Cyberpunk 2077's refunds cost CD Projekt $51 million

midian182

Posts: 7,081   +62
Staff member
Why it matters: It's common knowledge that Cyberpunk 2077 sold millions in pre-orders and at launch, but what people really want to know is how many of those buyers were refunded. Now, we have an idea of the figures: just under 215,000, or about 1.6% of all units sold.

In CD Projekt's full earnings report, the company reveals that Cyberpunk 2077 sold 13.7 million copies last year—a pretty amazing figure for a game released on December 10. Most of these (56%) were the PC and Stadia versions, while 28% were for the PlayStation 4 and 17% for the Xbox One.

The game was far from problem-free, of course, especially on the consoles, leading to plenty of refunds. You may have read that this cost the company $2.23 million, but that relates only to direct refunds made last year through CDPR's "Help me Refund" campaign, along with its marketing costs.

Ars Technica and analyst Mike Futter note that an "Other Provisions" section of the report reveals the full picture. CD Projekt spent about $51.2 million on "provisions for returns and expected adjustments of licensing reports related to sales of Cyberpunk 2077 in its release window, in Q4 2020." The number appears to include all digital and retail refunds for the game in 2020, along with refunds and lost sales projected throughout 2021.

In 2020 alone, $10.65 million worth of refunds were made through digital and physical retailers. Combined with the $2.23 million in direct refunds, it equals nearly $12.9 million in total. Assuming each one was a $60 purchase, that equates to just under 215,000 units. That would be a lot for most games, but it represents just 1.6% of all Cyberpunk 2077 units sold in 2020.

As we heard last week, Cyberpunk 2077 helped CD Projekt to a record $563 million in sales revenue and $303 million net profit last year, so that $51 million is just 9% of the company's total revenue.

There are some other interesting Cyberpunk 2077 facts in the report: 73% of all sales were digital downloads; the game had a blockbuster movie-like budget of $315 million; and the team working on it included 530 developers and 2,000 voice actors.

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Irata

Posts: 1,673   +2,805
9% of revenue for refunds is imho quite a bit. Looking at how the share price fared since Cyberpunk 2077‘s release is even less pretty.

It will be interesting to see what damage this did to their brand (if any) mid to long term.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 953   +1,763
Sad part is that this kind of show you the worst case scenario most game publishers know: If you spend enough on marketing and hype before release, there's almost no way to actually fail.

9% of refunds and the game its a financial runaway success. I think the refund rates could have gone up to even 20% and the game would still be comfortably profitable. The message it sends it's "Big productions only need big marketing, not actual quality" and I think CDPR already took this lesson: remember a while back they said they were going to restructure to basically become an even worst company and work on several big titles simultaneously from now on, the exact opposite kind of measure to put too much of a constrain on their exploited-to-the-maximum devs to develop more than one of these at the same time.

The only irony is that this is being set forth by a company that was (probably is actually) a PC gamer darling company.
 

Toju Mikie

Posts: 213   +195
No PS5/XBOX Series S/X sales data?
The last version I tried was patch 1.1, so I'll go back and see what was fixed.
The budget for this game is very surprising though. I didn't think it was that high. The only positive I can say about that is that at least it's not Star Citizen.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,727   +2,041
TechSpot Elite
I'm sure that they'll be just fine. Let's face it, $51,000,000 is probably a drop in the bucket to their shareholders.

It's hard to feel sorry for a company that's badly managed like this when they have more money than Midas to begin with.
 
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McKocoa

Posts: 32   +47
The game is still not available on the PS digital store, it's been about 4 months now. I don't blame PS, PS had to deal with returns and wild promises(return policy changes) from CD Projekt. If you haven't learned by now to not pre-order a game, then you will never learn.
 

Achaios

Posts: 193   +532
Never played, don't care, garbage game.

Amusing to watch from afar all the fanbois who thought this game was the best thing that ever happened to mankind after penicillin.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,224   +5,926
Never played, don't care, garbage game.

Amusing to watch from afar all the fanbois who thought this game was the best thing that ever happened to mankind after penicillin.


I wasn’t a fanboy.
I paid no attention to the hype.
I gave it a chance.
As broken as it was, on PC, it was fun !!!
 

Irata

Posts: 1,673   +2,805
I'm sure that they'll be just fine. Let's face it, $51,000,000 is probably a drop in the bucket to their shareholders.

