Cyberpunk 2077‘s woes on “last-gen” gaming consoles mounted on Thursday with an unprecedented about-face by Sony. Effective immediately, the CD Projekt Red adventure game has been fully delisted from the PlayStation Store, and existing owners have been told they can request refunds for any purchases of the game’s digital-download version.
Shortly after Sony’s Thursday evening statement went live, a button appeared for users signed in with their PlayStation Network account to request a no-questions-asked refund of their CP77 purchase. (This button doesn’t appear for all users as of press time, likely owing to a swell of traffic to Sony’s servers.) The refund’s processing “may vary based on your payment method and financial institution.” Ars Technica has confirmed that the game’s PS Store listing can no longer be accessed on PS4 or PS5 consoles, while existing owners can still find the game in their digital library interface and play it.
The news follows CD Projekt Red’s own admission that the game’s performance on base consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 4 suffered from “bugs and crashes.” Therefore, Red encouraged customers to request refunds from both digital and physical retailers—and the company opened an email hotline for anyone who struggled with attempts to get refunds. Sure enough, game owners in both console camps found the default refund process unworkable—and Sony’s sweeping action here may point to a requirement on their part to have a refund process be compatible with its terms of service. In other words, if the game is “broken,” then Sony may need to acknowledge such issues with a top-to-bottom wipe of the game from PSN to work with CDPR’s public refund plan, as opposed to offering selective refunds.
With more clarity on the refund process, which appeared to be automatic at first glance (owing to the missing “refund” button), users may very well elect not to follow through on this refund option, in spite of woeful performance on base PS4 (and better performance on PS4 Pro, albeit not perfect by any means). CD Projekt Red previously told console owners of the game to expect “two large patches,” scheduled for January and February of 2021.
As of press time, CD Projekt Red had not offered its own announcement on this development (owing to it breaking very early in the morning as per time zones in the publisher and developer’s native country of Poland). Shortly after Sony’s announcement went live, CDPR Senior Game Designer Andrzej Zawadzki posted a meme of David Tennant crying, with no other statement or context.
Update, 9:57pm ET: CD Projekt Red has since posted a “financial report” confirming the delisting: “The decision was undertaken following our discussion with SIE regarding a full refund for all gamers who had purchased Cyberpunk 2077 via PlayStation Store and want a refund at this time. All copies of the game previously purchased digitally on PlayStation Store remain available for use by their respective buyers. Gamers can still buy physical versions of the game in retail and mail order stores. All copies, whether digital or physical, will continue to receive support and updates from the Company.”
The game suffers from arguably harsher performance issues on base Xbox One consoles, while its Xbox Series X/S versions include a variety of sliders that boost performance. Since those SKUs are combined under Xbox’s new “Smart Delivery” program, it’s unclear whether Microsoft will follow suit with a similar delisting plan. Xbox representatives did not immediately reply to Ars Technica’s questions on the matter.
Update 2, December 18: On Friday morning, Microsoft acknowledged that while its Xbox team had already processed refunds for “the vast majority” of CP77 owners who’d asked for them, it would expand that program to offer “full refunds to anyone who purchased Cyberpunk 2077 digitally from the Microsoft Store, until further notice.” This announcement included a link to Microsoft’s generic purchase-refund system. Unlike Sony, however, Microsoft has elected to not delist the game from its digital storefronts, nor add any messaging or warnings for buyers of the game on base Xbox One consoles.
Arguably a more severe move came from Best Buy, who opened up a rare program that will allow buyers of the game’s boxed copies on any console to receive a no-questions-asked refund, even if they’ve been opened. Aggrieved buyers can either take their copy back to a physical store or mail back. A Best Buy support rep detailed the process at the site’s customer support forums.
This article has been updated since its publication to clarify that the refund process is not automatic.