Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has confirmed it has no special refund agreement with Microsoft or Sony, despite saying dissatisfied players should return their copies of the game in a statement. It means players are covered by both platforms’ standard refund policies, which, in the case of Sony, explicitly prohibits refunds if you’ve already started playing a game “unless the content is faulty.”
The confirmation came from the company’s senior vice president of business development, Michał Nowakowski, on an investor call held on Monday evening. “Microsoft and Sony have refund policies for every product that is released digitally on their storefronts,” Nowakowski said. “Despite several articles I’ve seen that things are being set up just for us, it’s actually not true — these policies are in place and have always been in place; they’re not offered specifically for us.”
“They’re not offered specifically for us.”
“Anyone who has purchased any title on the PlayStation network or the Microsoft storefront can ask for a refund, and if it’s made within certain boundaries, usually related to time, usage and so on, can ask for that refund,” he continued. “Our procedure here with Microsoft and Sony is not different than with any other title released on any of those storefronts.”
The investor call followed widespread reports that the game has serious performance problems on older consoles. Polygon reports that players have been experiencing “glitches, frame rate issues, major pop-in and more.”
Confusion about refunds arose after reports circulated that players were successfully claiming them for the game, despite already having downloaded and played it. One poster on Reddit reported they received a refund from Sony despite having played “well over 10 hours” of the game, and other commenters said they’d had similar success. The reports were notable since Sony’s official rules about refunds state, “If you have started to download or stream the purchased content you will not be eligible for a refund unless the content is faulty.”
Microsoft’s rules, meanwhile, don’t specifically mention not being able to refund a game after you’ve started playing it. Instead, they outline a 14-day window after purchase in which a customer may be eligible for a refund. We have contacted both Microsoft and Sony to get clarification on their refund policies. Policies around refunds for boxed copies are governed by the individual store where a copy was purchased.
Then, on Monday morning, CD Projekt Red issued a statement suggesting anyone who’d bought the game for PS4 or Xbox One could return their copy if they’re not pleased with the game. “If you are not pleased with the game on your console and don’t want to wait for updates, you can opt to refund your copy,” the statement read. It gave an email address for players to contact if they had any problems. It prompted speculation that CD Projekt Red had made a special agreement to allow players to return the game despite the usual rules.
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) December 14, 2020
We now know this is not the case, and it seems many players found that out when they’ve tried to request refunds. Eurogamer reports that players have had mixed results from trying to request refunds from Microsoft and Sony. One user on Twitter posted screenshots of a conversation with Sony customer support in which they were refused a refund.
On the same investor call, Nowakowski offered some explanation for how the game managed to release with as many problems as it has on older consoles. The executive suggested the team had been too preoccupied with optimizing the game for “PC and next-gen performance rather than current-gen,” and added, “We definitely did not spend enough time looking at that.” However, he denied there being any undue pressure to release the game when they did.