Cyberpunk 2077 maker apologizes for terrible PS4/Xbox One launch, promises refunds

Cyberpunk 2077’s shoddy performance on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has drawn an apology and assurances of a refund from publisher CD Projekt.

The studio apologized to fans on Monday morning “for not showing the game on base last-gen consoles before it premiered and, in consequence, not allowing you to make a more informed decision about your purchase.

“We should have paid more attention to making it play better on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One,” said the note, which was signed by Marcin Iwinski, founder of parent company CD Projekt, and all of its board of directors.

Cyberpunk 2077, probably the most hotly anticipated game of the new decade, launched on Thursday to a stream of embarrassing bugs and gut-churning performance problems — on the PS4 and Xbox One. CD Projekt Red made the game available to reviewers only on PC, where it performed a lot better. Day-zero hotfixes and a patch within the first two days did little over the weekend to soften console players’ disappointment.

CD Projekt Red has faced criticism for Cyberpunk 2077’s marketing — in particular, the usage of a sexualized trans model in a promotional poster, as well as the flippant tone used in much of the game’s advertising and social media. Many fans feel uncertain about how Cyberpunk 2077 will approach sensitive topics that will invariably come up for the marginalized characters who exist in the game’s huge and diverse open world.

CD Projekt Red has also been scrutinized for its work practices, particularly with regard to “crunch,” a common games industry practice of long hours of overtime lasting weeks or months. CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński said that he wanted the company to be “more humane,” and pledged a “non-obligatory crunch policy.” However, CD Projekt Red ultimately imposed obligatory crunch on some employees, pushing workers to crunch for extended periods amid monthslong delays.

Of particular concern was a sequence in the unpatched game in which players are subjected to a flashing light effect that one reviewer said caused an epileptic seizure during pre-launch gameplay. CD Projekt Red quickly added a formal epilepsy warning to the game, and the patch announced Friday is supposed to alter the sequence to make it less likely to trigger a seizure.

Monday morning’s apology promised that another update would arrive in the next seven days.

“Expect more, as we will update frequently whenever new improvements are ready,” CD Projekt Red said. Two large patches are also planned for January and February, and “together, these should fix the most prominent problems are facing on last-gen consoles,” the studio said.

“They won’t make the game on last-gen look like it’s running on a high-spec PC or next-gen console, but it will be closer to that experience than it is now,” the note said. PC gamers having less trouble with Cyberpunk 2077 will also be included in the regular updates and fixes, CD Projekt said.

Cyberpunk 2077 on PS5 and Xbox Series X does not yet have a launch date, other than sometime in 2021. Playing Cyberpunk 2077 on PS5 and Xbox Series X through backward compatibility delivers some performance and visual improvement.

As for the refunds, CD Projekt asked that customers who bought the game from an online marketplace first seek refunds through its procedures for them. For packaged goods, try to get the refund through the retailer who sold that. If a refund still is not possible, the studio has given a help email address and a promise to “do our best to help you.”

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