The biggest gaming news story of the last year was undoubtedly the release of Cyberpunk 2077. Expected to be the best RPG gaming has ever seen, CD Projekt's sci-fi title experienced heavy criticism at launch due to bugs, crashes, visual issues, and more and as a result, many orders had to be refunded.
Now, a report from Ars Technica reveals that although you might hear about CD Projekt Red's Help Me Refund campaign helping players get $2.23 million back in refunds, the true amount the developer lost was about $51.2 million. The discrepancy comes from the studio mentioning the system it put in place to help individuals get refunds, rather than the whole refunding process that had to take place to give people their money back. So, yes, although CD Projekt's Help Me Refund campaign helped $2.23 million back into the hands of the players, it was truly about $51.2 million in losses all together. Before we delve into the reasons why this number is so chunky, let's first remind ourselves why so many people were requesting those refunds:
The report from Ars Technica and Mike Futter only managed to spot this as it's mentioned deep in the financial report as "Other Provisions". The language here is highly technical and difficult to decipher despite the millions it has to address - page 73 if you're interested in looking at the financial statement yourself.
These numbers aren't just raw data, however, as some projecting had to be done in the process. Although there was $10.65 million lost through digital and physical retailers, as well as that Help Me Refund $2.23 million, some guessing had to be done to anticipate the additional $38.34 million in losses. This would consider further sales, information from retailers, and further predicted sales.
It's worth mentioning, though, that this is a fraction of the revenue that CD Projekt made. Though $50 million is a lot to me or you, when you put it in the scope of the 13.7 million copies of the game that were sold, CD Projekt is still solidly in the green when it comes to financials. The company won't collapse from the refunds, you'll be glad to hear, but it has taken a chunk out of its revenue.
Revenue for CD Projekt was about $563 million in sales revenue and a net profit of £300 million for 2020. That of course isn't just Cyberpunk 2077 related - The Witcher 3 had a huge surge in attention and Gwent has been pacing along nicely too.
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