Cyberpunk 2077 returns to the PlayStation Store next week, CD Projekt shares surge
Sony Group will reinstate the Cyberpunk 2077 video game to its PlayStation online store next week, almost six months after the high-profile title was banished due to a wave of technical glitches.
Cyberpunk, one of the most anticipated games of 2020, was pulled from the PlayStation store shortly after it was released last December by Polish studio CD Projekt SA, following widespread user complaints. CD Projekt, which also offered refunds for the $60 game, has since been working on fixing the bug-ridden title and it will be reinstated June 21, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.
CD Projekt's American depositary receipts surged as much as 15% on the news.
After eight years in development and starring Keanu Reeves in the title role, Cyberpunk was expected to be a blockbuster hit for CD Projekt, which only releases games every few years. Instead, Chief Executive Officer Marcin Iwinski was forced to apologize for a product that “did not meet the quality standard we wanted to meet.” Employees said the game was rushed and accused the company of focusing on marketing at the expense of development, Bloomberg has reported.
Sony took the unprecedented step of removing it from its shop and offered full refunds. Microsoft Corp. also offered refunds on the Xbox store, though it didn't pull the game. The poor reception sent the shares of CD Projekt tanking. Once Poland's most valuable company, based on the anticipation of Cyberpunk's release, CD Projekt lost about half its value.
But the company's shares jumped in Warsaw earlier Tuesday after the PlayStation store added a new “wishlist” button for the Cyberpunk game, a step toward reinstating the title. PlayStation also shut down a special website, effective June 18, which facilitates refunds for disgruntled players.
The Cyberpunk fiasco wrecked CD Projekt's reputation among gamers and investors, especially after the studio hyped the game as the next global blockbuster and one of the most sophisticated role-playing games ever. But its complexity appears to have overwhelmed the company, which postponed the release three times and perhaps should have waited even longer.
After reporting record profit in April of 1.15 billion zloty ($310 million) for all of 2020, fueled by Cyberpunk pre-orders and early sales, CD Projekt's first-quarter net income missed street estimates by 62%, highlighting the studio's woes.
The company didn't report Cyberpunk sales figures for the first quarter of 2021, saying no milestones were reached after it sold 13.7 million copes last year -- compared with 28 million of its latest edition of the company's Witcher medieval fantasy game.