CD Projekt Red have reportedly denied they had any special agreements for refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles, and that they were working on those versions “until the very last minute.”
As previously reported, the game’s numerous delays and leaked footage were not the end of the woes for CD Projekt Red. One reviewer suffered a major epileptic seizure, and accused the developer on basing the Braindance headset off a medical device designed to intentionally induce seizures.
Despite high praise from initial reviews, the Metacritic user score was far less. Currently the Metascore for the PC version of the game is 88, with a user score of 7.0 (out of 10). Meanwhile, the game’s PlayStation 4 and Xbox One user scores are 3.0 and 4.1 respectively (with Metascores of 49 and 55).
It should be noted that those who have not played the game may also be submitting user reviews, as Metacritic does not verify if a user has completed or played a game. In February for example a user of Reset Era orchestrated the review bombing of AI: The Somnium Files.
Metacritic placed a 36 hour grace period on user reviews for video games in July of this year. Metacritic would later insist this decision was not motivated by reactions to any particular game. That year also say low user review scores for Warcraft III: Reforged, and The Last of Us Part II.
Users complained of Cyberpunk 2077‘s numerous glitches and bugs, along with poor optimization and the console version having inferior graphics. Even critic reviews that praised the game also discussed those issues. Since then a hotfix has been released, but CD Projekt Red stock value dropped by 29% in a week.
As such they offered refunds, though there have been some claims that PlayStation and Microsoft were not offering refunds in some cases, even after the announcement. At least one Reddit user had managed to get a refund for the game on PlayStation 4 prior to CD Projekt Red’s announcement, despite playing the game for over 10 hours.
Now VGC reports [1, 2] during a conference call with investors, CD Projekt Red’s SVP of business development Michał Nowakowski revealed that there was no special agreement made with Sony or Microsoft over refunds, as existing policies were already in place.
Investor: “Could you explain again how refunds work, in relation to Microsoft and Sony’s storefronts?”
Michał Nowakowski: “One has to understand, Microsoft and Sony, for every product that is released digitally on Microsoft or Sony storefronts, have refund policies. I mean, despite various articles that have shown up [stating] that things are being [changed] just for us, it’s actually not true. These policies are in place and have always been in place and are not opened up specifically for us.
I mean, anybody who has purchased any title on PlayStation Network or Microsoft Store can ask for a refund and if it’s made within certain boundaries, usually related to time, certain usage and so on can ask for that refund. Our procedure here with Microsoft and Sony is not different than with any other title released on any of these storefronts. I just wanted to state that clearly because there seem to be certain misconceptions.
In terms of participation financially, if a product is refunded then the share from the store that Microsoft had is refunded, and of course, it’s something that is subtracted from the revenue share that would normally be transmitted to CD Projekt is of course not shared with us and is instead refunded to the given customers.”
It should be noted that while Microsoft and Sony have public policies on when a game can be refunded, those policies may be altered on a case-by-case basis for unique situations. Both companies may have special internal policies for these situations, which Cyberpunk 2077 falls under (as possibly seen with the aforementioned Reddit user).
When asked if the game’s issues came from fears of delaying the game again or underestimated last-gen consoles, Nowakowski stated the problems came from “more us looking at the next-gen and PC performance, rather than the current-gen.”
“We definitely did not spend enough time looking at that, so I wouldn’t say that we felt any external or internal pressure to, you know, launch on the dates any other than a normal pressure, which typically coincides with really any release. That was not the cause.”
Discussing the certification stage (Sony and Microsoft deciding if a game is in a fit state to be sold on their consoles), Nowakowski stated “I can only assume that yes, they were counting that we were going to fix the things upon the release and that obviously did not come together exactly as we had planned.”
The Q&A also reveals the lack of last-gen gameplay footage was due to the game being updated “until the very last minute and we thought we’d make it on time.” It was also revealed that extra staff would not have aided how the game performance on consoles, nor was external testers being unable to make it to testing centers due to quarantine orders a “major factor.”
The Q&A also revealed the game had initially good sales “especially on PC,” and that “a lot of general PC gamers are enjoying the game and we see very positive comments.” However, it was too early to state how the recent news would impact sales. It was also too early for CD Projekt Red to discuss any of the game’s future DLC, multiplayer, or how many refunds there had been.
The claims from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier claiming that staff would still receive bonuses despite the game’s review scores were also not addressed, though not without implying the claim was false.
“We’re not really making any comments to what somebody else has stated about what’s going on in the studio outside,”Nowakowski stated. Bloomberg sources had also previously accused CD Projekt Red crunch, which was later denied by inside sources at CD Projekt Red.
In other news, a user on Reddit has discovered a PC config file for Cyberpunk 2077 may have been improperly programmed (set up for console rather than PC), and has provided a fix.
Image: Previously released press release.