In the hot seat: CD Projekt Red held an unscheduled call with investors on Monday to clear the air over the Cyberpunk 2077 buggy release. Stakeholders asked CDPR executives many challenging questions regarding problems with the game and the greenlighting of refunds.
When asked if the company felt pressured to release the game even though the console version was in a terribly buggy state, Senior Vice President of Business Development Michał Nowakowski said that the decision was more about a failure in thoroughly looking at performance on base consoles rather than "internal or external pressures." It simply did not examine current-gen performance as closely as it did on next-gen and PC.
"It is more about us looking – as was previously stated – at the PC and next-gen performance rather than current-gen," Nowakowski explained. "We definitely did not spend enough time looking at that. 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. "
Nowakowski also said that he felt that the game made it through Sony's and Microsoft's quality certification process because they trusted CDPR to get the problems ironed out promptly after release. He added that the patching process has already begun, with an update released over the weekend and another rolling out next week. He reassured investors that in January, the game would receive huge improvements, and by February, it would have all of the major issues fixed.
Regarding the refunds, CDPR had to clarify that customers are not just handed refunds with no questions asked. For the most part, Sony and Microsoft are handling returns for digital versions and have guidelines and restrictions in that process. CDPR ultimately has no control over whether or not they issue those refunds.
For example, both companies require refund requests to be submitted no more than 14-days after purchase. Sony further expects that the game has not been downloaded and played. Microsoft looks at claims on a "case-by-case" basis. In any event, consumers may or may not get approved for a refund, and that decision is at the sole digression of Microsoft and Sony.
The execs also stressed that they were not encouraging customers to ask for refunds, despite the tone of their earlier tweet.
"We are not encouraging gamers to return the game; we hope they'll give us a chance to improve it on old-gen consoles," CDPR co-founder and joint CEO Marcin Iwiński stated. "We sincerely hope that gamers will prefer to wait for updates since they had waited so long for the game, but – again – this is our humble hope."
"I want to state that clearly, as there seem to be certain misconceptions," Nowakowski chimed in. "Our procedure here with Microsoft and Sony is not different
than with any other title released on any of those storefronts."
When asked about the number of refunds issued so far, Joint-CEO Adam Kiciński said they did not have those figures yet, adding that they have not determined if they will share those numbers outside of the company. However, he did say that it would share sales figures sometime before Christmas.
"Sentiment is positive. With every passing day since the release, we're getting more and more positive feedback," the CEO said. "We started low, but we're gaining. [muffled] we started with a score of 70, but now it's 79. If you filter those who have played 10 hours or more, the score is 85 – so the more you play, the more enjoyment you feel."
The primary takeaway from the call was that CDPR wanted to make it clear that it was not abandoning Cyberpunk 2077, and that the stock prices that took a tumble, will recover. It ultimately expects the game to perform as well or better than The Witcher 3 did, which also suffered a shoddy release.
You can read the full transcript of the call on CD Projekt Red's website.