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Remember That Cyberpunk 2077 Lawsuit? Well, It Wasn't Over

"Cyberpunk 2077" has not had an easy road, whether you're talking about the time before or after its release. The AAA action RPG was stuck in development hell for years as CD Projekt Red — the team behind the wildly popular "Witcher" games — worked to make it the game-changer everyone expected it to be. But shortly after launch, the lawsuits against "Cyberpunk 2077" and its publisher began to stack up. Fans were furious about the state of the game — which was riddled with bugs and notably missing a number of features that were advertised during development — and investors felt they had been misled about the state of the project prior to release. 

These lawsuits began to make a good bit of sense when it was reported that CDPR's stock had plummeted and its founders had lost somewhere in the neighborhood of one billion dollars over the botched release. In May 2021, separate class action suits filed by CDPR investors were consolidated into one larger case.

Now, the suit leveled at "Cyberpunk 2077" has been settled, and CD Projekt Red is looking at a hefty payout as a result. Nearly two years after the game's controversial launch, a federal judge has ruled that CDPR owes investors $1.85 million USD, which will be divided up among the plaintiffs. 

"But wait," you may be thinking. "Wasn't that lawsuit settled more than a year ago?" Well, it almost was. Here's what went down.

The original Cyberpunk 2077 settlement

The original argument against CDPR, according to a press release from Rosen Law Firm, is that "Cyberpunk 2077" did not work as advertised. The game's reception then led to losses by the game's investors and creators alike especially after companies like Sony began offering refunds for the broken title. Rosen Law Firm argued, "defendants' statements about its business, operations, and prospects, were materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times."

CD Projekt Red initially tried to move forward with a settlement back in December 2021, one year after the release of "Cyberpunk 2077." At the time, many of the details surrounding the case were pretty much the same, including the proposed settlement amount of $1.85 million. In a statement released at the time (per VGC), CDPR agreed to pay the settlement, on the provision that "members of the class (including the plaintiffs) shall relinquish any and all claims against the Company and members of its Management Board." In other words, CDPR asked that all accusations of fraud would have to cease if the payment were to go through. The statement also said that any settlement on CDPR's part should not be seen as an admission of guilt, either. 

At the time, it looked like the settlement was all set to go through, and that the long year of litigation was finally coming to an end. However, as noted by Law360 (per GamesRadar), the judge presiding over the case rejected the settlement. The judge argued that the initial draft of the settlement "includes a lot of information that is not in [the] motion and is not supported by a declaration or other documents," and essentially sent CDPR and the plaintiffs back to the drawing board in April 2022.

The new settlement and the future of Cyberpunk 2077

Flash forward almost another whole year, and it looks like the court is finally satisfied with the latest draft of the settlement. At long last, it appears as though the "Cyberpunk 2077" class action suit is coming to a close. 

According to the settlement, the plaintiffs have until "no later than April 21, 2023 [to] file and serve a motion for final approval of the settlement and a response to any objections to the settlement." The rest of the document stresses the amount of time and money that could be sunk into drawing the legal battle out any further, so considering how long it took for the latest approval to get through the legal system, it seems likely that the case will have its final hearing around that time.

Like last time, the new settlement also states that CD Projekt Red will not be required to agree with any of the charges set against it by the suit, nor admit any wrongdoing. Although the final payout is considerably less than Rosen Law Firm originally estimated, it seems as though everyone involved in this case will be glad to have it behind them. 

In the meantime, "Cyberpunk 2077" continues on. Despite the controversy, "Cyberpunk 2077" actually made a great deal of money, bringing in over $500 million USD in its first year and giving the embattled developer its best year of sales ever. The upcoming "Phantom Liberty" DLC will likely net the CD Projekt Red a bit more change when it comes out later this year.