Despite both being a late arrival to 2020 and having a controversial release, Cyberpunk 2077 has still managed to become one of the top selling games of 2020.
Alongside Cyberpunk 2077 were games like Grand Theft Auto V, The Sims 4, and DOOM Eternal. However, the biggest theme for gaming in 2020 was sports, with three different sports games all making it into the top ten.
The hype around Cyberpunk 2077 helped it sell, but may hurt it in the long run
It’s no surprise that hype helped sell Cyberpunk 2077. The game had been in development for nearly a decade, and was being worked on by the company responsible for what many considered the single best narrative RPG ever made. To say that hopes were high for Cyberpunk 2077 would be an understatement.
After multiple delays, and yet somehow not enough, Cyberpunk 2077 released on December 10th of 2020. Critical reception prior to the game’s release had been strongly positive from those early reviewers, with the suspicious gap in reviews for the console version of the game.
Upon release, however, it became apparent that Cyberpunk 2077 was, for many players, unplayable. Frequent crashes, game ending bugs, frustration and annoyance at every turn; Cyberpunk 2077 was a great game drowned in miles of muck and clutter that prevented many diehard fans from playing through.
This caused a backlash and controversy so massive that CD Projekt Red went so far as to suggest refunds as a way to appease upset fans. At the moment, Cyberpunk 2077 has a unique refund policy for both physical and digital copies of the game on all consoles.
How did other games do in 2020?
Beyond Cyberpunk 2077, quite a few other games managed to reach impressive sales last year. DOOM Eternal reached $454 million in 2020, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War got to $678 million, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare took the top spot with almost $2 billion.
Interestingly, both NBA 2K21 and NBA 2K20 made it to rank four and five for 2020, with $889 million and $771 million in revenue respectively. It does seem somewhat strange that two very similar sports games would both do so well, but if that’s what people want to play, then so be it.
Lastly, FIFA 20 was the only other premium game to make it over $1 billion in revenue last year. Overall, 2020 was a strong year for gaming, though not necessarily for the right reasons. Gaming has seen a significant rise in 2020, mostly due to so many people enduring long lockdowns and social distancing guidelines this year.
Hopefully, this year will see an end to the pandemic, and everyone can get back to some semblance of normalcy.