CD Projekt Spent $2.2 Million on Cyberpunk 2077 Refunds

by in General | Apr, 22nd 2021

Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the hottest games of last year and certainly a hot topic this year as well. Much of the futuristic RPG discourse was about the lack of quality and promises kept when it was released, leading to Cyberpunk 2077 refunds offered to players. 

Number of Cyberpunk 2077 Refunds Revealed

This was done on a widespread scale unlike anything else that we have seen to date. It was on such a massive scale that everyone from third-party retailers to the first-party console manufacturers to the developer/publisher CD Projekt itself had to offer these refunds. 

But it wasn’t until now that we finally understood the extent to which these Cyberpunk 2077 refunds affected the game and everyone involved with it. With the latest financial year now over with at the end of last month, publishers hold investor’s calls and meetings to share results. 

One such company is CD Projekt who has publicly posted the financial results from the past year for anyone to read. Of course, there are many documents and pages to go through, so we have gone ahead and summarized the main points, beginning with the refunds. 

The Cyberpunk 2077 refunds equaled around 30,000 in total. That means that 30,000 players and/or copies were returned to the developer at some point between the launch and the end of the 2020 fiscal year. 

Revenue Lost From the Refunds

That is quite a lot in the grand scheme of things, even if it pales in comparison to the actual sales numbers that the title sold overall. There are some games (albeit indie and more niche localized Japanese titles) that sell around that number and are considered a success for the publisher.

Furthermore, the Cyberpunk 2077 refunds sound a lot more detrimental when you consider how much money was lost because of this. CD Projekt revealed that this equals just over $2.2 million in total revenue lost this past fiscal year just because of this refund fiasco. 

That is quite a lot of money and something that can make a huge impact on a company. Interestingly enough, if you take that number of copies at around 30,000 and multiply it times the base price for the game at $60, you get a significantly lower number than that at around $1.8 million.

However, the rest of the money lost is likely due to several different reasons. For one, there is the currency difference around the world. It is unlikely that those refunds were made in the same country, so the amount that was refunded could have been more, depending on the currency and prices there.

Other Ways CD Projekt Could Have Lost Revenue From Refunds

Then, CD Projekt had to deal with the third parties, who were likely unhappy with the situation and appeasing them. Companies like Best Buy, Sony, and Microsoft had to offer these refunds. We wouldn’t be surprised if this meant that the publisher had some costs involved with that.  

And then there is the whole refund program in general. Known as the “Help Me Refund Program,” this was offered to anyone who purchased the game by the Cyberpunk 2077 publisher, meaning that they had to have staff and infrastructure costs involved with it. 

With all of that added up together, it is no surprise that it equaled just over $2.2 million lost because of the Cyberpunk 2077 refunds in the end. Fortunately for the company, this wasn’t the end of the story as the publisher had immense profits despite these losses. 

How Many Total Copies Sold of Cyberpunk 2077

The 30,000 copies that were refunded are a very slim fraction of the amazing sales figures for the game in general, despite everything that was wrong with it. It sold around 13.7 million copies in total by the end of 2020, which is certainly barely dented by the refunds made. 

Overall, 2020 set a brand new record for CD Projekt for the most revenue it has ever made in a single year. That even includes the first couple of years that The Witcher 3, one of the best-selling games of the previous generation, was around. 

Despite all of the controversy, issues, and understandable frustration surrounding Cyberpunk 2077, it has become one of the best-selling games of last year and contributed to the biggest year for its publisher and developer to date. 

Part of this was also due to the aforementioned Witcher 3, ironically, which was able to have one of its biggest years ever since its release. This was likely because of some factors, not the least of the hit Netflix show in late 2019. 

The Future of Cyberpunk 2077

That show was a massive hit for Netflix and CD Projekt, likely contributing a good bit to new players interested in the game that influenced the show. Then, the Nintendo Switch version was still relatively new and popular, and the hype that many players had for Cyberpunk 2077.

While the Cyberpunk 2077 refunds did affect the overall revenue and possibly future sales of the title, it does look like the future is a bit brighter than it once was for now. The next-gen console version of the game is still set to release later this year, along with rumored DLC and more. 

Then there is the multiplayer aspect of Cyberpunk 2077 that we still don’t know too much about. It was previously confirmed to be in development, which should significantly boost the popularity and possible sales of the main game. Stay tuned for more details on what’s to come for Cyberpunk soon. 


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