The Cyberpunk 2077 fallout: Why are so many customers demanding refunds?

After a rocky development marred by labor abuse allegations, Cyberpunk 2077 is finally here. But now, CD Projekt has a new problem: many players are demanding refunds.

Cyberpunk 2077’s development has been tumultuous, to say the least. It was delayed three times to the ire of shareholders (and fans). In fact, CD Projekt hosted an emergency call with investors to address Cyberpunk 2077’s launch issues and what the company has planned.

The game has been out for less than a week and players are already scrambling for Cyberpunk 2077 refunds.

So what gives? Why is everyone so mad and why has the game been receiving such scathing reviews?

Bugs. So many bugs and crashes.

Cyberpunk 2077 is buggier than a bag of bruised peaches lying out on the sidewalk during a New York summer.

The game’s plethora of bugs range from silly things, like rolling cars and headless gangsters, to more bizarre sightings, like the tiny floating trees spotted by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier.

But many players have encountered game-breaking bugs that make Cyberpunk 2077 unplayable, particularly on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. On Reddit, gamers are reporting constant crashes, freezing, models not loading properly and atrocious framerates.

“Entire sections of the map disappearing, constant crashing. I can go on for hours,” One Reddit user said. “I risk a damned crash trying to change the radio station in my car because it locks the game up for 10-15 seconds.”

The game is missing a lot of basic features.

For such a major title, Cyberpunk 2077 is woefully short on even the most elementary features. 

Certain actions like the Interact key can’t be remapped. There’s no option for Aim Toggle to sight down your gun. The Dodge mechanic is terrible on PC and there’s no way to disable or rebind it unless you crack your files.

But, perhaps most egregiously, it’s missing options for gamers with disabilities. One reviewer suffered a grand mal seizure because Cyberpunk 2077 had no warning in the game for epileptic triggers aside from what’s buried in the EULA. CD Projekt has since added additional warnings and modified the triggering scenes in question.

The game also seems to block accessibility software, which is useful for gamers with impaired motor function. It’s yet another feature that can only be added by manually modifying the game.

“Big corporation not caring about its customers?” A Redditor joked. “I’d say that’s pretty cyberpunk.”

It should be noted that it’s standard for game studios to accommodate all these issues during the development cycle.

Night City has not been immersive as advertised.

The Cyberpunk 2077 we got is very different from what we were shown in 2018.

The elaborate backstory options shown in the 2018 trailer are gone. Night City is beautiful but feels flat and fake — there’s not much to do in it besides shoot people.

“This is just straight up b******t,” A Reddit user said. “All there really is outside of quests are soulless NPCs with laughable AI and perhaps the worst wanted system I’ve ever seen in an open world game. Night City feels like an astonishing looking loading screen between missions.”

The police in the game are similarly poorly designed. When committing a crime, the cops don’t chase you. Instead, the game spawns them directly behind you.

Some fans are accusing CD Projekt of lying and intentionally deceiving its customers.

Game critics already knew something was off when CD Projekt prevented reviewers from taking their own gameplay footage. The publisher also didn’t send out any review keys for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One copies of the game.

Now we know why: it’s an utter mess on past gen consoles. Recent patches have been tackling the issues plaguing the game (with more fixes coming in January and February 2021) but many people are still struggling through massive bugs.

Even CD Projekt itself admitted it dropped the ball during its emergency call. Despite the bad press, the company announced that Cyberpunk 2077 has already broken even, thanks to its massive log of preorders.

CD Projekt told players to go through Microsoft and Sony for refunds. That’s a mixed bag.

The developer landed in hot water again when it told disgruntled players that they can refund the game through Microsoft and Sony.

That’s easier said than done, as many players are finding out the hard way.

CD Projekt’s famous policies of rejecting DRM, free DLC and a much more pro-consumer approach compared to other publishers has made it a darling in the gaming world.

But now with the fallout from Cyberpunk 2077’s troubled launch, that good will is rapidly fading.

If you liked this story, check out this piece on how Cyberpunk 2077’s developers received death threats after the game’s third delay.

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