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Things Aren't Looking Good For CD Projekt Red

CD Projekt Red's long-awaited sci-fi RPG Cyberpunk 2077 dropped this week. Despite some positive reviews and a new Steam record, the first returns aren't great for the Polish game studio. According to GamesIndustry.biz, the share price of the company's stock has dropped 29% in the past week, from 443 Polish zlote (PLN) per share on Dec. 4 to PLN 313.9 on Dec. 11. That includes a drop of 7.3% since the game's launch on Dec. 10.

The stock drop follows days of fan complaints that Cyberpunk 2077's console versions are rife with bugs and glitches. NPCs and vehicles randomly spawn in front of the player. Textures don't fully render, and character's faces appear as blurry messes. And then there's the instantly meme-worthy glitch of characters' genitals clipping through their clothes.

After eight years of development and hype, the early response to Cyberpunk 2077 looked positive. Customers pre-ordered eight million copies of the game. Over half of those orders were on PC, reportedly making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time. Since the title launched, it was also the most-watched game on Twitch. As reported by Gamesinudstry.biz, the initial round of reviews resulted in a Metacritic score of 91. Since launch, the score dropped to 90 for PC users.

Despite all these wins, thousands of memes have done little to reassure fans who were already worried that the PS4 and Xbox One versions would be inferior. CD Projekt Red delayed Cyberpunk 2077 to December specifically to add more polish. Since it won't get dedicated next-gen ports until sometime in 2021, these glitches could depress sales among gamers who were considering playing the game on current-gen consoles.

All of this might spell even more trouble for the venerable Polish game company. In February 2020, CD Projekt Red became the second-largest European game company behind Ubisoft. But its stock supposedly dipped 25% in two months not long after – around the time news that Cyberpunk 2077 would be delayed until December and reports that the company instituted mandatory crunch time for employees circulated.

CD Projekt Red doesn't have a vast portfolio of IPs like Ubisoft does, so it likely needs Cyberpunk 2077 to either meet or exceed the numbers from its last AAA release, The Witcher 3Based on sales so far, Cyberpunk 2077 is projected to hit 30 million copies sold in its first year. But that's a projection. It will need to maintain its momentum to reach that number, and the stock price dropping doesn't help the long-term outlook.