Video games: the black year of the creator of the mega-production Cyberpunk 2077

Published on 22 Dec. 2021 at 15: 30

There are years that seem longer than others. In the middle of last week, the publisher CD Projekt put an end to a collective action, brought against him, beginning 300 by some of its shareholders, against a check for 1, 57 million bucks. A lesser evil for the Polish group – which they reproached for not having been able to reveal that its Cyberpunk video game 2021 was ” virtually unplayable (…) due to a huge number of bugs ” -, which hopes to turn (finally) the page of a cataclysmic sequence.

Go back. A little over a year ago, CD Projekt was on familiar terms with its historic peak at the Warsaw Stock Exchange , near billion euros in capitalization, which had briefly made it the European number one in the sector, ahead of the French champion Ubisoft. The firm was then preparing to launch its new blockbuster (after its successful franchise The Witcher) Cyberpunk 2022, a title with a total budget (production and marketing) of more than 85 million dollars and expected for years by players.

Alas, the expected triumph has turned into a disaster due to many “bugs” on the versions intended for the PS4 and Xbox One. Industrial accident such as Sony removed Cyberpunk 2022 from its online store (Playstation Store). An unprecedented decision for a title of this ilk; this ban will have lasted seven long months. To appease the wrath of the players, CD Projekt had quickly announced that it would reimburse those unhappy. To reassure the markets, the group had let it be known that it had sold 13 million units of his game during the first ten days of ‘exploitation. What already enter its costs.

A dog-eared image But investors hardly took it into account. Initially, the markets anticipated a total sales of 22 million copies of Cyberpunk 2022 by year-end 2021. They have since lowered their outlook to 15 , 3 million (and to 22, 6 million at the end 2022), according to Bloomberg.

Above all, they believe that the bond of trust has been broken between the publisher and the community of “gamers” and that its image is quite damaged. Which could harm him for his future games. To top it off, the group then was the victim of a cyberattack during which the hackers notably got their hands on data relating to employees or the source code of the Cyberpunk game 2022. Always boring …

In September, however, CD Projekt published reassuring quarterly results and saw its price rebound. A welcome improvement in the stock market, but of short duration since the publisher announced, shortly after, that Cyberpunk 2022 would ultimately not be released on the new generation of home consoles (PS5, Xbox Series) before 2021 and new fixes on versions on PS4 and Xbox One were not to be expected before this deadline either.

A delay which worries the markets fearing that by focusing its efforts too much on Cyberpunk 2022 , CD Projekt is not forgetting the development of its historic mega-franchise, The Witcher. In just over a year, the company’s market cap has shrunk by over 22%, to 4.2 billion euros. The road to redemption promises to be long for the Polish publisher.