It's hard to feel sorry for a company that's badly managed like this when they have more money than Midas to begin with.
Although I‘m sure their shareholders are probably not thrilled looking at their stock‘s value.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 979   +1,416
Not wanting to be rude, but that is a mentally challenged comment. Not sure how to put it another way, so my apologies to the mods.

You are essentially saying that the game runs fine on a $ 3000+ system. Congrats but for a mass market product that should not be the aim.
By the same token, though, it's equally unreasonable to demand an actual next-generation game run flawlessly on last-generation consoles.

Companies like Rockstar and Bethesda get around this by releasing the same game again, forever. I'm not sure that's much better.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 443   +706
Not wanting to be rude, but that is a mentally challenged comment. Not sure how to put it another way, so my apologies to the mods.

You are essentially saying that the game runs fine on a $ 3000+ system. Congrats but for a mass market product that should not be the aim.

That's his comment on almost every post he makes. His narcissistic need to post about how awesome his 3090 card is and how much better he is over everyone else is disgusting. Do yourself a favor and put him on ignore, then you won't see his comments (other than if someone else quotes him).

As for CP2077 - I'm not sure how well it would play on a 980Ti - I'm guessing not that well on my monitor that has 1440p resolution. I'm not lucky enough like QP to have a buddy manager-man at Micro Center to allow me to buy 1, let alone 2 of the 3090 cards. Since I haven't been able to acquire a new GPU I haven't bothered with any new game purchases. I keep working on my backlog and using my 980Ti until it dies or I get lucky and find a replacement new gen GPU (which I think will be never at the current rate of things).
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,727   +2,041
TechSpot Elite
Not wanting to be rude, but that is a mentally challenged comment. Not sure how to put it another way, so my apologies to the mods.

You are essentially saying that the game runs fine on a $ 3000+ system. Congrats but for a mass market product that should not be the aim.
No real tech enthusiast refers to their machine as an "RTX 3090 computer". You must be a masochist to have not ignored him already. 🤣
 

Irata

Posts: 1,673   +2,805
By the same token, though, it's equally unreasonable to demand an actual next-generation game run flawlessly on last-generation consoles.

Companies like Rockstar and Bethesda get around this by releasing the same game again, forever. I'm not sure that's much better.
It is true that you cannot expect the game to run with the same effects as on a high end PC, but it‘s not that there aren‘t great looking games that run quite well on last gen like the PS4.

Heck, the similar GTA-V runs pretty well even on a lowly XBox One S, which as far as I can see is rather similar, sans the RPG elements.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 381   +685
Never played, don't care, garbage game.

Amusing to watch from afar all the fanbois who thought this game was the best thing that ever happened to mankind after penicillin.
You may hate the devs, hate the game genre and the game itself, yet no amount of hate will transform this game into garbage.... ever.

All you're left with is hate, while this game is not a diamond, it is a decent one which gets better and better with every patch and you can spends dozens (or over 100?) hours in it, which more than makes the price worth it.

It will probably never be what it could have been if the entire promise would have been delivered and made flawless, but garbage is really exaggerated.
 

Sean T

Posts: 45   +64
TechSpot Elite
'2,000 voice actors' - I have trouble believing this. Are you saying that you couldn't hire some voice actors that could impersonate multiple characters. I could see 200 voice actors, but 2,000 sounds incorrect.
 

alexnode

Posts: 67   +20
The game was excellent with a few bugs ...on pc. Played on a 2080 laptop. There was a bit of an overblown outrage which will settle .
It is a blockbuster for sure. I am going to have a second playthrough soon.
 

alexnode

Posts: 67   +20
I think a big issue was the hardware shortage very few people got their hands on new consoles or gpus including me. Things are out of stock for 8 months ... I think cyberpunk was aiming for a 2060 style availability. But no ...
 

Farkinell

Posts: 188   +298
The game overall was “good”, well below the Second Coming that the fanboys and devs made it out to be. It ran like lukewarm piss on my 2070S as well, with constant crashes to desktop and quest-breaking script bugs.

In addition, the quests were really not that interesting. Go here and kill X was the template for almost every single one. The biomods also did next to nothing apart from buff stats, where were the cool Deux Ex style mods that completely changed your play style?

Need now to get my open-world RPG fix from something this hasn’t been curled out by Ubisoft...