CD Projekt hosted its consolidated financial briefing for the fiscal year 2020 and spent the time acknowledging the rocky launch of Cyberpunk 2077.
Safe to say, Cyberpunk 2077’s launch didn’t go quite as planned. The lackluster performance for Cyberpunk 2077 on last-gen consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, in particular, led to a massive critical backlash, which resulted in an unprecedented decision from Sony to remove the game from the PSN store. Something CD Projekt says influenced how well Cyberpunk 2077 sold, even on non-PlayStation consoles.
Since the launch, CD Projekt has stuck to a message that it had learned its lesson from Cyberpunk 2077.
“We managed to introduce a new IP to the market and to the minds of gamers around the globe,” CDPR said in its briefing. “Now with The Witcher franchise, we have two strong pillars on which to build the future of CD Projekt. But of course, as well know not everything went as planned. It has been a huge lesson for us that we shall never forget.”
The message that CDPR has learned from Cyberpunk 2077’s rocky launch was a recurring theme during the briefing, even as CDPR revealed it sold a massive 13.7 million copies of Cyberpunk 2077 in 2020.
At one point, CDPR execs shared that “In financial terms, 2020 was the best year” in the history of the company. But followed up by saying they are “aware” that the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 does not resemble the launch of The Witcher 3.
“We are, as we’ve been stressing a lot, we’re going through a lot of changes inside the company and we believe we’ve taken a lot of lessons from everything that’s happened so far,” CDPR said.
As if putting its money where its mouth is, CDPR reiterated that 2021 will be spent bringing Cyberpunk 2077 to a level of quality expected from players, while also delivering the delayed next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game in the second half of the year.
Structurally, CDPR previously announced that it will change how it handles marketing going forward, focusing on shorter marketing campaigns, manage expectations properly, and release marketing materials that accurately represent game footage on all platforms.
CDPR also shifted to an annual roadmap as opposed to a five-year plan, something CDPR says will make the company more agile. 2021’s roadmap includes free patches and updates to Cyberpunk 2077, free DLC, and the next-gen update.
While Cyberpunk 2077 still hasn’t been reinstated to the PlayStation Store, CDPR at least seems to acknowledge that Cyberpunk 2077’s launch was a far cry from the years of hype that preceded it. Whether CD Projekt can deliver on its promise to restore some shine to Cyberpunk remains to be seen.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor.