Just when we thought everything was fine and frustrated owners of Cyberpunk 2077 could request a refund from either Sony or Microsoft, that doesn't seem to be the case. Earlier today, CD Projekt Red finally acknowledged that it had misled consumers by withholding demos of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game. The company also said that customers who purchased the game on either the PlayStation Store or Xbox Live could request a refund. However, it doesn't seem like the company ran this decision past either Microsoft or Sony – numerous reports have cropped up that frustrated customers have encountered several roadblocks in their attempts to secure a refund. We've reached out to both Sony and Microsoft on the matter, and Microsoft provided us with a statement.
On the Sony side of things, we've seen multiple complaints from owners of the PlayStation 4 version of the game that have attempted to get a refund, but the company responded that its policy does not allow for refunds if the game was already downloaded and played. Of course, this is a complete 180 following the events this past weekend when Sony processed refunds.
This could be a direct result of CD Projekt Red telling everyone to go to Sony and Microsoft for refunds. Sony may not like the idea of shelling out what could be an unimaginable amount of money for refunds as a direct result of CD Projekt Red's ongoing controversy. In some instances, Sony has told those looking for a refund that they'll have a functional game in February 2021.
We reached out to Sony regarding the matter, but we haven't received a reply yet.
Microsoft, on the other hand, at least has a process that it's following. We reached out and the company provided the following statement about the situation:
“We provide Digital Game Product refunds as part of a consistent and reliable buying experience. For more details on our digital game purchase refund terms, please visit our Xbox support page here (opens in new tab). To request an Xbox refund, please follow the steps listed on our Xbox refund page here (opens in new tab). For any further questions on “Cyberpunk 2077,” please reach out to CD Projekt Red.” — Microsoft spokesperson.
While Microsoft hasn't flat out denied refunds, it does mention its refund terms and will likely use them to decide whether it will grant a refund or not. As stated by Microsoft, "Submitting a request does not guarantee a refund," so your mileage may vary depending on who looks over your request.
As for those who've purchased a physical copy, CD Projekt Red recommends contacting the store you purchased the game from and asking for a refund. If you aren't successful, you can then reach out to CD Projekt Red at firstname.lastname@example.org. We've reached out to the company to find out how it will handle the refunds, but have yet to receive a reply.
If you're ok with waiting for CD Projekt Red to patch the game, the company has mentioned that it is working on updates and will release one in January 2021 and another during February 2021. It remains to be seen if these patches will address the numerous issues with the game.
it not going to be more than was sold.... so unimaginable...?
Yeah, but can you imagine it? It boggles the mind...
And refunds of games should already be relatively hassle-free on the PC side of things, at least from the major distribution platforms. Steam and Epic allow one to return a game so long as they've played it for under 2 hours, and GOG's policy is even more lenient. A couple hours should be enough time, in most cases, to determine whether a game at least runs properly on one's system, and largely functions as expected. It doesn't sound like the return policies on consoles are currently as useful though, so some improvements could be made there.
A problem with government-mandated return policies is that government officials often don't have a good idea of what makes sense for something like this, and if the restrictions are too lenient, people will be prone to abuse them. A digital storefront shouldn't be required to accept returns of games that people have played through, for example. And there are many who would take advantage of stores if they are required to accept returns of physical games that have been opened.
Again, the consumer can do a lot on their own to protect themselves, should they choose to make use of the resources available to them.