Cyberpunk 2077 launched to much confusion from the gaming populace. The game, which had been in development for so long, launched with so many glitches resulting in more than a few video compilations on YouTube. Thankfully, CD Projekt has stayed true to its word and has been continuously releasing patches and hotfixes to address the issues. With all that going on for them, just how well did Cyberpunk 2077 do in terms of numbers?
The thing with all the complaints online is that they can't accurately describe how well the game was received. Last April 22, CD Projekt held their presentation for the CD Projekt Group's Earnings FY 2020 which should give us a closer look at the company's data. After all, as long as the game earned more than it cost, it'd be descriptive if we measure the kind of profit CD Projekt made from the game instead.
Cyberpunk 2077 announcement and development
First announced in 2012, the game spent 5 years in silence after releasing its first trailer in 2013. After resurfacing in 2018, Cyberpunk‘s developers started releasing more and more behind-the-scenes footage. Pre-alpha footage was released soon after the 2018 Gamescom.
At the helm of Cyberpunk 2077‘s development was CD Projekt Red with a team of 530 members. They were supported by other studios of course, with the total number of people involved in the game reaching more than 5200. The game was released in 18 languages, necessitating 11 voice-overs and involving 2000 voice actors.
Seeing as how the top three regions who purchased the game are NA, Europe, and East Asia, this would have helped the game's initial reach.
Marketing the title
CD Projekt Red budgeted 1.2 billion PLN which is equivalent to $316,435,560. That budget was spent on an ad campaign that garnered 3.1 billion engagements online from November to December. It was during this time that CD Projekt promised what a lot of critics are saying are unfulfilled promises.
The reason the marketing of Cyberpunk 2077 deserved a point to itself is that much of what went wrong with Cyberpunk 2077 happened here. A lot of criticisms revolve around the game's teased features not making it to the game or, as in many cases, glitch out during the game. Despite this, CD Projekt Red made record earnings in the year 2020 which has understandably upset many of the affected players.
CD Projekt approximates more than 13.7 million copies sold for the year 2020, based on data from distributors. This number is comprised of game copies for the different platforms. The majority of copies sold were digital, making up 73% of total sales.
PC and Stadia had the highest number of players, making up 56% of copies sold. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One share the rest with 28% and 17%, respectively.
As mentioned before, North America had the most sales with 38% of all sales coming from the continent. Europe came in next at 34% followed by Asia at 20%.
Sales quantities were more than enough to cover the costs of developing the game, resulting in CD Projekt Red's net profitability hitting 59.8%. For the CD Projekt Group, this meant that their net profitability to go from 33.6% in 2019 to 54% in 2020.
Plans for Cyberpunk 2077 in the coming year
CD Projekt plans to dedicate 2021 to catch up with all the bugs the came with the game's release. Patches and hotfixes have been steadily released but not all bugs that players have been complaining about have been fixed as of yet.
This process is being prioritized as the release of the next-gen version of the game is meant for this year as well. Aside from that, a few free DLCs are slated to be released in the latter half of 2021.
Despite the controversy around its release, Cyberpunk 2077 did more than well over the past few months. After all, the company has done its part in addressing as many issues as they can in each patch and hotfix. Now, it's all a matter of time till the game is fully optimized.
The lesson here is that companies should be careful when they advertise and market features they haven't polished yet. This should lead to less disappointment for the fans as expectations would be more realistic. There is nothing wrong with aiming high, but it would be in everyone's best interest if the games released didn't resemble alpha launches.