Cyberpunk 2077: How many gamers are waiting to buy?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
January 13, 2021, 6:40 PM UTC

New YouGov data shows how Cyberpunk 2077’s rocky release has altered purchase intent among American gamers, and how the video game publisher’s brand has been affected. 

The open-world sci-fi game that was at least eight years in the making was marred by texture problems, crashes, glitchy AI and other issues when it launched on consoles and PC on December 10. 

Since the game’s initial launch, developer CD Projekt Red has started releasing patches  to fix some of the well-documented issues, with more on the way in the coming months. Further, the company is planning a series of free and paid downloadable content (DLC) packs in 2021.  

A YouGov poll shows a notable number of American gamers are poised to wait for the game to improve before diving in. About one in seven (14%) American gamers aware of the game’s issues say they plan to wait until a patch is released before purchasing the game. 

Reports following Cyberpunk’s release suggested it runs much smoother on high-end computers, as well as the newest generation of PlayStation and Xbox consoles. However, most console gamers who have yet to upgrade their hardware experienced significant performance issues. In a statement, CD Projekt apologizedfor not showing the game on base last-gen consoles before it premiered and, in consequence, not allowing you to make a more informed decision about your purchase. We should have paid more attention to making it play better on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One." 

YouGov data shows 11% of respondents said they they’re waiting until they upgrade their console before shelling out cash.  

Bugs and performance issues were significant enough to prompt Sony to remove it from its PS Store. CD Projekt Red also began offering refunds. YouGov’s recent polling shows a near-marginal number (5%) of respondents have returned the game or have plans to do so. 

But it’s not all bad news for CD Projekt Red. 

Continuously collected data by YouGov’s BrandIndex tool shows the brand’s Quality score began to slide before the December 10 launch of Cyberpunk 2077, suggesting perceived quality began slipping after it announced the third delay of the game in late October. But that score began to rise shortly before the release date, despite the game’s issues at launch, suggesting the saga is far from a death knell for the Polish developer. 

Methodology: Gamer purchase intent of Cyberpunk 2077 is based on a YouGov poll of 1,000 Americans who play video games for at least one hour per week. Interviews took place on January 6, 2021, between 10:51 a.m. and 11:58 a.m. The survey was carried out through YouGov Direct. The margin of error is approximately 3.1% for the overall sample. 

CD Projekt Red’s Quality score is based on the questions: “Which of the following video game brands do you think represent good quality?" and Which of the following video game brands do you think represent poor quality?" The score above can range from 100 to -100 and is compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. Scores are based on a 4-week moving average with an average daily sample of 270 US adults who regularly play video games either on consoles or on a PC.

Image: CD Projekt Red