After the disastrous release of the highly anticipated sci-fi role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077 last November, it appears the studio behind it lost a shedload of money as a result.
When the game many were dubbing the biggest in years began to get negative reviews, notably on last gen consoles like PlayStation 4, a unique video games story emerged.
A series of glitches and bugs were found to be present in the game and it was deemed unplayable on some platforms, with weird and dysfunctional things happening as well as the game itself crashing and failing to run at a usable frame rate. The developers even apologised for the game’s poor performance.
Since there were so many disgruntled gamers who had bought it, its makers, CD Projekt Red, began issuing refunds via their ‘Help Me Refund’ campaign – before Sony (and latterly Microsoft) removed the title from the PlayStation store entirely and offered money back to those who had purchased it digitally.
The move was unprecedented in the industry, sparking much debate over who was responsible and how it was allowed to happen.
According to CDPR’s projections, the company will see themselves $51 million down on expected sales, as per their financial statement for the fiscal year of 2020.
In the document, CDPR says it ‘has recognised [as] provisions for returns and expected adjustments of licensing reports related to sales of Cyberpunk 2077 in its release window, in Q4 2020,’ meaning a decrease in around $51.2 million of digital sales were accounted for, which includes moving into 2021.
These ‘provisions for returns,’ as they phrase it, includes $10.65 million in digital and physical copy reimbursements last year, with $2.23 million via its ‘Help Me Refund’ scheme it set up.
The company further anticipates a $38.34 million loss this year ‘based on information obtained from distributors concerning sales to retail distribution networks, retail sales to end customers, number of copies present in various distribution channels and warehouses, as well as the distributors’ professional judgement concerning expected sales throughout 2021.’
But putting that all into perspective, it’s actually not the huge loss it appears.
After the title had sold 13.7 million by the end of 2020, this roughly translates (assuming the title is an average of $40) to $548 million in total, so equates to under a 10% loss.
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