You don’t have to stick with Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red’s latest open-world escapade released last week to a raucous mix of fanfare and criticism, with much of the ire rooted in how poorly the game runs on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One—and how CDPR hid those versions from players and reviewers until launch. If you’re among those who’d prefer to jump ship—away from the game’s litany of bugs and baggage—you can request a refund for your console copy of the game. The development studio confirmed as much in a tweet today.
Those who purchased the game digitally on Xbox One can request a refund directly through Microsoft’s Xbox support page. Once you sign in, that page should show a list of purchases made on your account. But—and this shouldn’t come as a surprise—it’s a bit wonky. If a line item for Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t showing up, and if you have your order number on hand, you can manually fill out a refund request form here. (Note: That link will prompt you to sign into your Microsoft account.) Microsoft’s terms of service limit refunds after 14 days from the date of purchases.
On PlayStation, you also have to request your refund within 14 days. As with Xbox digital games, you can do it directly through Sony’s PlayStation support site. Pretty much all roads here lead to—I’m so sorry—a chatbot, which will walk you through the process and eventually connect you to a real human with real thoughts and real feelings and real lived history. PlayStation’s cancellation policy states that you can get a refund for any game purchased within 14 days, so long as you haven’t started downloading it. There’s an exception for “content” that “is faulty.” (Kotaku reached out to Sony to clarify whether or not Cyberpunk 2077 is “faulty.”) Some users report getting their money back after calling Sony’s U.S. hotline.
Cyberpunk 2077 is playable on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S via backward compatibility, where it both looks prettier and runs better than it does on last-gen machines. New-gen versions are planned for an unspecified date in the future. For now, no matter what console you’re playing on, you’re playing the PS4 or Xbox One version of the game—the one many people are dissatisfied with. Since both of these refund methods are done through a browser, rather than directly on your console, there’s no apparent reason your console of choice should prevent you from receiving a refund.
That doesn’t mean the process is working as promoted. Some PlayStation users have reported issues while trying to get a refund through Sony. Folks at ResetEra, the popular video game forum, have posted screenshots of refund requests resulting in denials. Sony appears to be sticking hard to the line that, provided a game has been downloaded, a refund is out of the question.
I tried going through the motions myself. After picking up a copy of Cyberpunk 2077 for PlayStation 4 (I’ve been playing the game on Xbox), I hit up Sony’s chatbot. It starts off with a seven-question survey. The fifth question asked if I downloaded the game yet—a clear violation of Sony’s policy. When I answered honestly, the bot shut down our conversation, but I was able to simply start over. Lying (by saying I hadn’t downloaded the game yet) allowed me to proceed to the next question. At the end of the questionnaire, I was given a support ID number and the option to connect with a live agent either over the phone, by calling Sony’s support center, or via instant messaging.
Call Sony’s customer service center? The very same one countless people have likely swamped with all manner of issues, least of all the persistent scarcity of the PlayStation 5? Yeah. I opted to chat over text.
Well, first I had to wait for 383 people to go before me.
After about half an hour, I was able to connect with a customer service representative, who very kindly offered to help me out to the best of their ability. I handed over my support ID number. A few minutes later, the representative wrote back to tell me that, because the game had already been downloaded—a clear violation of Sony’s policy—the company could not grant me a refund. As I was typing up a question about whether or not Cyberpunk 2077 fell into the category of “faulty” content for which refunds would be granted, the representative thanked me for my time and closed the chat before I could send a response.
Kotaku has followed up with Sony about whether or not the company is granting refunds for Cyberpunk 2077. Crickets.
As for Xbox, I’ve seen mixed results: some people reporting that refunds were granted without issue, while others saying they have been denied.
Things get muddier with brick-and-mortar retailers. If you picked up a boxed copy of the game, CD Projekt Red says to first head back to the store—in the midst of a pandemic that continues to trigger waves of lockdowns—you made the purchase at and request a refund there first. Okay. Sure. Let’s say you throw a mask on and head back to your local Best Buy (a big-box retailer with a famously strict return policy for video games). After some back-and-forth and some requisite puppy-dog eyes, the customer service employee you speak to still says what amounts to, “LOL nope.” Now what?
In that instance or any like it, CD Projekt Red says to reach out directly by emailing helpmerefund [at] cdprojektred [dot] com, where the company will “do our best to help you.” The email address will be open until December 21. It’s unclear what “our best” means, and if CD Projekt Red will be able to circumvent the specific stated policies of retailers.
Kotaku reached out to CD Projekt Red about how it would issue refunds to such SOL gamers. The company declined to comment. On Friday, CD Projekt Red announced the company had already recouped development costs for Cyberpunk 2077, one day after the game was officially released.
Update, 6:30 p.m.: The text has been changed to reflect response from CD Projekt Red and some additional information about Sony’s refund process.