Botched Cyberpunk 2077 launch still haunting CD Projekt
CD Projekt SA reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the third quarter of 2021 as Poland’s largest computer-game studio continues to suffer from its botched release of its high-budget Cyberpunk 2077 production last year.
The company has endured one of the most difficult years in its history after the 1.2 billion-zloty ($289 million) Cyberpunk sold fewer copies than the analysts had expected as customers complained about numerous glitches, while Sony Corp. suspended the game from its PlayStation store.
Net income for three months ending Sept. 30 fell 30% to 16.3 million zloty, below the 37.2 million zloty in the Bloomberg survey of six analysts.
The profit declined mostly due to Cyberpunk servicing costs as well as research of new, unnamed projects that are at an early stage of development, the firm said on Monday.
Third-quarter sales at 144.5 million zloty were 38% higher than a year earlier, before the Cyberpunk release, but were almost half of the 273 million zloty the studio reported for the second quarter.
The studio’s problems seem to continue into this year after it has already postponed the release of the Cyberpunk and Witcher 3 games for next generation consoles — seen as the next potential driver of its earnings — until 2022. On Monday, the studio said it’s on track to meet the new deadlines.
The company hasn’t yet given any update of number of Cyberpunk copies sold, even as the title is offered already at discount price at many stores.
“We have to bring back the sentiment toward the game,” Chief Executive Officer Adam Kicinski said on Monday. “Price matters, but the more gamers, the better the franchise.”
As the fourth wave of the global Covid-19 pandemic is now peaking in Poland, the company extended an option for employees to work from home until mid-2022 amid competition for engineers and wage pressure.
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