In an initial statement, Sony offered refunds for the game and added, “[Sony Interactive Entertainment] will also be removing Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation Store until further notice.” That implied that the decision was Sony’s, but a later statement from CD Projekt Red said that the decision had come out of a “discussion” with Sony about refunds. We’ve never heard definitively whose decision it was to remove the game from sale.No specific reasoning was given for the game’s removal either (for reference, it was never removed on Xbox, but refunds were extended), although speculation suggests that the decision allowed for Sony’s somewhat restrictive refund policies to be worked around. Whatever the underlying cause, the removal was a totally unprecedented move for a game as high-profile as Cyberpunk, and brought with it a number of other questions, most of which remain unanswered more than three months later.
Chief among those questions are, “When will it return to sale, and what will it take for that to happen?” Neither Sony or CD Projekt have discussed specific answers to those questions since December, with the closest we’ve gotten coming from that CDPR statement: “We are working hard to bring Cyberpunk 2077 back to PlayStation Store as soon as possible.”
IGN contacted both Sony and CD Projekt Red ahead of the milestone date to ask about the plans for having the game relisted, and received no reply from either party, despite multiple requests.In terms of clues, the best we have to go on is CD Projekt Red’s previously stated roadmap for updates to the game. When it first apologised for the state of the launch version, CD Projekt set a timeline including two major patches, which, taken together “should fix the most prominent problems gamers are facing on last-gen consoles.” The second of those patches, version 1.2 was subsequently delayed after a cyberattack on the studio, but we have recently heard about its changes, meaning it is likely close. It’s possible that, if the last-gen versions are deemed up to scratch, the game could be returned to sale on PlayStation once the patch arrives.
However, it may also be that Sony will choose to hold a relisting until the game is updated on PS5 as well. A next-gen version of the game – bringing it closer to the PC release – is planned for the second half of 2021, with free upgrades to those who bought the game on last-gen. It’s possible Sony (or CD Projekt Red) would want to relist the game once it’s in what should be its final form.
That there’s speculation about this at all is fairly astonishing. That CD Projekt Red would remain silent about when players can buy its marquee game again on the world’s biggest gaming platform, and that Sony wouldn’t want to tell customers when a game that, despite huge controversy, already sold more than 13 million copies would be back on its storefront seems, frankly, odd. Cyberpunk’s development and release has, of course, been an unpredictable journey already, but the lack of details in this chapter of that story is unusual, even among the rest. Whether it speaks to corporate cageyness, disputes between the two sides, or other issues that haven’t been made public is impossible to guess.
That silence makes it hard to predict where we go from here – we could see the game return to sale tomorrow, or we could see it take another 100 days. There has, quite simply, never been a case quite like this in gaming before – here’s hoping it’s been enough of a lesson to stop it happening again.
Joe Skrebels is IGN’s Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.