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Meet The Mysterious Former Billionaire Behind The Video Game Disaster Cyberpunk 2077

When a company spends nearly a decade developing the most overhyped and underwhelming video game of the year, the failure has many fathers. Granted, with more than 8 million pre-orders, Cyberpunk 2077 had already turned a profit for Polish developer CD Projekt, the company behind the juggernaut Witcher video game series. But the December 10 release of Cyberpunk 2077 soon became a disaster of Fyre Festival proportions.

Not only does the game perform terribly on last-gen consoles such PS4 and Xbox One, but there are also countless bugs—including basic game development fails that make walking, talking, and shooting difficult. Most hilariously, the customizable genitalia for the character V causes penises to fall out of his (or her) pants.

The Cyberpunk 2077 debacle also cost CD Projekt Red’s two cofounders a combined $1 billion in wealth when its stock tumbled by some 40% this past week—though joint CEO Marcin Iwiński is still worth an estimated $964 million. CD Projekt Red—which had revenues of $140 million last year—was expecting to start a new supercycle with Cyberpunk 2077 likely to furtherpropel its stock price, but it is now focused on damage control. 

Characters Flawed: Cyberpunk 2077’s V and Johnny, voiced by Keanu Reeves.

For now, the company remains a target of short sellers, but it has worked desperately hard this week to stop the free fall. On December 14, CD Projekt Red issued an apology to gamers, vowing to fix the numerous glitches and offering those who purchased the game an “opt to refund.” 

Then on December 17, Sony delivered a crushing blow—it removed Cyberpunk 2077 from its PlayStation store and offered refunds to customers who purchased the game. The next day, Microsoft announced that it would also provide refunds but the game remains for sale in its store.

One CD Projekt Red cofounder, however, has largely escaped the world of hurt the open-world game has received from gaming critics and outraged customers.

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