News: CD Projekt Red’s Worst Week

CD Projekt Red’s Data Laid Bare!

CD Projekt Red just cannot catch a break, and nor do they deserve one! Coming hot on the heels of CD Projekt Red misleading their investors as to the state of Cyberpunk 2077 ahead of launch on the last generation consoles, and hot on the heels of CD Projekt Red misleading their customers as to the state that Cyberpunk 2077 was about to launch in, CD Projekt Red has now been hacked by a group that was attempting to extort them for large sums of money. One assumes that this may well be the same group responsible for the recent Capcom hacks.

What twists and turns will this story take next?
Hack the planet!

The hacker group managed to download the source code for Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher III, an unreleased version of The Witcher III (speculated to be the next generation patch for PS5 and Series X), and Gwent. The group also claims to have dumped archives of documents from CD Projekt Red’s accounting, administration, legal, HR, and investor relations departments. The group were attempting to extort CD Projekt Red directly, but once their overtures were rebuffed the hackers decided to stage their own online auction. Apparently the auction was partway through when an offsite offer prompted a premature end to bidding.

It is unclear as to the nature of the party behind the successful bid, but one outlying possibility could be a disgruntled investor! It is pretty clear that CD Projekt Red deliberately misled people about the state of their game, and there has also been multiple anonymous claims that CDPR staff attempted to alert Management to the fact that Cyberpunk 2077 was not ready to be released – if either of these things are true then there could be some kind of evidence of this within CDPR’s internal documents. This would obviously be tremendously valuable information for CDPR’s former investors to have during their forthcoming lawsuits against CD Projekt Red. This stolen information is probably not directly usable by the investor legal teams, yet all they would have to do is leak it on 4chan and then cite the articles that are written about it. That would require a considerable amount of conspiracy, secrecy, and luck; it would also be a flagrantly illegal act in the course of pursuing legal action against CDPR; and, it would open the purchasers to blackmail by the very criminals who attacked their company–but hey, anything’s possible!

This stolen source code is tremendously valuable to gamers also, as it will make modding these games much easier, allowing for many of Cyberpunk 2077‘s cut features to be restored, along with the possibility that the game could see community developed expansions. That being said, not too many gamers this side of Notch and Elon Musk would find it worth the investment to spend millions of dollars on the ability to have a slightly easier time modding a small handful of games. But while gamers likely were not behind this purchase, they could still end up being the beneficiaries of it. It would be nice if at least some good could come from the shitshow that was Cyberpunk 2077‘s release.

Then again, the most likely possibility is that CD Projekt Red may have simply gone back on their initial position of non-negotiation and ransomed the information themselves.

Terraria Cancelled on Stadia in Response to Google’s Corporate Evil

Google is an Orwellian nightmare corporation that arbitrarily punishes wrongthink in dumb and unusual ways. This week Terraria creator Andrew Spinks found out the hard way why one should not invest too much money into the Google ecosystem. Apparently an employee at Google took issue with some perceived wrongthink in a years old video on a disused Youtube account, and used that to ban Spinks across all his associated Google accounts, including the official Terraria Youtube account, his personal Gmail account, his Googledrive data, and his Android account with thousands of dollars of app and content purchases. It is crazy that what Google does is not illegal. This kind of carry on makes a joke of consumer law.

There would be no one to buy it anyway.
Terraria will not be releasing on Google’s evil platform!

Andrew Spinks was dumb to invest so heavily in Google, but to his credit he is at least not taking this lying down. Effective immediately, Terraria is now cancelled for Google Stadia because Spinks refuses to do business with a company that is as disgustingly anti-consumer as Google. It should be noted that this move will not effect customer access to the version of Terraria already available on Android. That being said, it is unclear as to whether this will diminish Spinks’ willingness to invest time into updating the Terraria app to be compatible with future revisions of Android.

@Google my account has now been disabled for over 3 weeks. I still have no idea why, and after using every resource I have to get this resolved you have done nothing but given me the runaround.

My phone has lost access to thousands of dollars of apps on @GooglePlay. I had just bought LOTR 4K and can’t finish it. My @googledrive data is completely gone. I can’t access my @YouTube channel. The worst of all is losing access to my @gmail address of over 15 years.

I absolutely have not done anything to violate your terms of service, so I can take this no other way than you deciding to burn this bridge. Consider it burned. #Terraria for @GoogleStadia is canceled. My company will no longer support any of your platforms moving forward.

I will not be involved with a corporation that values their customers and partners so little. Doing business with you is a liability.

Honestly, it would be nice if this provided a sharp rap across the knuckles of Google for being an evil company. That said, given Google’s decision last week to shut down Stadia Games & Entertainment, it looks like Google has already lost interest in maintaining their Stadia business, so the decision to cancel Terraria seems unlikely to greatly affect anyone. It is probably for the best that Spinks cancels the port, since Stadia likely will not be much of a platform by the time it releases.

