Sony Corp. has removed CD Projekt SA’s Cyberpunk 2077 from its PlayStation Store and is offering full refunds, taking unusual steps to appease customers furious about bugs plaguing one of the year’s most highly anticipated gaming blockbusters.
The radical move came after the console version of Cyberpunk 2077 debuted Dec. 10, following several delays, to reviews calling out problems and an online outcry from players frustrated with its poor performance. Warsaw-based developer CD Projekt — best known for 2015’s The Witcher 3, part of a franchise that was turned into a successful Netflix Inc. series — has offered refunds to any disappointed players, but Sony is going a step further by entirely removing the game from its store. Cyberpunk features Hollywood star Keanu Reeves as an in-game character and has used the actor as its most visible ambassador in the buildup to its release.
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.” But the company had not cleared its offer of a refund with console manufacturers Sony or Microsoft Corp., both of which have stringent refund policies. This week, many players who requested refunds found themselves out of luck.
It’s rare for any title to be removed from stores so soon after release. Previous examples include Square Enix Holdings Co.’s Final Fantasy XIV, which was taken offline for an overhaul following its disastrous 2010 launch, and Amazon.com Inc.’s Crucible, yanked from PC stores earlier this year and subsequently cancelled.
Cyberpunk’s developers faced intense public pressure to get the game out this year, rising to the level of death threats, as Senior Game Designer Andrzej Zawadzki tweeted in October. Six-day work weeks became the norm in the final months leading up to the eventual release, breaking with previous pledges from CD Projekt leaders that the company would avoid imposing a so-called crunch to hurry a game into existence through overtime.
The company has said it’s continuing work to rectify the issues players are encountering in Cyberpunk 2077 — and its prior blockbuster, The Witcher 3, improved drastically after its release thanks to downloadable patches.