UPDATE: CD Projekt Red have delayed the release of the next patch for Cyberpunk 2077, as they are locked out of their own system after being hacked.
Original story (published February 24th) continues:
As previously reported, CD Projekt announced they were the victim of a ransomware hack. This had been the third such case for a video games company in four months.
The hacker had gathered data, encrypted their system, and left a ransom note. They stated unless their demands were met within 48 hours, they would sell source codes for Cyberpunk 2077, GWENT: The Witcher Card Game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and an unreleased version of the latter. They also threatened to pass administrative documents onto journalists.
CD Projekt stated they will not give into the demands, even if it did lead to the data being released, and had begun to work with authorities. The hacked files were reportedly bought at an online auction, along with the GWENT source code being leaked. The initial offer was $1 million USD, with the bid rising at $500,000 USD increments, or bought immediately for $7 million USD.
Now, CD Projekt Red have announced on Twitter that the hack has affected their ability to produce Patch 1.2 for Cyberpunk 2077. Patch 1.2 will now launch in the second half of March 2021. You can read the full statement below.
“While we dearly wanted to deliver Patch 1.2 for Cyberpunk 2077 in the timespan we detailed previously, the recent cyber attack on the studio’s IT infrastructure and extensive scope of the update mean this unfortunately will not happen — we’ll need some additional time. 1/3
Our goal for Patch 1.2 goes beyond any of our previous updates. We’ve been working on numerous overall quality improvements and fixes, and we still have work to do to make sure that’s what you get. With that in mind, we’re now aiming for release in the second half of March. 2/3
It’s not the news we enjoy sharing, but we want to make sure we launch this update properly. Stay tuned for more information as the time draws closer. Thank you for your continued patience and support. 3/3”
UPDATE: Bloomberg reports that “according to people familiar with the matter,” CD Projekt has been locked out of their own computer systems for the past two weeks. Their virtual private network is inaccessible, locking them out of systems and tools needed for their work.
While some are working at the company headquarters in Warsaw, the majority were remote working due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and subsequent quarantine orders. Employees have reportedly been told to send their computers to CD Projekt so their IT staff can scan them for malware and other malicious code.
When disclosing the hack to the public, CD Projekt stated “Although some devices in our network have been encrypted, our backups remain intact.” If true, CD Projekt did not disclose they had been locked out of their system.
The hacker’s ransom note claimed to have obtained documents related to accounting, administration, legal, human resources, investor relations, and more. Bloomberg reports this also included Polish identification numbers and passport details.
CD Projekt did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment. Adam Badowski, Cyberpunk 2077‘s director, had previously denied claims about development troubles, poor organization, and extensive overtime made in a Bloomberg report that cited anonymous employees. Those articles were also written by the same author.
Original story continues:
CD Projekt have been the third video game developer to be affected by a hack. The Capcom Ragnar Locker Ransomware hack and subsequent leaks [1, 2] occurred in November 2020, and have several comparisons to the situation with CD Projekt.
Along with information on upcoming games (some of which seems to have come true), the leak also shared Capcom’s alleged politically correct business strategies. The hackers also obtained employee personal information, HR information, and 350,000 items of customer and business partner personal information (none of which was credit card information).
Koei Tecmo Europe’s forums were also hacked in late December 2020. The hacker reportedly asked for Bitcoin, claimed Koei Tecmo had lackluster digital security, and failed to follow GDPR guidelines by not informing their users about the hack sooner.
CD Projekt has had months of negative press thank to Cyberpunk 2077. 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, users complained of Cyberpunk 2077‘s numerous glitches and bugs; along with poor optimization, and the console version having inferior graphics and more bugs. Even critic reviews that praised the game also discussed those issues.
CD Projekt Red stock value dropped by 29% in a week after the game launched. The developer also had to recommend fans to complete the game quickly and avoid crafting too many items to prevent save file corruption, which was later patched.
A Q&A investor call reportedly had CD Projekt Red denying they had any special agreements for refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles, and that they were working on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game “until the very last minute.” The game’s director would later deny claims about development troubles made in a Bloomberg report that cited anonymous employees.
Despite selling 13 million copies, the founders of developer CD Projekt Red were predicted to have lost $1 billion USD. The company also shared their “Commitment to Quality” agenda, and FAQ trying to explain how the issues came about. The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) is also monitoring CD Projekt.
Even a patch designed to fix many issues the game had introduced a new game-breaking issue until a hotfix resolved that. There are some silver linings. After Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the new Model S could play the game via its internal computer, CD Projekt’s stock rose 19%; the highest rise since June 2015.
Cyberpunk 2077 is available on Windows PC (via Epic Games, GOG, and Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia. The game is also coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S in 2021, and players on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One respectively will be able to upgrade to the next-gen for free.
Image: Previously released press release.