CD Projekt aim to ‘rebuild the trust we have lost’ over Cyberpunk 2077
CD Projekt has tried to explain what went wrong with Cyberpunk 2077, as they insist ‘We are not encouraging gamers to return the game’.
Over the last few days CD Projekt has watched themselves go from one of the most respected and trusted developers in the world to one of the most reviled, thanks to the terrible performance of Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles and their apparent attempts to cover it up until the last possible moment.
Apart from anything else this has sent their share price tumbling, forcing the company’s execs to hold an emergency investors call in which president Adam Kiciński insisted that, ‘We will do everything possible to prove that we stick to our values’ and that ‘We truly hope that our efforts will let us rebuild the trust we have lost.’
The call was also used as an attempt to explain what exactly had happened but there were mixed messages amongst the execs, with Michał Nowakowski claiming that focusing on the PC version was the main problem, not trying to make the pre-Christmas deadline.
‘I wouldn’t say that we felt any external or internal pressure to launch on the date –
other than the normal pressure, which is typical for any release. So that was not the cause’, said Nowakowski.
‘After three delays, we as the management board were too focused on releasing the game. We underestimated the scale and complexity of the issues, we ignored the signals about the need for additional time to refine the game on the base last gen consoles.’, said Kiciński in a somewhat contradictory opening statement.
‘It was the wrong approach and against our business philosophy. On top of that, during the campaign, we showed the game mostly on PCs. This caused the loss of gamers’ trust and the reputation that we’ve been building through a big part of our lives.’
The coronavirus was also blamed for the problems, especially in terms of organising external testers, while CEO Marcin Iwiński explained the lack of footage and review copies of the console versions as due to developers working on the game ‘until the very last minute’.
‘Unfortunately this resulted in giving it to reviewers just one day before the release, which was definitely too late and the media didn’t get the chance to review it properly. That was not intended; we were just fixing the game until the very last moment’, he said.
No one seemed to have an answer for how the game managed to get through the certification process for both Sony and Microsoft, which is supposed to stop clearly broken games from being released, with Nowakowski saying, ‘I can only assume that they trusted that we’re going to fix things upon release’.
It’s all a terrible mess but it is clear that Sony and Microsoft bear some of the blame, as they could and should have stopped the release of the game, and surely would’ve if it was a lower profile title.
To add to the confusion the execs also manage to muddle their message over refunds, with Iwiński insisting that the company is ‘not encouraging gamers to return the game’.
‘We hope they’ll give us a chance to improve it on old gen consoles. One fix was released last weekend; another one is coming in seven days – but there is an
option, obviously, and the easiest way is to ask the retailer for a refund. If that’s not possible, we also provide help.’
It’s already become clear that Sony, Microsoft, and many traditional retailers are not keen to give out refunds for the game, with customers reporting inconsistent results in their attempts to get their money back.
The whole launch so far has been a disaster, with CD Projekt’s offer to help out with refunds due to end on December 21 and the patch next week implied to be less significant than the two planned for January and February next year.
Investors seemed more interested in how much it would cost to fix the game, which CD Projekt insisted was irrelevant.
‘Unfortunately I cannot share the cost related to additional work, but the cost of patching the game is irrelevant compared to what we have already spent’, said Piotr Nielubowicz.
‘So there’s no question – we definitely want to fix the game; we made a promise to gamers and we’ll be doing everything to stick with it.’
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