CD Projekt SA’s CEO, Marcin Iwiński, recently issued a public apology for the flawed release of the online game Cyberpunk 2077 in December. In a video statement and accompanying blog post, Iwiński expressed regret that the game “did not meet the quality standard we wanted to meet” and assured players that the leadership team takes full responsibility for the game’s shortcomings. This apology follows a 30% drop in CD Projekt’s shares due to the backlash from disappointed players and investors.
Interviews with current and former CD Projekt employees reveal a development process plagued by overambition, poor planning, and technical difficulties. The employees, who requested anonymity out of fear for their careers, described an organization that prioritized marketing over development and imposed unrealistic timelines that led to extensive overtime before the game’s final release. Despite the issues surrounding its launch, Cyberpunk 2077 sold 13 million copies at $60 each within the first 10 days of its release. However, upon release, players found the game to be rife with bugs and performance issues, leading Sony to remove it from the PlayStation Store and offer refunds and Microsoft to add a warning label about potential performance issues.
CD Projekt will spend the next few months working on fixes for Cyberpunk 2077 instead of expanding the game or beginning work on the next installment of its popular franchise, The Witcher. The first update is set to be released at the end of January, with a second to follow in the weeks after. While CD Projekt’s rivals, such as Electronic Arts and Ubisoft, regularly release major games, the Polish company only releases one every few years, making Cyberpunk 2077 especially important for the company’s success. In light of the game’s issues, CD Projekt is facing an investor lawsuit alleging that the company deceived investors.
Iwiński’s apology and the company’s focus on fixing Cyberpunk 2077 may be an attempt to salvage the game’s reputation and prevent further damage to CD Projekt’s reputation and financial standing. However, it remains to be seen if these efforts will be enough to win back the trust of players and investors.
For entrepreneurs and businesses, the issues surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 serve as a cautionary tale about the dangers of overambition and inadequate planning. It is important to ensure that a project has the necessary resources and support before proceeding, as the consequences of a flawed product can be significant. In the case of CD Projekt, the company’s reputation and financial stability were put at risk by the problematic release of Cyberpunk 2077.
The events surrounding Cyberpunk 2077’s release may also serve as a reminder of the potential impact that a company’s actions can have on its financial standing. The drop in CD Projekt’s shares following the game’s release illustrates how a company’s financial performance can be affected by factors such as customer satisfaction and investor confidence.