Tom Quirk plays a lot of video games, but when he isn't, he is reading fantasy novels and watching way more television than is healthy.
Despite its disastrous launch that has seen players on console seeking refunds, Cyberpunk 2077 has done well for itself financially. According to an investor note from CD Projekt SA, their latest title has sold over 13 million copies across all platforms between December 10th and 20th. 8 million of those copies were preorders. This figure even factors in the copies that have since been refunded.
Despite the controversies that have dogged Cyberpunk 2077 on release, the game has been enormously successful in terms of revenue. CD Projekt Red recouped their entire development and marketing budget with just preorder and day one sales alone. The fact that more than half of those sales were preorders demonstrates the power of the hype generated around the newest title from the developers behind The Witcher games. Even with the number of copies being refunded on console, Cyberpunk 2077 is still set to be one of 2020’s best-selling games.
This monetary success belies the damage that the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 has done to CD Projekt Red’s reputation. The controversies have caused the company’s stock to fall by 41%, angering investors. There is also the potential for a class-action lawsuit based on deceptive advertising. The game has been pulled from Sony’s digital store shelves, and remains a total mess on base model last-generation consoles. According to a New York Times report, CD Projekt Red tried to hide the game’s performance on console from reviewers ahead of launch. The end result is a breach of trust between players and the once-celebrated developer. Once broken, that trust might take a long time to build back.
In all likelihood, things will probably bounce back for Cyberpunk 2077. Patches are on their way to improve the game’s performance on last-generation consoles. Once more gamers obtain a PS5 or Xbox Series X, more consoles will be able to run Cyberpunk 2077 well. However, the story of Cyberpunk 2077’s launch will hopefully make gamers more sceptical about pre-release marketing and pre-order culture in the future, especially for games that have generated as much hype as this one.