CD Projekt facing class action lawsuit over Cyberpunk 2077 release

Image: CD Projekt/CD Projekt Red
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After a rocky Cyberpunk 2077 launch earlier in December, publisher CD Projekt is facing a class action lawsuit for alleged violations of federal securities laws. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in a California court by New York-based firm Rosen Law Firm.

Rosen Law Firm said it filed the suit on behalf of investors that purchased securities — like stock — between the period of Jan. 16 to Dec. 17, 2020. In the lawsuit, lawyers said CD Projekt made “false and/or misleading” statements about Cyberpunk 2077, which was released on Dec. 10 for Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Lawyers are requesting class action status for the lawsuit.

According to the suit, CD Projekt didn’t disclose enough information that Cyberpunk 2077 was buggy and “virtually unplayable” on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Specifically, the statements called out in the lawsuit are regarding the company’s claim that the game was “complete and playable” in January 2020, despite the game being delayed to September. In one instance, during a conference call announcing a further delay, CD Projekt president and joint CEO Adam Kiciński said Cyberpunk 2077 responded to worries concerning the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game. Kiciński told investors there was “no problem” with the versions, just optimization to be done, lawyers said.

Because of the game’s issues, Sony removed Cyberpunk 2077 from the PlayStation Store, with most storefronts and retailers offering full refunds on the game. Lawyers stated in an accompanying news release for the lawsuit that the statements concerning the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game were “materially false” and “misleading.” When the full scale of Cyberpunk 2077’s problems emerged, the investors “suffered damages,” according to lawsuit, due to an “artificially inflated” market price. On Dec. 11, CD Projekt stock dropped dramatically after complaints about performance circulation on social media.

Lawyers are seeking an unnamed amount of damages for investors. In the news release published Thursday, Rosen Law Firm — which specializes in “global investor rights” — asked investors interested in joining the litigation to contact the firm. Polygon has reached out to Rosen Law Firm and CD Projekt for more information.

A class has not yet been certified, Rosen Law Firm said. Investors in Poland are also considering a class action lawsuit, the New York Times reported. Another law firm, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, is also investigating “potential securities claims.”

On Dec. 14, CD Projekt apologized to players for the launch. The developer has been under scrutiny since Cyberpunk 2077’s rocky launch, though the game has also been criticized for transphobic marketing, as well as mandatory “crunch” during the game’s development.

Cyberpunk 2077 class action via Polygon by Polygondotcom on Scribd

Comments

Good luck proving harm done considering that CDPR offered to refund. Got free play time of a game that was playable but had bugs…

So you played it on a base PS4/Xbox One?

I have a last gen Xbox One S and have had Cyberpunk 2077 for 7 days. I’ve logged roughly 60hrs in game, the only issue I’ve had aside from the choppy frame rate at certain times is a complete freeze/reboot. Which has happened 4 times. Total. Unplayable? Complete BS. I’m really enjoying the game tbh!

I’ve put 90 hours in on my base PS4. Each of the 4 hotfixes has improved it. Haven’t had crashes in days, and texture pop-in and frame rate issues do not make the game unplayable.

Rosen Law Firm said it filed the suit on behalf of investors that purchased securities — like stock — between the period of Jan. 16 to Dec. 17, 2020. In the lawsuit, lawyers said CD Projekt made "false and/or misleading" statements about Cyberpunk 2077

And

Lawyers are seeking an unnamed amount of damages for investors.

This has nothing to do with harm done to consumers.

Yeah, it’s just about the law firm making a quick buck out of this situation. On the other hand, the release of Cyberpunk 2077 long before it was ready wasn’t about pleasing consumers.

it’s just about the law firm making a quick buck out of this situation

OK so law firms exploit situations for money……………..but not CDPR, who lied to players and investors?

Didn’t your mom/dad ever tell you that two wrongs don’t make a right?

