Cyberpunk 2077’s refunds cost CD Projekt $51 million

It’s common knowledge that Cyberpunk 2077 sold millions in pre-orders and at launch, but what people really want to know is how many of those buyers were refunded. Now, we have an idea of the figures: just under 215,000, or about 1.6% of all units sold.
In CD Projekt’s full earnings report, the company reveals that Cyberpunk 2077 sold 13.7 million copies last year—a pretty amazing figure for a game released on December 10. Most of these (56%) were the PC and Stadia versions, while 28% were for the PlayStation 4 and 17% for the Xbox One.

The game was far from problem-free, of course, especially on the consoles, leading to plenty of refunds. You may have read that this cost the company $2.23 million, but that relates only to direct refunds made last year through CDPR’s “Help me Refund” campaign, along with its marketing costs.

Ars Technica and analyst Mike Futter note that an “Other Provisions” section of the report reveals the full picture. CD Projekt spent about $51.2 million on “provisions for returns and expected adjustments of licensing reports related to sales of Cyberpunk 2077 in its release window, in Q4 2020.” The number appears to include all digital and retail refunds for the game in 2020, along with refunds and lost sales projected throughout 2021.

In 2020 alone, $10.65 million worth of refunds were made through digital and physical retailers. Combined with the $2.23 million in direct refunds, it equals nearly $12.9 million in total. Assuming each one was a $60 purchase, that equates to just under 215,000 units. That would be a lot for most games, but it represents just 1.6% of all Cyberpunk 2077 units sold in 2020.

As we heard last week, Cyberpunk 2077 helped CD Projekt to a record $563 million in sales revenue and $303 million net profit last year, so that $51 million is just 9% of the company’s total revenue.

There are some other interesting Cyberpunk 2077 facts in the report: 73% of all sales were digital downloads; the game had a blockbuster movie-like budget of $315 million; and the team working on it included 530 developers and 2,000 voice actors.