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CD Projekt Red, the developer of Cyberpunk 2077, has seen its share price dip by approximately 25% since August 2020.
At the start of the year, the company was valued at almost $7 billion, and then surged to $8 billion after The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt launched on the Nintendo Switch in February. I prefer to call it "The Switcher," for short. Sales continued to perform strongly in the following months, bolstered by the success of the Netflix adaptation of the novels, and CD Projekt Red shunted Ubisoft from its throne to become the most valuable video game company in Europe. Going from strength to strength, its market cap eventually peaked at $9.6 billion in August, with shares in the company costing $117.
Regardless of putting in a stunning shift over the course of 2020, share price has now decreased to $85: a drop of 25% since the summer, and the lowest value the company has seen for its shares since April. This also means that about $2 billion has been lost from its market cap, placing it at around the $8 billion mark once more. Now, that's still a lot of money, and even with this news, it's not like the studio is risking going under. However, the surrounding stories of crunch and delays to Cyberpunk 2077 are likely to be the cause of the significant dip, and show that money talks.
Previously claiming that a "non-obligatory crunch policy" was in place for Cyberpunk 2077, studio boss Adam Badowski announced in September that the teams would be working six-day weeks for two months. The studio expressed regret over reneging on its word, but explained that it had "extended all other possible means of navigating the situation." A glimmer of light appeared when CD Projekt Red celebrated the game going gold and getting ready for production of physical copies, but then, another delay was declared.
Moving the game's launch from November 19th to December 10th, Adam Badowski and co-founder Marcin Iwiński said that this time was vital to achieving what the studio set out with Cyberpunk 2077. "We're aware it might seem unrealistic when someone says that 21 days can make any difference in such a massive and complex game, but they really do," asserted the two.
Furthermore, in a call with investors, co-CEO Adam Kiciński argued that the crunch conditions on Cyberpunk 2077 were "not that bad." He apologised hastily in an internal email to employees, describing his comments as "not even unfortunate" but "utterly bad." And, in this same call, Kiciński didn't seem very settled on the new date. "We feel - maybe not comfortable, but confident," he conceded. A fourth delay would doubtlessly damage the company's share prices even further, and CD Projekt Red will likely avoid this outcome like the plague. Yet, it is hoped that the work ahead of the developers becomes progressively lighter and more manageable as tasks are ticked off before Cyberpunk 2077 launches on December 10th.
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