Even before Best Buy broke the street date, unauthorized footage of the game had already found its way online, and the leaks will only get worse now that a portion of players have their copies and aren’t embargoed until a specific date like members of the press and content creators usually are. You should probably refrain from looking up Cyberpunk 2077 on Reddit if you’re trying to avoid spoilers.
“We’re getting closer and closer to launch and chances are some of you will get your hands on a copy of Cyberpunk 2077 before release day,” CD Projekt Red wrote on Twitter on Wednesday after fans began posting their Best Buy copies of the game online. “However difficult this might be for us to achieve, our ambition is for gamers all across the world to have the same spoiler-free experience at the time the game releases.”
The studio also suggested in the message to fans that it would take down streams and videos that popped up online before Dec. 9 at 6 am ET. A quick look at the Cyberpunk 2077 page on Twitch reveals that streamers are following this directive, at least for the moment. But Twitch is hardly the most cavalier social platform on the internet, especially now that it’s aggressively enforcing copyright and DMCA violations.
Regardless of how the inevitable leaks play out, the Best Buy debacle is yet another bad mark on the record for retailers who have continuously struggled to serve gamers during the busiest shopping season of the year. While the Cyberpunk 2077 situation could maybe be blamed on the fact that the actual release date has changed so many times this year, undoubtedly making matters more confusing, this game’s launch is hardly the worst offense on the part of retailers.
The next-gen console launches for both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have been nothing short of a nightmare. Consoles have gone missing, scalpers are reselling consoles for two to three times the price, and these are mole hills when compared to how difficult it is to find retailers that actually have these consoles in stock. While part of the responsibility has to be put squarely on Microsoft and Sony’s shoulders for launching consoles in the middle of a pandemic that clearly limited their ability to actually meet consumer demand, retailers didn’t make the experience of pre-ordering one of these consoles any easier.