The release of CD Projekt Red’s (CDPR) highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 is becoming an even bigger mess, and buyers of the digital version of the game from Sony’s PlayStation Store might not have an easy path — or any path at all — to receive the refund the developer said they could.
Sony hasn’t officially commented on whether players who bought the game from its digital storefront are eligible for refunds. The company’s official policy is not to refund customers if they started playing a game “unless the content is faulty.”
Now, a message from PlayStation Support to CNBC journalist Steve Kovach appears to further confirm that your only option in this scenario is to turn to CDPR’s own help line it opened specifically to address console refunds for the game. “CD Projekt Red is currently working on patches and updates to fix bugs and crashes, and to improve overall gameplay experience of Cyberpunk 2077,” reads the PlayStation Support message, implying frustrated players on PS4 should simply wait for the developer to fix the game.
Sony won't refund my Cyberpunk 2077 order, even after the game's developer said buyers experiencing problems could get refunds. The game literally crashes my PS4 and is unplayable. Sony's answer? Wait for the updates. pic.twitter.com/Zx2LSRhqqN— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) December 16, 2020
Sony did not respond to an official request for comment yesterday regarding its policy on Cyberpunk 2077 refunds. The Verge has reached out again for further clarification regarding this message from PlayStation Support.
For those not immersed in the Cyberpunk 2077 launch, let’s back up a bit. The game released last Tuesday, and it became immediately clear that it was plagued by bugs and deep-seated performance issues that make the game an extremely frustrating experience on the standard PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms. While it runs generally okay on PS5, Xbox Series X, PC, and Stadia (although with plenty of bugs and crashes depending on your platform and your PC hardware and settings), the game is not well-equipped to handle old and underpowered hardware first released in 2013.
In the wake of widespread criticism on social media and from game review sites, none of which were able to review the console versions of the game prior to launch, CDPR released a statement recommending players who want their money back from the console version of the game request a refund. The company said to request refunds from Microsoft or Sony, and to email the developer as a last resort.
What CDPR didn’t say at the time was that it had no official refund policy in place with Microsoft, Sony, or any retail partners. The company’s executives only revealed as much in a call with investors earlier this week, where they blamed oversight and a fixation on the PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X / S versions of the game for the issues plaguing current-gen platforms.
Microsoft has since released a statement advising players to pursue its standard refund policy, which does appear to allow most players to get their money back if they request a refund within 14 days of purchase. Sony, on the other hand, does not have as generous of a policy. And retail stores don’t have to honor refunds at all, considering they already purchased the stock from the developer’s publishing partners.
Now, many players are stuck with their only recourse at this time involving manually contacting a CDPR email address to try to get their money back. According to Vice’s Patrick Klepek, some customers are receiving an automated message back from the developer telling them that they’ll receive an update on their refund most likely before the end of the year.
People are starting to get this response back from CD Projekt RED, after emailing their “help” address for refunds. The language is interesting: it doesn’t tell you to request a refund from Sony anymore. You’re supposed to wait. pic.twitter.com/Hb77SQ5teD— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) December 16, 2020
In this new message CDPR is sending out, it’s advising players to pursue refunds for digital Xbox versions of the game through Microsoft’s standard refund policy, which anecdotally appears to be working for many players. But CDPR also seems to subtly cast blame on Sony here for not honoring refunds, telling PlayStation players to “please wait for us to get back to you.”
The situation is nothing short of a disaster for all parties involved, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve any time soon. CDPR is planning two major patches for January and February to fix bugs and improve performance on all platforms, which means the game should improve in due time. But until then, people disappointed in the game who want their money back will need to either be on the right platform to do so or will have to wait to see if CDPR can remedy the situation one way or another.