After a week of reimbursement, apologies and patches, CD Project Red announced yesterday that its open world scifi RPG Cyberpunk 2077 nevertheless sold a total of 13 million copies since its release on December 10th. This despite the game’s corrupted performance on last generation consoles and some low-end PCs as well as reportedly overtime-driven working conditions who went in to do so.
“[CDPR] announces that, based on reports from digital distribution platforms and data collected from physical distributors, it is estimated that by December 20, players have purchased over 13 million copies of Cyberpunk 2077, ”the company wrote in a statement to investors. “This figure represents the estimated volume of retail sales across all hardware platforms (recognition of returns submitted by retail customers in brick and mortar as well as digital store fronts), ie.” the sell-through ”number minus all sent directly to the company before the publication date of this report as part of the ‘Help Me With Refund’ campaign. ”
Close readers will recognize some apparent reservations in this announcement, the biggest of which is that the number of 13 million seems to be an estimate rather than based solely on actual existing sales data. The statement also says it represents total sales minus all refunds requested, but it is not clear if that reflects the majority of all refunds or just those retailers have had time to report so far. The CDPR did not immediately respond to a request for comment to clarify its comments.
CDPR first apologized for the state of the game on December 14, suggesting anyone who was disappointed with how Cyberpunk 2077 the game could get a refund. This proved difficultBut since Sony and Microsoft’s digital store fronts do not necessarily allow refunds on games that have already been played. December 17 Sony had pulled the game completely from its PlayStation Store, which guarantees reimbursement across the board. This non-refundable option rapidly expanded to Microsoft’s platform also followed by CDPR itself and even retailers like Best Buy. Earlier this week Kotaku reported that even GameStop stores was told to repay Cyberpunk 2077 customers even though they had already opened and played the game.
In that context, 13 million does not sound bad at all for a game whose rollout New York Times recently called “One of the most visible disasters in video game history.” Just before the release of the game, CDPR announced that it was pre-ordered 8 million times, and on December 11 reported that pre-orders alone had already allowed it to break on the game’s development and marketing costs. Five million more on sale since the launch of a game whose flaws have gone viral and whose console version currently has under a 60 at Metacritic is more than most games will ever sell. For comparison, it took Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order several months to reach 10 million copies sold.
Still, there are apparently not as many sales as shareholders were hoping for. Bloomberg reports that CDPR’s share fell 3.7% after the news, down a total of 42% from where it peaked earlier this month.