While Cyberpunk 2077 has been on the road to recovery since its launch in December 2020, the same cannot be said for the stock price of CDPR, which has now reached a grim milestone. CDPR stock is now just 25% of what it was since right before Cyberpunk 2077 launched, a long, long fall for what was formerly the most valuable game publisher in Europe.
The irony, of course, is that Cyberpunk 2077 was not given the adequate time it needed to finish its features and hunt down its wide collection of bugs and performance issues by its executives, who after previous delays, refused to give the developers any further time, even though the game clearly needed at least another year in the oven.
Then began a campaign which can only be described as deceptive, where reviewers were only given access to the PC version of the game, the one with the least performance issues, while CDPR assured everyone that the game ran “surprisingly well” on last-gen consoles.
That was quickly disproven at launch with the game nearly unplayable to the point where Sony took it off the PlayStation store for six months because so many people were requesting refunds (refunds which Sony did not offer at the time on digital games, but they had to make an exception for Cyberpunk).
Things that you might have thought would contribute to the stock going up over time have not helped. Cyberpunk 2077 has sold 15 million copies, a huge number by any standard, and the game has been transformed into something through patches and fixes that would have garnered far fewer complaints if it had launched in that state. But this is a real “the damage has been done” situation, and given that nothing has turned around CDPR’s fortunes so far, I find it somewhat unlikely that a big 2023 Cyberpunk 2077 expansion will move the needle, even if it does launch in a good state, unlike the base game.
This is the reason that CDPR declared that after the Cyberpunk expansion they were moving on to a new Witcher game, one that seems to leave Geralt behind for a new Witcher school. Details are sparse, and that game is no doubt many years away, which is the problem with focusing on just two major IPs. If one misses, that can crater your company for a very, very long time.
CDPR’s value falling so low could possibly make them a more attractive acquisition target in the current era of megacorps buying up independent publishers. There is obviously still plenty of talent in CDPR, but if now someone could pay say, 75% fire sale prices for the company, compared to two years ago, that may create some interesting scenarios. Keep an eye on that.