It was supposed to be the biggest video game of the year. Eight years in the making, the Blade Runner-meets-Grand Theft Auto open world action role playing game, Cyberpunk 2077 featured Keanu Reeves in a staring role, soundtrack contributions from Grimes, Run the Jewels, Nina Kraviz, SOPHIE and Shygirl, customizable genitalia options and a bunch of other things that to be honest we stopped paying attention to after reading "customizable genitalia options." With a three hundred million dollar budget and a massive marketing campaign behind the video game, Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the most highly anticipated games in recent memory... but then it was actually released.
Within days of its release, user were reporting countless performance issues and bugs (including a glitch that made it impossible for some players to keep some of those "customizable genitalia options" in their pants) that plagued the game forcing to Cyberpunk 2077's developer CD Projekt Red to issue an apology. Now, barely a week since the game came out, Sony has announced that they will be removing Cyberpunk 2077 from their online stores and offering refunds for PlayStation users. CD Projekt Red confirmed the news in a statement of their own, saying that the decision to halt sales was made mutually and that "starting today, everyone who is not willing to wait for updates and wants to refund their digital copy of the game, can do so by submitting a request."
Earlier in the week, CD Projekt Red admitted that they should have paid more attention to making sure the game performed better on last-gen consoles like the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One instead of the newer PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, which have been notoriously hard to get a hold of ever since they came out a few weeks ago. The developer has announced that larger patches to fix these issues would be coming in the first two months of next year but haven't shared too many specifics.
Even leading up to Cyberpunk 2077's release, the game was plagued with issues from its initial launch getting pushed back from April to September, November and eventually settling on December to drawing criticism for the developer's mandatory "crunch" period practices requiring employees to work extra hours and put in six-day work weeks as well as transphobic tweets and marketing that undercut the impact of what could've been actually progressive trans representation for the game.
But for all of CD Projekt Red's missteps, glaring oversights and questionable business practices, it is still pretty unprecedented for a game as big and hyped up as Cyberpunk 2077 to get outright pulled from online stores so shortly after its release. Many have started to draw comparisons to No Man Sky's initial release in 2016, a similarly ambitious game that promised players a procedurally generated universe to explore and fell woefully short of expectations. In the years since, No Man's Sky has been able to turn itself around, but it's not as clear as to whether or not CD Projekt Red will be afforded the same level of grace from players as they work to ostensibly make the game merely playable.
Photo via Getty/ INA FASSBENDER/ AFP