What analysts say about the false start of Cyberpunk 2077


Advertisement for Cyberpunk 2077 in Warsaw

The -game was supposed to be a blockbuster. But technical problems screwed up the start.

( Photo: AFP)

Frankfurt It was supposed to be a calculated hit for the holiday season – but it turned out to be a bitter disappointment for many customers. Few games have been so eagerly awaited by gamers in the current year as the open-world role-playing game “ Cyberpunk 2077”.

But the start of the video game launched by the Polish game developer CD Projekt Red went completely wrong. At the launch, the game attracted attention mainly with quirks.

The -elaborate game, which requires a lot of computer capacity, ran little or only poorly on old game consoles: Numerous technical difficulties and a lot of bugs, i.e. small programming errors, spoiled the customer’s mood.

A costly mistake: a few days ago Sony pulled the ripcord and removed the video game, which was produced with millions of dollars, from the Playstation store after only about a week.

It’s a debacle that not only massively angered many buyers of the game. For many stockbrokers – who had already priced in the success of “Cyberpunk 2077” – the failure had drastic consequences.

The -shares of the well-known company in Poland plummeted dramatically.

Since the launch debacle, the CD Projekt Red share, which is also traded in Germany under WKN number 534356, has lost almost half its value at its peak – and has only recovered slightly afterwards.

At the beginning of January the share was still quoted at around 68 euros, at times the high expectations of the success of the new game even catapulted the price over the threshold of 100 euros this year.

After that, the papers suffered several setbacks as the game’s release was postponed several times. Before the launch on December 10th, prices and expectations rose sharply again.

The -disappointment was all the greater when the game now turned out to be flawed in the launch version.


The -crash was so great that one or two stockbrokers are now wondering whether it is worth joining the game developer again. Because the game developer not only has “ Cyberpunk 2077” in its portfolio, but also the “ Witcher” series, which became known to a wider audience at the latest when it was made into a film by Netflix and is one of the most prominent and possibly most profitable games that had been developed in Poland by then were.

For example, in 2011 the then Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk gave the visiting US President Barack Obama a collector’s edition of the game “

The -Witcher 2″ as a welcome gift. So is CD Projekt Red worth a look now?

Regaining trust is difficult”

The -verdict on this depends crucially on how quickly the Poles can correct their mistakes again. “ Within a few days, CD Projekt RED made the descent from the most admired developer studio to one of the most hated”, explains analyst Tomasz Rodak from BOS Bank SA. “ Regaining trust is not impossible, but it takes time and effort.”

The -expulsion from the Playstation store will depress market expectations for “cyberpunk” sales by up to 40 percent, predicts analyst Kacper Kopron from the brokerage company Trigon DM.

His colleagues from Credit Suisse point out that the Playstation accounts for up to 30 percent of demand. In addition, the second major console provider, Microsoft, could throw “Cyberpunk 2077” from the online store for the X-Box console.

Larger reimbursements of the purchase price are not to be expected, believes analyst Ken Rumph of the Jefferies investment bank. Because the loyal community of players is waiting for the updates to fix the bugs.

The -developers at CD Projekt Red immediately apologized for this in an official statement to the customers and announced an update schedule. A first update that fixes some bugs has now been released.

The -company also promised console game customers that it would give them a hand in attempting a refund. Game providers such as Steam usually only guarantee a purchase price refund if the game is exchanged within a specified period and has not been played with it for more than two hours.

Steam has since agreed to examine the claims. Sony has already promised previous buyers to reimburse the purchase price in full when they return the game, if they so wish.

Production costs of 270 million euros

There is a lot of money involved. Because the game market is huge. According to the information service Newzoo, players all over the world spend more than 130 billion euros a year on their hobby – and the trend is rising sharply in the pandemic.

Huge investments were made in Cyberpunk 2077. A total of 125 actors were engaged, who recorded a total of 450 hours of dialogue – including well-known Hollywood stars such as Keanu Reeves, who is known from the film trilogy “ Matrix”.

A total of around 500 employees are said to have worked on the project. Experts estimate the production costs at 270 million euros. CD Projekt Red is still debt-free and has a good running game in the running with the Witcher series.

With a price-earnings ratio (P / E) of 19.2, the Poles are valued significantly more favorably than their big rival Ubisoft Entertainment from France, which has a P / E of 29.

But it is still difficult to accurately assess the financial damage and the long-term consequences for CD Projekt Red.

The -debacle in the middle of the Christmas business can be compared to the damage to the image that a German premium manufacturer would have if it had to take its top sedan off the market just a week after the start of sales due to technical problems.

Experts ascribed “ Cyberpunk 2077” the potential to become a real blockbuster title with revenues of over one billion euros.

The -eight million pre-orders worldwide for the publication date on December 10 alone had brought the company around 480 million euros in sales. Of the 24 analysts who regularly cover the stock, only five recommend buying, nine holding and ten even selling the stock.

In order to make “Cyberpunk 2077” a success, CD Projekt Red has to eliminate the remaining bugs and performance problems as quickly as possible. In the commercial for the game, which CD Projekt put on music platforms such as Spotify shortly before Christmas, Keanu Reeves appears, accompanied by rhythms by Billie Eillish. “Seize the Day” is the motto of the clip, in German: Use the day. It is a piece of advice that the two CD-Projekt-Red directors Adam Kicinski and Piotr Nielubowicz should take to heart.

More: Microsoft, Amazon and Google are fighting for the future of computer games.

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