For the good of the industry – can Sony and Xbox please clarify their Cyberpunk 2077 returns policy

CD Projekt Red yesterday committed to allowing PS4 and Xbox One purchasers of its game to request refunds from console platforms – as the game didn’t run acceptably on the base last-gen hardware it was targeting.

However, some consumers are now reporting that they have been unable to get such refunds. With one reportedly being told specifically that they should wait for the updates to the title in January and February before asking for a refund, said VGC.

That Cyberpunk 2077 has, at launch, pushed beyond what the last-gen base machines were capable of is now obvious. The Industry has always lived on the cutting edge of what’s possible, and Cyberpunk is the biggest profile game to have push beyond the boundaries of acceptability in these regards for quite a while.

Of course, we want developers to try and push the envelope when it comes to their games and their use of the hardware. However, the industry also needs a clear and agreed response to how it should behave when things go wrong. Especially given that both PlayStation and Xbox both passed the game through their TRCs, meaning they must also take responsibility.

[Update] It looks as though CDPR bypassed some of the TRC process, promising the platforms it would be fixed for launch, but that doesn’t change the fact that both platforms have a legal responsibility to their consumers to provide a usable product. “In terms of the certification process and the third parties – this is definitely on our side. I can only assume that they trusted that we’re going to fix things upon release, and that obviously did not come together exactly as we had planned,” said Michał Nowakowski at CDPR in a conference call.

“A mutual statement should be put out by all parties, so that consumers can have faith that both the developer, and the platforms, are committed to providing high quality products and high quality customer service.”

It’s obvious here that CDPR’s refund statement and the console platforms actions aren’t all on the same page. There should be an agreement between developers and publishers, allowing the developer to accept that the game is not fit for use by some users, and the platforms to then put out supporting statements that clarify the process and rules for returns, along with an agreement for the financial impact of such a move and where it should fall.

With the game running acceptably on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, as well as the latest devices, there are some grey areas here. While any player who has played through what… 30, 40, 50? hours of the game may also have a hard time arguing it was ‘unplayable’ for them.

Such grey areas need to be decided upon, and a mutual statement should be put out by all parties, so that consumers can have faith that both the developer, and the platforms, are committed to providing high quality products and high quality customer service.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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