If you’ve not seen some of the wild videos out there of Cyberpunk 2077 struggling to run on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, you must have very carefully curated social feeds, and for that I salute you. But CD Projekt Red’s latest open world RPG is having a rather unpleasant launch on consoles, to the point where Sony is reportedly offering refunds to players on PlayStation 4 for the game’s state, which players have deemed “not acceptable.”
How did so many people end up buying the console versions when they were in such a bad way? Well, the reason is because CD Projekt Red did a lot of in its power to ensure no one knew how it would run on the base PS4 and Xbox One. From only sending out PC copies to reviewers, to only showing footage of the game running on a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, just what the game was going to look like on old consoles was intentionally obscured from the public. As such, Cyberpunk 2077 sold enough to recoup the game’s development costs in just one weekend.
So now that we’re four days removed from launch, CD Projekt Red has released a statement about the quality of the console version on the official Cyberpunk 2077 Twitter page, and to the studio’s credit, it will be allowing players to get a refund on the game should they so desire.
First of all, we would like to start by apologizing to you for not showing the game on base last-gen consoles before it premiered and, in consequence, not allowing you to make a more informed decision about your purchase. We should have paid more attention to making it play better on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Second, we will fix bugs and crashes, and improve the overall experience. The first round of updates has just been released and the next one is coming within the next 7 days. Expect more, as we will update frequently whenever new improvements are ready. After the holidays, we’ll continue working – we’ll release two large patches starting with Patch #1 in January. This will be followed Patch #2 in February. Together these should fix the most prominent problems gamers are facing on last-gen consoles. We will be informing you about the contents of each patch ahead of their release. They won’t make the game on last-gen look like it’s running on a high-spec PC or next-gen console, but it will be closer to that experience than it is now.
Finally, we would always like everyone who buys our games to be satisfied with their purchase. We would appreciate it if you would give us a chance, but if you are not pleased with the game on your console and don’t want to wait for updates, you can opt to refund your copy. For copies purchased digitally, please use the refund system of PSN or Xbox respectively. For boxed versions, please first try to get a refund at the store where you bought the game. Should this not be possible, please contact us at email@example.com and we will do our best to help you. Starting from today, you can contact us for a week up until December 21st, 2020.
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) December 14, 2020
My read on the situation is that if you’ve gotten the game on PS4 and Xbox One and the game is running poorly for you, absolutely take the offer for a refund. If the updates CD Projekt Red are pushing out will substantially improve the experience, you can always get a new copy later, rather than miss out on the money you spent in the moment when there are better games you could be playing.
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Prior to launch, CD Projekt Red had acknowledged the reason for its delaying the game to its final release date of December 10 was largely due to the team attempting to optimize Cyberpunk 2077 for every system it would be playable on. This included the base PS4 and Xbox One alongside their mid-generation updates and new consoles, so maybe that the game was going to launch in this state on those systems was more of an open secret than we realized at the time. The delay came after the studio mandated crunch for its developers in order to try to avoid pushing the game out of November, but that clearly didn’t work out.
For more on Cyberpunk 2077, check out Alexis Ong’s write-up on the cyberpunk genre’s history with Asian culture.