After what seems like an eternity, Cyberpunk 2077 has finally launched on PC, Stadia, Xbox and PlayStation. With the inordinate amount of hype and excitement built up for it, we expected that it would fall into the trap of being unable to meet unrealistic and inflated expectations in the eyes of some players - but the release turned out to be a little more botched than that.
On many platforms, Cyberpunk 2077 is, simply put, a buggy mess. Sometimes, it is downright unplayable. You may want to wait for patches to solve these issues, but you may also seek a refund of your copy - how exactly can you do that, though?
Refund policies differ platform to platform and storefront to storefront. Since pretty much every physical disc retailer on the planet has different refund policies, we'll be skipping those and focusing on what you can do if you want to return your digital copy of Cyberpunk 2077, broken down by platform.
The State of Cyberpunk 2077
While the majority of reviews are fairly positive about Cyberpunk 2077 as a game, it is currently wrought with technical issues that make enjoy the good bits harder. Some bugs are annoying and and eyesore, like a plethora of visual glitches, missing textures and LOD scaling issues; some are comical, where the player character's genitals or breasts clip through their clothing; some are game breaking which make progression past a certain point completely impossible. Some fans are lucky and have a relatively bug-free experience. Some cannot enjoy the game at all.
Some choose to wait for patches to solve these issues, allowing them to play the game they've waited for so long. Others do not believe a product released in this state deserves their hard-earned money. Both are justified, but what can you do when you fall into the second camp?
Steam has a universal refund policy that applies to all games purchased on the platform, with some pieces of non-standalone DLC being exceptions, but in these cases it is brought to your attention.
Cyberpunk 2077 gets the same refund policy as every other Steam game, meaning you can return the game and get back the entire amount you paid for it if you are within 14 days of purchase - for pre-orders, this means 14 days from launch day - and have no more than 2 hours logged in the game. 2 hours should be more than enough to gauge whether you lucked out and aren't stricken with too many performance issues and bugs, but then again many of these issues may only present themselves later on.
The 14 day and 2 hour rules apply for no-questions-asked, instant refunds. Even if you have slipped beyond either of these restrictions you can still apply for a refund, but it is a somewhat more involved process requiring you to give a detailed reason for your request, and possibly provide proof if it is a technical issue.
Epic Games Store
In broad strokes, the same rules apply to the EGS as to Steam. Be within 14 days of purchase/release and have no more than 2 hours played and you're good to go. It is important to note, however, that the Epic Games Store's refund policy page makes no mention about the possibility of requesting a refund with justification should you go beyond the 14 days or 2 hours, unlike Steam.
Like on so many other fronts - developer cuts, lack of DRM, etc - GOG takes the cake for being the absolute best and most consumer friendly digital storefront in terms of refund policies as well. You can get a refund for the game within 30 days of purchase, and there are no restrictions about number of hours played - partially because using GOG Galaxy is optional, and the company has no way to track time played when you are using the DRM free installers.
Google Stadia falls into the 14 Day/2 Hour team when it comes to game refunds, with an important caveat - if you return a game once, and then decide to repurchase it later, you won't be eligible for a refund on it ever again. This same policy applies to Cyberpunk 2077 - so use your one refund carefully!
This is where things get uncertain. Microsoft's refund policy is a whole lot of legalese that basically boils down to a "maybe?" stating that factors like time since purchase, time since launch and time used will be examined to determine whether or not you'll be eligible for a refund. Consumer protection laws in the EEA and UK give a blanket refund guarantee within 14 days of purchase, but companies have been making you click little check boxes next to indecipherable agreements before you actually buy stuff that probably includes a clause that waives this right, so you're at Microsoft's mercy here.
To submit a refund request, follow this link while being logged in with the account you made the purchase with.
The refund policy used by the PlayStation store is much more upfront and clear than Microsoft's, but also much more draconian. Folks who prefer gaming on Sony's consoles need to be the most careful about what they spend their money on - all games bought on the PlayStation store are eligible for refunds within 14 days of purchase if you haven't started to download or stream the game.
That's right, you didn't even have a chance to play it yet, but you're already out of luck! Only "faulty" purchases are eligible for refunds beyond that point, and there is no clear description of what Sony considers faulty. Is Cyberpunk 2077's buggy state considered faulty, or are you stuck with it because the came does launch and play, technically? Guess you'll have to try out.
To request a refund, follow this link while logged in with the account that made the purchase.