CD Projekt Red (CDPR) is a Polish game studio that shot to fame with Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. However, the studio's future has been hanging by a thread lately. With the botched release of Cyberpunk 2077, CDPR lost 50% of its stock valuation.
A few months ago, the scenario was different when the company’s valuation hit an all-time high of $27.6 billion in April 2020. No one outside the company expected the sudden fall from grace. When CDPR unveiled Cyberpunk 2077 to the public, it generated excitement among fans and critics alike. The game was put on a hype-train immediately after its demo was showcased during 2018's E3.
The Cyberpunk 2077 Dream
In April 2020, CDPR became Poland’s most valuable firm listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. They overtook the country's largest bank PKO BP for that distinction. Over the past decade, CDPR's stocks rose by 21,000%, making this the highest increase of any European company listed on the Stoxx Europe 600. Even the COVID-19 pandemic didn't seem to have disturbed the studio's operations.
CDPR has been prepping the release of Cyberpunk 2077 for all of 2020. Due to the pandemic, developers worked remotely. CDPR assured fans and investors that the company would stick to the release date of September 17. The release was first postponed from its original launch date in April. Then launch was delayed a second time from September to November 19. The game finally launched on December 10.
The Grim Reality
CD Projekt Red has lost 50% of its market share since December 4. With lawsuits mounting and the console version's current state, Sony pulled Cyberpunk 2077 from the Play Store, limiting early access reviews to PC only. All this made investors lose confidence in the studio. An investigation into the studio has been launched by Poland's Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.
An investigative report in Bloomberg by Esports journalist Jason Schreier revealed the numerous issues that plagued the development of Cyberpunk 2077.
The investigation by Schreier revealed that the developers were being made to work unethical hours. They were kept on their toes to deliver the final product. Former CDPR audio programmer Jakubiak stated that he worked up to 13 hours a day, while many of his co-workers were pressured into overtime. A few members of the development team believed Cyberpunk 2077 was not ready for release. But studio head Adam Badowski has disputed these claims.
Cyberpunk 2077 has yet reach its full potential. In the meantime, the future seems uncertain for CDPR. Missing features, bugs, glitches, delayed roadmap, lawsuits, stocks tanking, and console version being offered at a lower price are all signs that troubles for the studio are mounting. Fans will have to keep their fingers crossed.