Sony has been issuing refunds for players unhappy with Cyberpunk 2077′s performance.
A quick look at the #Cyberbug2077 hashtag on Twitter will show you why. The game is filled with bugs to the point that it’s safe to say this is a game that was released unfinished. From full crashes to disappearing textures, consistent graphical glitches, and bugs that impact story progression, there’s no shortage of technical issues in this game, especially on PlayStation 4. Digital Foundry’s analysis has deemed Cyberpunk 2077′s performance on the base PlayStation 4 “not acceptable.”
As such, some players have resorted to filing refund claims to Sony — and are getting those refunds. While there is a two-hour playtime limit for players to ask for a refund on a game, Sony is reportedly making exceptions. Reddit user NotBen_2 made a post about their experience with asking for a refund despite having played well over 10 hours. Even though it took sitting on hold “for over an hour to speak with someone” on the phone, Sony was “quick to issue the refund and then delete the game off my library.” Additionally, they claim the representative they spoke with said Sony is issuing a business complaint to developer CD Projekt Red about the technical problems. Several other users have replied to the thread confirming they’ve been able to get refunds; however, some requests are being denied.
It’s not surprising to see this happen, to say the least. For review purposes, the media only had access to PC codes. Console codes, likely due to the massive technical issues present in the game’s console versions, were not made available before the first patch. Press was also not allowed to use any footage not already present in trailers. Earlier this week, a piece published on Kotaku explored the many issues with this game’s odd review process.
It’s important to remember that, while some hardcore fans of Cyberpunk 2077 will try to convince others of: no, you should not need to pay for a new console during a pandemic for this game to be playable. That is why optimization exists. This game is making money on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and therefore it should be playable on the consoles it is earning a profit from.
Cyberpunk 2077 pre-sold 8 million copies prior to launch.
That’s over $500m in revenue prior to release.
For reference, GTAV did $800m on its first day including pre orders + day one sales. https://t.co/DNNZjp5w5Q
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 10, 2020
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Despite this, CD Projekt Red has revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 covered its development and promotional costs before it even came out. It had eight million preorders and made over $500 million in revenue before its release.
A Bloomberg report revealed that CD Projekt Red executives took responsibility for the highly buggy release in an email sent to staff on Friday earlier this week. As a result, they are making a change to the preposterous bonus structure that has been in place. Previously, CD Projekt Red developers would receive bonuses based on the game’s critical performance, with the baseline being a 90 or above on review aggregation site Metacritic. Now, those employees will be receiving their full bonuses no matter how the game is reviewed. How lucky.
“We initially had a bonus system that was focused on the game’s ratings and the release date, but after consideration, we believe that measure is simply not fair under the circumstances,” wrote Adam Badowski, studio head and creative director for Cyberpunk 2077, in the email. “We underestimated the lengths and complexity involved to make this a reality, and still you did everything you could to deliver an ambitious, special game.”
The Bloomberg report revealing this also sheds light on the grander bonus system. Jason Schreier reports, “every month, team leaders at the company gave out tokens styled after the studio’s logo, a red bird, to members of their team they felt deserved honors, according to three current and former employees. Those tokens would have then been transferred into bonuses if the game met certain criteria, like critical acclaim and a timely release.” Such a gamified system very likely pushed developers to work longer hours. Cyberpunk 2077′s developer has had consistent crunch controversies, going as far as to order 6-day work weeks ahead of launch. CD Projekt Red has not commented on this latest report.
Cyberpunk 2077 is out now for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia. It will be available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S in 2021.