDR appeared -7.61%

said the game has eight million pre-orders, of which about 59%, or 4.7 million copies, were for computers.

A representative of CD Projekt declined to comment further. Shares of CD Projekt have declined about 25% since Wednesday’s close in Warsaw trading, giving more than $ 2 billion in market value.

“Cyberpunk” is the largest and most expensive project yet for the more than two-decade-old video game company. Co-directors of CD Projekt told The Wall Street Journal earlier this month that they had miscalculated how long it would take to complete “Cyberpunk” and that the coronavirus pandemic prevented the later stages of four years of development that followed pre-production work begun around 2012 .

Executives also said the company found itself overwhelmed by efforts to make “Cyberpunk” playable on nine platforms at launch. He previously developed games for three platforms simultaneously.

“It’s a major misfire.”

– Jefferies analyst Ken Rumph

It’s unusual for game publishers to suggest that players seek rewards for their big-budget releases. Typically companies will delay games full of problems to fix before letting them sell. One or two delays are relatively common, but no more. However gamers in recent years have been expecting games to debut with some imperfections and for developers to solve those problems through online updates.

“It’s a major glitch,” Jefferies analyst Ken Rumph said of CD Projekt’s “Cyberpunk” edition.

The game has received mixed reactions from professional reviewers and everyday gamers, with some aggressively complaining on social media. Tesla’s prime minister, Elon Musk, tweeted reply to CD Projekt’s tweet with a screenshot of a message expressing disappointment with a PlayStation 4 copy of “Cyberpunk” by an unidentified writer.

“I took a week off work to play this game and I quickly realized that it’s not the game I’ve been thinking about every day for eight years,” the message said.

Several other prominent developers have delayed games this year, citing work-from-home challenges caused by the health crisis as a key factor. For example, Microsoft in August pushed back the release of a new installment of its gun franchise Hall to next year.

It is important that “Cyberpunk” be a success for CD Projekt. The company has only one other major franchise, The Witcher, and its last major release is now five years old.

The snafu could create headaches for CD Projekt as it looks to develop other games along the way, including the online multiplayer version of “Cyberpunk,” which it promised, said Bernstein analyst Matti Littunen.

“Players have long memories,” he said.

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Released on December 15, 2020, a print edition as “Cyberpunk” Game Maker Offers Refunds. ”