The Publisher Extended A Refund Offer To Playstation 4 And Xbox One Players Without Clearing The Offer With Sony Or Microsoft
After a disastrous launch and several hits to developer CD Projekt Red’s reputation, the Microsoft Store has now slapped a warning label on Cyberpunk 2077 alerting Xbox players that the game may experience performance issues – a dishonor usually reserved for games still in Early Access, not ones that are allegedly completed and in full release. This is another in a growing line of Cyberpunk 2077 firsts, and most of them haven’t been particularly good looks for the studio or publisher CD Projekt.
Cyberpunk 2077’s launch seemed to have been doomed almost from day one, beset by three separate delays and a bevy of technical problems severe enough to reverse CDPR’s previous stance on mandatory overtime, forcing developers to work six days a week for months leading up to its December 10 release. Initially, Cyberpunk 2077 was welcomed by reviews that praised its strong story, vast open-world environment, and detailed character customization options, but all those positives were quickly eclipsed by an onslaught of reports about bugs and other issues causing everything from game crashes to seizures. And the hits just kept coming as more of CDPR’s questionable management decisions came to light, sparking conversations about a toxic crunch culture that permeates the gaming industry.
The game’s performance was notably bad on previous generation consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, to a point that Sony made the unprecedented choice to remove Cyberpunk 2077 from the PlayStation store “until further notice.” Microsoft has taken a less extreme approach, instead posting a warning to the game’s product page on the Microsoft Store, which alerts players to “potential performance issues when playing this game on Xbox One consoles until this game is updated.” Speaking to Eurogamer, Microsoft released the following statement:
This move, too, is so far unprecedented for Xbox, but not entirely surprising. After all, CD Projekt seems almost keen to continue tanking its relationship with the two console giants. The publisher extended a refund offer to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players without clearing the offer with Sony or Microsoft, which both have their own refund policies in place, dragging retailers like GameStop into the middle of an already sizeable mess. CDPR isn’t ready to call it quits on Cyberpunk 2077 though, as well it shouldn’t. Patches have already been released to address the game’s most glaring glitches, but they’ve only so far made a dent in the list. A bigger patch scheduled for December 21 is reported to be a major fix that will restore the game the level of functionality expected of a game that took eight years to make.
However, the issue isn’t just that Cyberpunk 2077 was a flawed launch. The core of this controversy is just another example of a major AAA gaming trend: exploiting developers with unsustainable crunch development periods (some lasting for months or even years) leads to the shipment of low-quality products. The worst part is that it’s self-perpetuating, and it only seems to be worsening. Cyberpunk 2077 will no doubt be eventually fixed the warning on its Xbox page removed, but the human cost will remain and the cycle will inevitably continue to repeat industry-wide.
This news was originally published at Screen Rant