A recent report claims that almost two million copies of Cyberpunk 2077 have been refunded by the community, which is an astonishing admission as it secured the greatest digital game launch of all time and scored more pre-orders than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
On top of this, Cyberpunk 2077 actually recouped all of its development costs in the first day that it was out in the wild. Basing our opinion of the game on these facts alone, it's stunning to discover that nearly two million refunds of Cyberpunk 2077 have been processed by CD Projekt Red. In a few instances, gamers were able to keep their copy of the game and the accompanying loot that came in the Collector's Edition, which is effectively the best of both worlds.
Perhaps the chaos of Cyberpunk 2077's shambolic launch passed you by. In spite of assurances made to customers and to platforms, the game performed appallingly on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X. Memes, glorious memes of the glitches were plastered all over the internet: catapulting cars, decapitated NPCs continuing on their daily business, tiny trees in every corner of Night City, and teleporting police officers. That's not scratching the surface of the crashes that players had to grapple with, and one bug that caused save files to be irrevocably corrupted if they crafted a certain number of objects. Our own Ewan Moore reviewed the game and concluded that Cyberpunk 2077 would have benefitted hugely from a fifth delay.
This was no small bump in the road. Approximately $1 billion was wiped from CD Projekt Red's market valuation in December 2020, and the company was forced to liaise with Sony and Microsoft to organise refunds owing to the unavoidable problems with Cyberpunk 2077. Now, CD Projekt Red hasn't officially stated how many refunds have gone through successfully, presumably because they're too tied up with the two lawsuits and it's a bad look for the company. But, this community poll fromUpper Echelon Gamers sheds some light on the situation.
Two million refunds is an enormous number, and unfortunately, we won't be able to verify this against Sony or Microsoft's own numbers. In addition, there isn't an option in the poll for "didn't purchase", which could have affected the overall conclusions. The breakdown is illuminating, though. The majority of PC players did not refund Cyberpunk 2077, and that's understandable as it did perform rather reliably on PC. However, the split is fuzzier when it comes to console players, showing that some trusted CD Projekt Red to rectify the issues with the game, whereas others were too unhappy to continue with Cyberpunk 2077.
If you were one of the people stung by the state of Cyberpunk 2077 and felt let down by its launch, then luckily, we've gota few nuggets of wisdom to take forward into February. Firstly, research on the process of how a game gets made. Admittedly, a lot of this is kept under wraps and especially so while studios are working remotely, but reading interviews with designers or watching deep dives into a specific game is a good place to start. Then, follow the updates of an upcoming game that you're interested in, as you'll get a good idea of whether the super-shiny cinematic trailer you saw will be representative of the overall experience. Survey it like a hawk, like a hawk with its tummy full of mice and therefore has no need to swoop in and pre-order before it has properly appraised the situation. Easy.
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