The Cost Of Cyberpunk 2077’s Failure
It was the most anticipated video game, but it didn’t live up to the expectations. Now, the company might be in trouble because of that.
The CEO of CD Projekt SA, Marcin Iwiński has apologised for the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 in December. This is Iwiński’s second apology within a month and this is his attempt at restoring the company’s reputation with a million fans and investors. But what is Cyberpunk 2077 and why is the founder of a Polish studio apologising? Well, let’s start from the beginning.
Meet Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to be “the video game” of all time and the hype around the game had been building for nearly a decade. The title was announced by CD Projekt Red in 2012, and it was billed as a gripping, free-flowing saga that would immerse players in a lifelike sci-fi universe.
Since then, there were impressive teaser trailers, buy-in from celebrities including Keanu Reeves, Grimes and ASAP Rocky. Players, especially those using next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft, were promised a revolutionary experience, with extensive character customisation options and a wide-reaching world to explore.
The Story: The game was to be set in Night City, a darkly dystopian megacity. In the city, humans and machines are fused together and repackaged as mercenaries, carrying out sabotage missions against evil corporations.
Delayed & Released
Initially, the launch date was set in summer 2020, but it was delayed by the pandemic. Then, it was postponed to September and again to November 19th. At this point, the fans were starting to get a little bit agitated. However, that didn’t stop eight million people to pre-order the copies before its December release. Finally, the game was released on December 10 and the game sold 13 million copies at $60 a piece in the first 10 days after its release. For a while, CD Projekt was the most valuable company in Poland.
The Big Debacle
The early reviews of the game were generally good. But disaster struck once the players got the game in their hands because that is when they realised that it had problems on PCs and was almost unplayable on consoles. The game was so bad that Sony Corp. removed it from the PlayStation Store and offered refunds. On the other hand, Microsoft put a label warning customers that they “may experience performance issues on Xbox One until the game is updated”.
Post the release, the company’s stock plummeted 15.6% in early trading on 14th December on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) and the stock value slumped to 32.3 billion zloty, down from 42.7 billion zloty. From December 10 through mid-January, the company’s shares have plunged 30%. Also, Cyberpunk’s disastrous launch erased over $1 billion off the wealth of the company’s founders.
Hit To The Reputation
You might be thinking that the failure of one game might not affect the studio much but there is more at stake here than you might think. Tomasz Rodak, an analyst at BOS Bank SA told BloombergQuint, “In only a couple of days, CD Projekt fell from the most adored studio to the most hated one. Restoring trust is not impossible, but would need much time and effort”.
There are also rumours that the company could be bought out by a bigger firm because of the recent troubles. Since acquisitions in the video game industry have significantly surged in the last couple of years, many are thinking there is a high possibility for a buyout.
The video game industry is competitive, and it is booming. If CyberPunk only brings refunds and glitches and not revenue, many would shy away from trusting the games that would be created by Projekt SA in the future. So, apart from apologies, the company should bring their A-game and not disappoint their fans and stakeholders in the future.
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