Sony pulls Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation Store after bug backlash

Sony is pulling Cyberpunk 2077 from its PlayStation Store only a week after its debut in the wake of complaints of glitches in the video game created by Poland's CD Projekt.

Game was delayed three times before its debut

CD Projekt, the creator of Cyberpunk 2077, says Sony's removal of the game from its PlayStation Store was temporary and it is working to bring the game back as soon as possible. (CD Projekt)

Sony is pulling Cyberpunk 2077 from its PlayStation Store only a week after its debut in the wake of complaints of glitches in the video game created by Poland's CD Projekt.

The role-playing game, billed as an "open-world, action-adventure story set in ... a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification" and featuring Hollywood star Keanu Reeves, was delayed three times before its debut.

Sony's unusual move is another blow for CD Projekt, Poland's top video game maker, whose shares have tumbled from a record high last week as fans and game reviewers have voiced concerns.

CD Projekt said the suspension was temporary and it was working hard to bring the game back to PlayStation Store as soon as possible.

The game maker said Friday its intention is for every owner of a physical or digital copy who bought it retail, and has a valid proof of purchase, to get a refund.

The launch of Cyberpunk 2077, where gamers play as "V," a character who is described as a mercenary outlaw pursuing a "one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality," coincided with people being stuck at home during the pandemic.

And while the coronavirus crisis has boosted demand for games, new titles are in short supply, meaning that those which have been launched have attracted particular attention.

Several big-ticket games like Microsoft's Halo Infinite have also been delayed due to the challenge of developers being stuck at home during coronavirus restriction.

COVID-19 impact

CEO Adam Kicinski said when Cyberpunk 2077 was launched that CD Projekt would have preferred to have fewer bugs, but it did not consider delaying for a fourth time.

He said there had been fewer external testers, as they were not able to try the game from home as a result of COVID-19.

"We are highly disappointed by the information, which shows that the game was just not ready to debut in December and the decision to launch it was a big mistake," Kacper Kopron, an analyst at Trigon DM brokerage, said.

Cyberpunk 2077 features Hollywood star Keanu Reeves. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Sony's move risks goodwill built up with fans over many years and CD Projekt has promised to iron out the bugs with updates, with patches due in January and February.

CD Projekt, which gained prominence with its The Witcher series to become one of Poland's biggest listed companies, was expected to break sales records with Cyberpunk, which also launched on Microsoft's XBox and Google's Stadia.

In a tweet, Xbox Support said Friday it would be expanding its existing refund policy until further notice to offer full refunds to anyone who purchased Cyberpunk 2077 digitally from the Microsoft Store.

"While we know the developers at CD Projekt Red have worked hard to ship Cyberpunk 2077 in extremely challenging circumstances, we also realize that some players have been unhappy with the current experience on older consoles," Xbox Support tweeted.

Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

with files from CBC News