Holding corporations accountable for misbehavior isn’t wrong. Law suits are the primary mechanism available for that and there has been significant investment by corporate lobbyists to portray most legal claims as frivolous to avoid being held to account.

This isn’t about consumers. It’s about investors. And the fact that CDPR offered refunds is pretty much an admission that investors are harmed.

Fair point, but in that case threshold would be even higher and I doubt it would be fulfilled.

Is a known risks when trading in securities that sometimes products fail – and this product did not fail, it was still a big hit.

But well, Godspeed to them, I lost money on companies that did much worse – but still nothing illegal…

Its not about the success or failure of Cyberpunk, but the information coming out of the company and its accuracy so people investing money can make an informed decision. Even if CDPR stock rebounded and the stock prices rose to higher then what they were before launch a case could still be made because the original information was incorrect and investors didn’t have the accurate information.

Im sure the law firm knows what they are doing otherwise they wouldn’t have bothered taking the case.

They didn’t take a case. They created a case and are now looking for enough investors of CDPR to claim harm in order to certify a class and proceed with the lawsuit.

Correct, but I think they only need one investor to start moving the case forward, but they had to have bought stock in the company in the last 11 months.

You do know that there are laws having to do with what a publicly traded company can and can’t say about its product(s) and how accurate those statements have to be, right?

The problem isn’t a product failing, it’s CDPR lying to both investors and players about the state of the game.

Like if I sell you a broken car or moldy bread. "Well, hey not EVERY product can be a success!"

Lying to investors is kind of a big deal so…

Even putting aside that it’s more about investors than customers… CDPR actually weren’t refunding for the console units. They were sending people to Playstation and Xbox support and saying that a refund option exists.

And Sony at least weren’t even accepting refunds outside of their usual blanket refund policy until they pulled the whole thing from their store.

You misunderstand what the lawsuit is about. It has nothing to do with gamers. This is damages to the stock prices because of their lies and is for the stock investors.

Easy to prove damages, they just have to show how badly stock prices crashed because of it. This has nothing to do with playing the games.

The game performed really well and the crashing stocks are a market reaction that proves nothing.
The stocks are going back up already and the company won’t make any losses on this game, on the contrary. It’s also very much impossible to prove that they intentionally lied about the game being complete and playable. This is a very broad checkbox to tick and doesn’t say anything about bugs and performance.
Good luck with that lawsuit.

It’s also very much impossible to prove that they intentionally lied about the game being complete

First of all, no it’s not impossible to prove. Evidence could and would be extremely straightforward: internal communications on record.

Second of all, negligence is also a legal offense. Does not require "intention."

market reaction that proves nothing.

Thirdly, the crashing stock prices are proof of the DAMAGE, not proof of the lying. In other words, investors losing money, after being lied to. If they were lied to about the color of V’s shoes there wouldn’t be damage.

Fourth, "playable" has everything to do with bugs and performance. Unless of course you’re going for the insider programmer definition of "playable", which would be the totally meaningless "code IS being executed and IS being displayed and you can press buttons to do things, it’s not just concept art." CDPR’s defense will definitely involve the semantics.

Well, we’ll see.
Sony, for example, certified the game for its consoles and then took it off the store when it went live but was too buggy. CDPR can now state that both Sony and MS didn’t do the part of QA with due diligence on their side. So the argument in the lawsuit of "it was so bad that Sony took it off their store" falls flat. Especially since Sony and MS both are known for their high standards concerning console releases. I believe as long as refunds are issued and the problems are fixed you will have a hard time sueing a company in Europe (where CDPR is based) over your losses when something goes wrong at release.

Certification isn’t Quality Assurance. Certification means it meets certain standards that Sony and Microsoft want the game to meet. Everything else is on the developer.

Indeed. I’ve read that MS’s certification is just a still-test of letting a game idle for 60 consecutive hours. If a game can do that without causing permanent harm to the hardware, it gets certified. I don’t know if that’s true, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Jankiness and bugs are the responsibility of the developer or publisher, not the platform owner.

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