Sony Removes Cyberpunk from PSN
A lot has happened in the last seven days!
CD Projekt Red has a problem with virtue signalling. In fact the company signals their virtue in the same way as Peter Molyneux promises game features. When a fellow studio was under fire for their crunch culture, CD Projekt Red came out and declared that there would be absolutely no crunch involved in the production of Cyberpunk 2077, which won them many headpats. When asked when Cyberpunk 2077 would be releasing, CD Projekt Red is famous for responding with the principled reply that the game would release when it was ready. When people were unhappy with Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red took responsibility by offering a generous unconditional refund.
Of course the reality of this situation is that when Cyberpunk 2077 had to be delayed back in April, CD Projekt were very quick to reverse their position on mandatory crunch. When Cyberpunk 2077 did release it was clearly unfinished, and plagued with crippling performance issues and gamebreaking bugs. And when CD Projekt Red offerred an unconditional refund, it was on behalf of Sony and Microsoft, and without having consulted them first.
This was not so much a problem with Microsoft, as they generally have what is widely regarded to be a pro-consumer refund policy. Sony, on the other hand, is a much more difficult entity to secure a refund from. After CD Projekt Red offerred blanket refunds, an unwitting Sony was met with a barrage of refund requests, most of which they initially denied. As the scale of their predicament made itself clear, Sony eventually realised that denying Cyberpunk 2077 refunds was an untennable situation, as CD Projekt Red’s promises of a refund was making an asshole of them to hundreds of thousands of their customers. As such Sony made an announcement that they would be honouring CD Projekt Red’s promises of a refund, but in addition to this they would also be pulling Cyberpunk 2077 from PSN until it is in a fit state to play:
SIE strives to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, therefore we will begin to offer a full refund for all gamers who have purchased Cyberpunk 2077 via PlayStation Store. SIE will also be removing Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation Store until further notice.
Sony’s reasons for pulling the game looks to have been at least partially to do with a desire to limit the number of refund requests they were being hit with. That being said, one has to imagine their their genuine anger and frustration with CD Projekt Red also played a role. CD Projekt Red turned in an extremely subpar product to the Playstation platform, and then they ensured that Sony would be left holding the bag. It is little surprise that Cyberpunk 2077 was removed from PSN.
Following our discussion with PlayStation, a decision was made to temporarily suspend digital distribution of Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation Store. You can still buy physical versions of the game in brick and mortar stores and online. All purchased digital and physical copies of the game will continue to receive support and updates as we continue to improve your experience.
According to our knowledge, starting today, everyone who is not willing to wait for updates and wants to refund their digital copy of the game, can do so by submitting a request [here]. We are working hard to bring Cyberpunk 2077 back to PlayStation Store as soon as possible.
Cyberpunk 2077 has Already Turned a Profit?
Pressing ‘x’ to doubt on that one, fam. CD Project Red has made the claim that pre-orders alone were enough to put the Cyberpunk 2077 in the green, and everything from here will be pure profit? What does this even mean when the game’s disasterous launch has caused CD Projekt Red to loose 40% of its stock value? What does this even mean in the wake of scores of people now seeking a refund? What does this even mean in the face of potential class action lawsuits? CD Projekt Red investors are currently looking at launching a class action lawsuit because of the way they were deliberately mislead. What does Cyberpunk 2077 profitability mean when its revenues could not hope to cover the damage its release has done to CD Projekt Red?
CD Projek Red’s founders collectively own 34.6% of company shares. This week it was reported that, after company shares fell by 40%, CD Projekt Red’s founders had jointly lost over 1 billion dollars of their personal wealth. From this we can extrapolate that investors have lost over 2 billion dollars, while the company as a whole has lost over 3 billion dollars.
The Cyberpunk 2077 debacle also cost CD Projekt Red’s two cofounders a combined $1 billion in wealth when its stock tumbled by some 40% this past week—though joint CEO Marcin Iwiński is still worth an estimated $964 million. CD Projekt Red—which had revenues of $140 million last year—was expecting to start a new supercycle with Cyberpunk 2077 likely to further propel its stock price, but it is now focused on damage control.
Polish developer CD Projekt Red just released the most-anticipated game of the year, making its top executives very rich. Then it became the latest debacle of 2020—costing cofounder Michał Kiciński half a billion dollars.
(Two weeks ago, Kiciński was worth an estimated $1.2 billion. His stake in CD Projekt has now fallen to $750 million.)
Granted, stocks can go up and down, but CD Project Red will have to make good on Cyberpunk 2077 before the damage can start to be undone, and while CD Projekt Red is working to fix this thoroughly broken experience, that is time that is not being spent on developing paid DLC. These days video games are being looked at by the money men less as discrete products, and more as platforms from which to sell further content. This messy launch for Cyberpunk 2077 not only harms game sales in the here and now, but also threatens the ability of CD Projekt Red to sell future content, which in turn further harms investment, making for a feedback loop which prevents share price recovery.
