A staged release on fewer platforms would have been a smarter choice
Cutting corners: In the aftermath of an eventful launch for Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red will have to deal not just with angry gamers that are demanding the game they’ve paid for, but also with investors seeking damages for being misled about potential game-breaking issues.
Highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 was released earlier this month to mixed reviews, as its visually impressive Night City environment and decent story was crushed under a mountain of technical issues on certain platforms, ranging from somewhat funny glitches to game-breaking bugs like corrupted save files.
For many people who have been looking forward to an incredible neo-noir experience in a complex, dystopian environment and the ability to customize their character’s looks, cybernetic enhancements, and personality, the released game brought only headaches as it was nearly unplayable in older hardware — (side note) for once PC gamers were rewarded with a buggy yet enjoyable experience that took full advantage of high-end hardware, which is why you’ll hear less complaints in some circles.
For public investors like Andrew Trampe, however, this has become an unacceptable spectacle. CD Projekt Red now faces a class action lawsuit for allegedly violating federal securities laws and misleading investors about the abysmal performance on last-gen consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The suit was filed by Rosen Law Firm in a Los Angeles court and seeks to represent anyone who bought the company’s securities between January 16 and December 17 this year.
According to the lawsuit, CD Projekt Red claimed the game was “complete and playable” in January, a statement contradicted by the many delays that were, by the developer’s own admission, due to the massive undertaking of trying to release the game on many different platforms and ironing out the technical issues that arise in such a complex project.
This has become the norm in the gaming industry, with many studios choosing to push out unfinished games hoping to patch them up in the months after the release.
For CD Projekt Red, this is proving to be an expensive approach, with stock plunging nearly 30 percent during Cyberpunk’s launch week. Furthermore, despite having sold over 13 million copies in the first 10 days, many players on last-gen consoles are demanding refunds, which is why Sony decided to simply remove the game from the PlayStation store “until further notice”.
In the meantime, a number of class-action lawsuits are brewing in other states, which could turn ugly for the Polish developer in the near future.