In a new twist, Sony reps are refusing to grant the Cyberpunk 2077 refunds CD Projekt Red has told its console players to request and are instead telling players specifically to wait. Reports on how Sony does (or doesn’t) feel about Cyperpunk 2077 have gone back and forth, but there are screenshots backing up claims that the company isn’t processing rebates and is, in some cases, telling players to wait until CD Projekt Red patches the game.
So today’s update, Sony support refused another refund for #Cyberpunk2077. They said even if the devs say refund it, they won’t do it. Lied about the game not being broken and lied about what CDPR stated. Tl:dr you are stuck with a broken game, wait til patched. Some support. pic.twitter.com/MsyI11VCGO
— Mgs2master2 (@mgs2master2) December 14, 2020
@PlayStation @AskPlayStation you guys are complete clowns. @CDPROJEKTRED @CyberpunkGame stated I can get a refund and you guys want to tell me this pic.twitter.com/gynnaMw9E0
— Koda ➐ (@ThatBoiKoda) December 14, 2020
@PlayStation @CDPROJEKTRED @YongYea @TheQuartering
Literally sony playstations response to people regardless of #CDProjektRed statement on refunds #ripoff pic.twitter.com/WwhJfeL4nN
— Heather (vggsheagurl) (@Heatherma29) December 14, 2020
The optics of telling customers to trust in the good faith and release schedule of a company that isn’t currently known for either trait are pretty terrible, and folks over at Resetera are anything but happy.
This Is CD Project Red’s Fault, but Sony Needs to Help
This situation exists because CD Projekt Red deliberately hid what the game looked like on consoles. It refused to sample anything but the PC version of the game for pre-review, which should have been a giant red flag in and of itself.
PS4 customers had reason to believe they were buying a game that would run on their hardware. The video below was posted by the PlayStation Channel, making it official Sony marketing. It’s a brief look at development with plenty of shots from the game.
Allowing these purchases to stand is equivalent to saying that it’s acceptable for a major game publisher to pull this kind of stunt, so long as the game sells enough copies. I don’t believe for a second that Microsoft or Sony deliberately allowed this to happen, but Sony’s official YouTube media channel has shared a number of videos, including gameplay videos. Those videos were apparently all taken from the PS4 Pro version of the game.
But therein lies the rub. CP2077 isn’t the only game to run badly on the base consoles, but it’s easily the highest-profile title to ever launch with such a cavernous gap between the base model and the higher-end machine. When Sony and Microsoft launched the PS4 Pro / Xbox One X, both companies promised that every game that was playable on the high-end console would be playable on the low-end one. According to multiple reviewers, including Digital Foundry, Cyberpunk 2077 is not playable on last generation base consoles.
So did those promises mean anything or not?
Cyberpunk 2077, as it exists today, is unplayable. Sony and Microsoft have breached their promise to players — maybe not legally, but certainly ethically. So long as the two companies honor requests for refunds, they can claim to have been misled themselves.
Refusing refunds in this instance sends the unmistakable message that if you’re big enough, and you make enough of an initial splash, you don’t actually have to build games people can play. The two-hour play through that Sony offers as a refund interval is based on the implicit guarantee that you’ll be making that decision on the basis of personal taste. That’s not the case here. This game is broken. No one who plays it on PS4 is getting the experience they were promised by Sony and CD Projekt Red. Gamers who pushed into a title because they refused to believe that such a high profile game could possibly be this broken do not deserve to be punished for daring to trust a major game publisher.
This is not an acceptable way to treat customers. Sony needs to make an exception to its own policies, in recognition of the exceptional circumstances surrounding the game, or it needs to admit it has no intention of punishing developers that break its policies.