CD Projekt Red’s claims of profitability sound like a bit of a cope. Sure, they are probably true in at least some highly limited and literal sense. Like, congratulations CD Projekt Red on recovering your development budget even as your world burns down around you. It is certainly better than nothing, but has the game also made back its marketing budget? Has it made up for the opportunity cost of the money and time spent to develop it over eight years? Has it made up for all the money that the company has lost due to its tanking share price? Has CD Projekt Red made enough money to compensate them for the deterioration of their business relationship with Sony and Microsoft? CD Projekt Red had marketing deals in place with Microsoft, and there was even a Cyberpunk 2077 branded Xbox One X. Will there be similar agreements in place for CD Projekt Red’s next game? It is great for CD Projekt Red that Cyberpunk 2077 has made back its budget, but it does not really mean what CD Projekt Red would like for us to think it means. That is just false bravado meant to quiet the naysayers and settle the markets.
CD Projekt Red (Menace) Ingests a Smakeral of Communism
CD Projekt Red is addicted to virtue signalling, but they lack the fortitude to ever uphold their stances as soon as there is a little bit of push back. They are cowards. Last year there was a moderately well received Taiwanese horror game released to Steam by Red Candle Games titled Devotion. Chinese speakers quickly found an Easter egg within the game that likened Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh, because he looks incredibly similar to Winnie the Pooh, and because the Chinese Communist Party have been so successful at making themselves the very centre of Chinese society and culture (by banning anything that threatened this status), the Chinese took very grave offence at this unelected official being mocked. Because of this the game got delisted from Steam, in order to prevent the delisting of Steam from the entirety of the Chinese internet, and Devotion has been MIA ever since.
This week amid the shitshow surrounding the Cyberpunk 2077 launch, CD Projekt Red announced that a censored version of Devotion would be coming to their Good Old Games online store. Perhaps they thought that this pro-indy, pro-Taiwanese virtue signal would distract from all the criticism being directed their way over the Cyberpunk 2077 debacle, and timed this announcement for that very purpose. Then again, perhaps it is just dumb luck that the two things coincided. Whatever the case, CD Projekt Red were quickly beset by government shills and bots, and within about three hours they made another tweet announcing that they had abandoned plans to release the game. Never mind the fact that the ‘offensive’ free speech has now been censored from the game, the mere fact that content that the CCP finds offensive USED to be in the game means that the game can never be sold again. China now owns gaming, and the Chinese Communist Party holds a heckler’s veto over which games we are allowed to play.
This is really fucked up, but it is not even the most dismal part of this situation. CD Projekt Red lacked the courage of their convictions, but then they could not even take responsibility for their decision to bend their knee to the Communist Party – instead blaming ‘gamers’ for their anti-Taiwanese decision. Apparently it was due to the popular demand of ‘gamers’ that CD Projekt Red decided to cancel Devotion, rather then them selling out in order to protect their money!
Earlier today, it was announced that the game Devotion is coming to GOG. After receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store.
Fuck off CD Project! This decision had nothing to do with gamers, so do not blame us because you are too greedy to sustain your virtue signals! What do you suppose would happen if ‘gamers’ actually did try to get a game cancelled? We would no doubt be labelled as ‘toxic’, and then ‘journalists’ would vote the game in as Game of the Year at the Video Game awards just to spite us. A game being cancelled on our say so is something that would just never happen!
At least the situation was good for some laughs though. The timing of this debacle coinciding with the Cyberpunk 2077 debacle was not lost on many people, with the parody Kaz Hirai Twitter account drawing a rather amusing parallel:
Earlier this month, Cyberpunk 2077 was released on the PlayStation 4. After receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store.
And thus the newspost comes to an ironic full circle!
Ultimately, it was really shitty of CD Projekt Red to fuck over Red Candle Games to protect their bottom line, especially after using them to virtue signal. What really takes this situation beyond the pale however, is the fact that CD Projekt Red tried to blame gamers for this! The fact that this act of retardation came hot on the heels of CD Projekt Red fucking over and deceiving the customers who bought Cyberpunk 2077 is what moves this beyond a mere affront, and elevates the situation into a fullblown farce. It is like this was scripted for television! CD Projekt Red should have just owned up to their lack of integrity, but instead chose to lie and blame their customers, which had them come off as incompetant villains. Seriously, fuck them!
That being said, it stands to be said that the state-enforced political censorship of our games by the Chinese Communist Party is no more or less evil than the corporate-enforced political censorship of our games by Western companies like Playstation. In fact, one would prefer Pooh bear to be be banned than QT anime waifus.