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Editor's take: Not since No Man's Sky's release can I recall seeing a game more overhyped and underdelivered than Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red made many mistakes in the months and years before launch. It has hurt the developer's reputation, stock value, and ultimately its pocketbook.
The hot mess that is the Cyberpunk 2077 launch keeps getting worse for CD Projekt Red. Late yesterday in an unprecedented move, Sony pulled the game from the PlayStation Store and offered players a no-questions-asked refund option.
On Friday, Microsoft followed Sony's lead by expanding its refund policy for Cyberpunk 2077, albeit without removing the game from its store. Xbox Support issued a statement via Twitter explaining the decision.
Cyberpunk 2077: To ensure that every player can get the experience they expect on Xbox, we will be expanding our existing refund policy to offer full refunds to anyone who purchased Cyberpunk 2077 digitally from the Microsoft Store, until further notice. https://t.co/04TcniwVzy— Xbox Support (@XboxSupport) December 18, 2020
To date, we have granted refunds to the vast majority of customers who have requested one. To request an Xbox refund for Cyberpunk 2077, please follow the steps listed on our Xbox refund page here: https://t.co/04TcniwVzy— Xbox Support (@XboxSupport) December 18, 2020
Microsoft's and Sony's generous refund exceptions and the game's removal from a major marketplace is a massive blow to CDPR that sent its stock plummeting nearly 20 percent when the market opened Friday. As of this writing, it has recovered slightly from this morning's low of $17.88 per share to $18.81 but is still nowhere near its record high of $31 that it enjoyed just before Cyberpunk's release.
Sony said the game ban was "until further notice," meaning it will return Cyberpunk to its digital shelves once CDPR has it running smoothly on first-generation PlayStation 4 consoles. When that will be remains in question. The developers project that they will have all major bugs ironed out by February 2021.
To its credit, CD Projekt Red has pulled its work out of the fire in the past. Despite being a bit of a mess on release, CDPR saved The Witcher 3 with several post-launch updates and patches. The game went on to become the Game of the Year in 2015. The main difference between then and now being that no digital storefronts removed TW3 from their catalog.
For CD Projekt Red to succeed as it did with The Witcher 3, it's looking at what basically will amount to a full relaunch of the game on last-gen consoles. It will have to resubmit it to the PlayStation Store and convince the many disgruntled fans who sought refunds that Cyberpunk 2077 is worth giving a second chance. If it pulls it off, it will likely go down as the biggest comeback since Hello Games redeemed No Man's Sky.