It seems GameStop is also offering full refunds to the people who bought — and subsequently had their hearts broken by — Cyberpunk 2077.
According to an internal memo reviewed by Kotaku, the company is now one of many retailers, including Microsoft and Sony, that are offering to accept Cyberpunk 2077 returns. The memo notes that GameStop workers have been guided to take all Cyberpunk 2077 returns, including the ones that have been torn open. The returned games are then given the label of "Defective." With figures of refund requests factored in, Cyberpunk 2077 has still managed to sell 13 million copies.
It's a decidedly different route than what GameStop normally takes. Conventionally, the company only gives full refunds for games that have not been opened. But with Cyberpunk 2077's exceptional failure, retailers will have to adopt exceptional — and unprecedented — business strategies to keep customers from abandoning their brands altogether. The entire fiasco is painfully on brand for 2020.
How we got here — Soon after its release, Cyberpunk 2077's developer, CD Projekt Red, began apologizing for glitches in the game. After multiple delays and rushing its workforce to complete a game that clearly needed more time and improvement, the release brought along the expected: bugs, low-level visual rendering, and a flood of complaints. It obviously missed its coveted goal of achieving powerful and positive publicity alongside the highly anticipated release of next-gen consoles from both Sony and Microsoft.
The stunningly poor performance was quickly noticed and the developer attempted to do damage control by not only expressing contrition for hyping up its game for years and then delivering a severely disappointing product but also said that it would refund upset gamers. The compromised performance was so devastating that CD Projekt Red's stock tanked to $22 per share, which was a plummet from the previous $31. Collectively, the stock market bruising cost the company's four founders some $1 billion of their collective 34 percent share in the firm.
All in all, yet another trainwreck in the trainwreck year of 2020. If you're one of those GameStop customers who had their hopes built up over the years all for naught, you can ask for a refund as long as you do so within 30 days of buying the title.