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Best Buy now giving refunds for Cyberpunk 2077

Big box joins Microsoft and Sony in the money-back parade

Man at a bar in Cyberpunk 2077 Image: CD Projekt Red/CD Projekt
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Best Buy announced on Friday that it will refund purchases of Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One — even if the game has been opened — joining Sony, Microsoft, and the game’s publisher itself in giving disappointed fans their money bank.

Best Buy says it will accept returns and issue refunds for the game through Dec. 21, 2020. It’s a remarkable departure from the big-box retailer’s standard refund policy, which does not accept opened games.

This exception covers Cyberpunk 2077 and its Collector’s Edition on PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One versions of Cyberpunk 2077, its collector’s edition, and the digital download code sold in stores.

Customers can bring the game to their local Best Buy for a refund, or return it by mail.

“Normally, Best Buy is unable to offer returns of opened game software per our Return & Exchange Promise,” a Best Buy social media representative wrote Friday morning. “However, after some deliberation, and seeing that the vendor will be allowing returns through Dec. 21, 2020, Best Buy will also be allowing returns,” through the same date.

Cyberpunk 2077 launched Dec. 10 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One, with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X supporting the previous generation’s version, too (a version for new consoles will follow sometime in 2021). But users have encountered numerous performance errors, comical glitches, and other game-breaking setbacks when playing on the baseline consoles of the last generation. PC players, and players on the later consoles or on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, have had fewer issues.

Publisher CD Projekt on Monday apologized for the shoddy state of the game on older consoles, and specifically “for 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.” In a conference call with investors the next day, chief executive Adam Kiciński admitted that the company “ignored signals about the need for additional time to refine the game on the base last-gen consoles.”

CD Projekt Red, the studio developing the game, has already pushed out day-one hotfixes, and even a fast-tracked title update within the first two days, and the studio has promised multiple patches between now and February to further improve the game. The refunds are offered for players who don’t want to wait for the game to be repaired.

CD Projekt’s Monday apology was also accompanied by a promise to honor all refund requests for the game on PS4 and Xbox One. The publisher asked dissatisfied customers to first seek a refund through their retailer. This seemed to catch those retailers off guard.

Best Buy’s regular return policy will only make an exchange, for an identical item, of “opened physical copies of computer software, movies, music, video games, books, video game guides and sheet music.” Most retailers have the same policy. Meanwhile, digital storefronts tend to require that a game be unplayed or barely played in order to be returned and refunded.

Sony on Thursday night announced that it would break with its stringent refund policy and allow players to request refunds for Cyberpunk 2077, while also removing the game from the PlayStation Store. Sony’s refund offer does not have a time limit. Microsoft followed suit Friday morning, expanding its refund policy to include all Cyberpunk 2077 purchases from the Microsoft Store “until further notice.” But Microsoft did not de-list the game.

Later Friday afternoon, CD Projekt restated its “intention for every owner of a physical copy, or a digital copy bought at retail, who has valid proof of purchase ... to receive a refund. We will do this out of our own pocket if necessary.” The publisher again asked customers to email an address it had set up for such refunds through Dec. 21, calling it a “one-time initiative.”

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