Polish competition watchdog investigating Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red could be fined up to 10% of its annual income

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red is being investigated by Poland's Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK).

The news was initially reported by Polish business newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, with UOKiK's spokesperson Małgorzata Cieloch saying that the organisation approached CD Projekt Red to understand the issues with the game and what actions had been taken to fix them.

"We will check how the manufacturer is working on the introduction of amendments or solution to difficulties preventing the game [to work] on different consoles, but also how it intends to act in relation to the persons who filed complaints and are dissatisfied with [their] purchase due to the inability to play games on owned equipment despite previous assurances [that it would]," they continued (translation via Google Translate).

Once UOKiK has discussed the situation with CD Projekt Red, it will make a decision on the next steps of the investigation, DGP said.

The newspaper also provided an analysis from Dominik Jędrzejko, an attorney from law firm Kaszubiak Jędrzejko Adwokaci, who explained that despite CD Projekt Red's best efforts to fix the issues with Cyberpunk 2077, this might not be enough to prevent it from being accused of "unfair market practice."

Should UOKiK find that CD Projekt Red has indeed been misleading in the run up to the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 and has not made enough effort to fix the problems now that it is out, the organisation could fine the studio up to 10% of its annual income and/or impose refunds.

Cyberpunk 2077 launched in December, and has been widely criticised for its bugs on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game was delisted from the PS Store a week after launch, while Microsoft offered full refunds to those who purchased the game on its store. Other retailers offered similar refund options.

CD Projekt Red is also facing a class-action lawsuit claiming that the studio lied to investors about the state of the game on PS4 and Xbox One.

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Latest comments (1)

Willem Mertens Freelance Business Developer A year ago
It’s a common misconception to believe that marketing’s primary function is to drive sales. In a forgetful industry like this, companies that over-promise but under-deliver will lose out on business. This has become especially clear for titles that gained a lot of traction promoting a final product, but failed to temper expectations as they transitioned into early access.

Nobody likes to be misled by advertising campaigns that set false expectations. And the short-term prospect of mass pre-orders and initial sales revenue doesn’t outweigh the long-term impact of negative reviews, refunds, or a tainted image.

Instead, marketing should set realistic expectations that will be met, if not outdone. Focus should lie on good product design and transparently communicating that design to its respective audience. Emphasize strengths that resonate with your core audience and advertise unique selling points that set your game apart from competition.

After all, happy customers are your best marketeers. Slow growth generally proves more sustainable. And word-of-mouth is the most effective form of advertising.
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