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PlayStation refunds in Cyberpunk 2077 disaster

After intense public criticism of Cyberpunk 2077’s performance, PlayStation has opened its first-ever refund programme for a game. The game was also pulled from its online platform. BRYAN TURNER reports

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Sony has announced it will be offering full refunds to those who are dissatisfied with the performance of CD Projekt SA’s Cyberpunk 2077. Users on base PS4 and Xbox One (collectively known as last-gen) consoles have experienced significant issues with frame-rate drops and game crashes. In addition to refunds, it has altogether pulled the game from its store until the game becomes stable enough to play. 

In combination, this is a disaster for CD Projekt SA, the Polish developer that has built up a massive reputation – and market capitalisation for its shares – in a stellar year, which included its Witcher games making a transition to a Netflix series. 

After years of delays of Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most anticipated games of 2020 is plagued with bugs on its various platforms, ranging from minor bugs on PC to major bugs on last-gen consoles. Players and publications alike took to social media to voice their concerns about the performance of the game, specifically on last-gen consoles. This also solidifies the reason why game reviewers were restricted to playing the game on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S before it was launched.  

That suggests CD Projekt SA had an inkling of flaws in the game, but may have rushed its release to avoid further delays. 

IGN provided a laundry list of bugs on last gen platforms in the video below. 

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is taking extreme steps with this refund programme because the platform has never refunded a game once it has been downloaded to a console.  

“SIE strives to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction,” Sony said in a statement. “We will begin to offer a full refund for all gamers who have purchased Cyberpunk 2077 via PlayStation Store and want a refund.” 

CD Projekt Red acknowledged SIE’s move with the following statement.

These statements come two days after CD Projekt Red announced it would be offering refunds to any game owners it had disappointed. 

It turns out users weren’t expecting to pay full price for half-baked beta versions of games, as they were in the past with games like Fallout 76. The game developers ate humble pie by promising patches to those who purchased the game in January and February. It also said these two major patches would fix issues that plague last-gen console performance. 

CD Projekt Red is no stranger to buggy games. Its previous major game, The Witcher 3, was also riddled with bugs that were eventually fixed with patches. The reason for the game’s quality became evident when senior game designer Andrezej Zawadzki tweeted that the studio was putting in six-day work weeks leading up to the game’s launch.  

“The six months preceding a game’s launch should be hard work for a marketing department, not game developers,” says independent game developer Ian Turner. “The promises of burning the midnight oil became apparent when users were greeted with a massive day zero patch when they put their copy of Cyberpunk 2077 in their consoles. If developers were still working frantically to get the game fixed this soon to launch, the launch should have been pushed forward.” 

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