Cyberpunk 2077 Refunds Were Miniscule Compared To CPDR's Massive Earnings In 2020
Cyberpunk 2077 may not have lived up to the monumental hype preceding its launch, because when it did arrive, it came with too many bugs and performance issues. CD Projekt Red still managed to sell 13.7 million copies of the game, however, and despite a refund campaign, the game sold exceptionally well. It was also a boon for CDPR's overall finances in 2020—the developer raked in more than half a billion dollars last year.
Full-year revenue came to nearly 2.14 billion Polish Zloty (PLN), which at the current exchange rate is worth around $567 million in US currency. That amounts to a more than fourfold increase in annual revenue compared to 2019, and according to CDPR, the "dynamic growth is primarily due to the December release of Cyberpunk 2077."
"The past year was an especially busy period for us, culminating in the release of the largest project in the 26-year history of CD Projekt. Owing to great effort on the part of the entire team, we managed to introduce a new franchise to the market. However, as for the release itself—clearly not everything went according to plan," said Adam Kiciński, president and joint CEO of the CD Projekt Group.
"This was a huge lesson for us, one we will never forget—but I believe now is the time to look to the future. We remain ambitious and we are giving it our all to bring Cyberpunk to a level where everyone can fully enjoy the game, regardless of platform," Kiciński added.
If you can get past the bugs and performance issues, Cyberpunk is a fun and engrossing game (check out our Cyberpunk 2077 review). Perhaps that is why it still managed to sell so many copies in such a short time. Of course, the marketing hype no doubt played a big roll.
Following the game's launch, CDPR set up a refund program for disgruntled gamers who were not happy with their purchase. It did not amount to much, though. During an earnings call, CFO Piotr Nielubowicz revealed that a surprisingly small number of copies were refunded.
"Taking the average global price of the Cyberpunk game...it's an equivalent of approximately 30,000 [refund] requests. And as far as the execution of this action is concerned, what I can tell you is that over 95 percent of all of the payments have already been done," Nielubowicz said.
From a financial standpoint, Cyberpunk 2077 can be considered a success, to say nothing of the possible ramifications of a hit to the developer's reputation. In addition, CDPR recently said it plans to continue fixing bugs and improving the experience, with the expectation that it can "successfully sell it for years to come."
At some point, Sony will likely welcome Cyberpunk 2077 back into the PlayStation Store, which means CDPR could still make a lot more money off of the game (as it expects to do).