Cyberpunk 2077 was always going to turn a profit, controversies be damned. A decade of development, a slick campaign hyping up the product, and throwing America’s sweetheart Keanu Reeves into the mix was a recipe for success, and after a mere day on store shelves, CD Projekt Red has already recouped its development costs from pre-order sales alone.
As spotted by industry figure Daniel Ahmad on Twitter, CDPR’s 65/2020 financial report detailed how the game’s production and marketing costs have already been covered. Prepare to jack into pure corpo-talk for this one, netrunners:
“The Management Board of CD PROJEKT S.A. with a registered office in Warsaw (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Company’) hereby announces that the estimated licensing royalties receivable by the Company in association with pre-order sales of Cyberpunk 2077 across all of its digital distribution channels have exceeded the sum of the following:
- Total development expenditures related to the game, and
- The game’s marketing and promotional costs borne by the Company – either already incurred or anticipated for the remainder of 2020.
No surprises there! What is surprising is how CDPR is handling a 13th paycheque for its employees. Criticisms of crunch working conditions aside, game bonuses have traditionally been tied to Metacritic average scores, a system that’s about as flawed as politicians being held to account for their actions.
As reported by Bloomberg, CD Projekt executives took the blame for launching a bug-riddled mess of a game, explaining to staff that a bonus system tied to the game’s ratings was “simply not fair under the circumstances” as the studio had “underestimated the lengths and complexity involved to make this a reality”. “We initially had a bonus system that was focused on the game’s ratings and the release date, but after consideration, we believe that measure is simply not fair under the circumstances,” studio head and creative director Adam Badowski was reported to have told staff via email.
We underestimated the lengths and complexity involved to make this a reality, and still you did everything you could to deliver an ambitious, special game.
For what it’s worth, I think Cyberpunk 2077 is a great game, but it’s not game of the year material for me. It’s this generation’s Skyrim, and even without the bugs plaguing it, it’s still an awkward sandbox that features some incredibly stiff design, archaic gameplay systems, and other assorted weirdness.There’s clearly still some work to be done.
Last Updated: December 14, 2020