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State of the Screens

CyberPunked: Expectations Do Not Match (Virtual) Reality

By December 17, 2020No Comments

Big news: The most anticipated game of 2020 (Cyberpunk 2077) was released to monster sales and less than positive reviews from customers.

Big question #1: What is Cyberpunk 2077?

Quick answer: Cyberpunk 2077 is a video game set in an alternate reality based loosely on the 1982 film Blade Runner.  It took 8 years to make and stars Keanu Reeves.

WFH for the win: Start to finish the game will take 175+ hours to complete, so Mr. Screens just mapped out your next 22 days at “the office.”

Big question #2: How much did it cost to develop?

Quick answer: $134M for development alone and total cost could reach $314M+ after marketing/other costs, which would surpass Grand Theft Auto 5 ($265M) as the most expensive game ever.

Most expensive video games, according to ScreenRant:

1) Grand Theft Auto 5 – $265M
2) Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – $250M
3) Star Wars: The Old Republic – $200M
4) Final Fantasy VII – $145M
5) Destiny – $140M

The bear case for Cyberpunk 2077: The game appears to have been rushed to market (after 8 years) and performs poorly on current generation consoles (Xbox One and Playstation 4), which is a problem since bots are the only “people” who have been able to purchase the new consoles…

FYI: This is still what Mr. Screens is doing right now…



The problems have been so bad that the game maker issued an apology and offered refunds.



The bull case for Cyberpunk 2077: 8M+ people paid $60+ to pre-order the game generating $480M.  Despite the problems at launch, the game had 1M concurrent online users 2 hours after release.

PSA: The video game market is so large that a game requiring an apology and offer for refunds during its initial week made close to $500M!!!

Quick math on year one revenue projections for Cyberpunk 2077:

1) 18-25M copies sold
2) $60+ per copy
3) $1.1B – $1.5B in revenue

Video: Cyberpunk 2077 — Official Trailer — Johnny Silverhand

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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