Cyberpunk 2077 Crashes Out of the NPD Top-Ten Like a Wounded Beast!

CD Projekt Red just cannot catch a break, and nor do they deserve one! Coming hot on the heels of reports that the company has been massively hacked, with reams of their private data being sold to a mystery bidder, it has now been revealed that their game Cyberpunk 2077 has dramatically crashed out of the NPD top-ten like a wounded beast, with little chance for a reversal of fortunes in the immediate offing.

Cyberpunk 2077 sales have dropped like an anvil!
The wheels have come off of this car!

There was significant hype (and pre-orders) behind the December 10 release of Cyberpunk 2077, and while poor word-of-mouth and the PSN store delisting was certainly enough to dampen December sales, the game nevertheless had enough momentum behind it to secure the #2 position in the NPD charts for the month of December. So how did it do in January? Not so well, it turns out.

For a big game release like this it is quite normal for sales to drop back in the month after release, as the majority of people most interested in playing the game have already managed to grab a copy. What is not normal is for game sales to drop like a stone by a massive 17 chart positions! Yikes!! Cyberpunk 2077 has crashed all the way from #2 to #18 in the NPD charts, depositing it directly behind Just Dance 2021, 2017’s Breath of the Wild, and the PS4 edition of Minecraft! This is absolutely unprecedented!

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War

2. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

3. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

4. Madden NFL 21

5. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*

6. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*

7. Ring Fit Adventure

8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*

10. NBA 2K21*

11. Super Mario 3D All-Stars*

12. FIFA 21

13. Immortals: Fenyx Rising

14. Mortal Kombat 11

15. Just Dance 2021

16. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*

17. Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition

18. Cyberpunk 2077*

19. Super Mario Party*

20. UFC 4

The explanation behind Cyberpunk 2077‘s second month sales slump almost defies reason in terms of it being an unfinished, bad, divisive, or disappointing game. Mass Effect: Andromeda is the nearest point of comparison to Cyberpunk 2077 in terms of a game being reduced to a viral meme by its bugs and disappointing content. Mass Effect: Andromeda debuted in the #3 position in the NPD charts for March of 2017, and then by April 2017 its chart position had dropped by four positions to #7. The Last of Us 2, despite being technically sound, was a game that bitterly divided its fanbase, and left plenty of sales on the table for that reason. The Last of Us 2 debuted in the #1 position of the NPD for June 2020, and then by July 2020 it had dropped by three positions to #4. Even Bioware’s Anthem charted at #1 in its debut month, and then dropped by two positions to #3 in its second month on sale. The closest game that one can find to the sales failure of Cyberpunk 2077 is Marvel’s Avengers, which debuted at #1, and then proceeded to drop by thirteen positions to #14 in its second month on sale. Cyberpunk 2077 fell by a whopping seventeen positions! Cyberpunk 2077 is definitely the loser of January.

Cyberpunk 2077 had so much more hype surrounding it than any of the games mentioned above, and yet its second month performance is so much worse! This could be explained in terms of gamers turning their backs on CD Projekt Red in response to being lied to – only gamers have never shown themselves to be overly principled in their purchasing habits when there are games they want to play. It kind of looks like there may actually still be a very substantial group of gamers who are still very keen to play the game, but are waiting for it to be fixed before making their purchase in order to have an optimal experience. The good news for CD Projekt Red is that they can probably still turn this situation around (somewhat), but the bad news is that time is definitely not on their side, with the game still a disaster and no end in sight. Last month’s 1.1 patch introduced worse bugs than the ones it remedied. Eventually people will grow sick of waiting and just move on.

4 comments

  1. I’m only really worried about CD Projekt Red in that I hope their misfortunes doesn’t affect GOG. I’ve never played their games and couldn’t care less about them. I’d still like to see what happens with the auctioned off assets, because my first thought was it’s the Polish government bailing out CDPR in a way. They are its primary cultural export!

  2. Yea, but right now that cultural export is just making Poland look bad…

  3. @SN: You’re overstating the case here. Beyond the stories about Cyberpunk’s technological woes, all of the rest of this is inside baseball. Ordinary gamers don’t know and don’t care. If Cyberpunk is mostly sorted relatively soonish (i.e. in the next month or two), that will go some way to redressing the blow to their image (although it may result in lower preorder numbers on their next major title, as people won’t want to suffer through launch woes again). And then, if the next title is a success, this will be largely forgotten.

    Major game developers have demonstrated that as long as they don’t routinely fail, sales numbers won’t take too much of a hit. Heck, look at SE, they can churn out almost nothing but bilge and they STILL sell (although not as many as they might do).

  4. – only gamers have never shown themselves to be overly principled in their purchasing habits when there are games they want to play. It kind of looks like there may actually still be a very substantial group of gamers who are still very keen to play the game, but are waiting for it to be fixed before making their purchase in order to have an optimal experience. The good news for CD Projekt Red is that they can probably still turn this situation around (somewhat), but the bad news is that time is definitely not on their side

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