Recovery plan awaited from CD Projekt over bug-ridden Cyberpunk 2077 game

FILE PHOTO: Boxes with CD Projekt's game Cyberpunk 2077 are displayed in Warsaw, Poland, Dec. 14, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

GDANSK (Reuters) - CD Projekt, the Polish studio behind one of the most anticipated and derided games of 2020, will have a lot of explaining to do when it updates investors on its strategy on Tuesday.

Cyberpunk 2077, a futuristic role-playing game featuring Keanu Reeves, launched in December to scathing reviews amid reports of bugs. Analysts say it must present a credible plan to fix those problems and to start regaining the trust of gamers and investors.

"(We expect) a sensible post-mortem of what went wrong in the CY77 development process and how the studio would prevent this from happening again with other games," Jefferies analyst Lyra Li said.

The company, which has lost 50% of its market value since December, was unlikely to flag any new games in development and would instead focus on repairing the damage caused by Cyberpunk's botched launch, analysts said.

"The company needs to prove that it can learn from its mistakes and is able to turn a short-term crisis into long-term success," said Piotr Cieslak, managing director at Poland's Retail Investors Association.

CD Projekt's shares jumped 9% on Monday amid speculation about plans for free and paid downloadable content (DLC) for Cyberpunk on the social media platform Reddit.

CD Projekt said it would not comment on market speculation.

Maciej Kietlinski, analyst at Noble Securities, said if the release of three paid DLCs is true, it would mean that the company has an idea for the repair and development of the Cyberpunk universe.

"It would take a couple big DLCs to fan the flames of interest in Cyberpunk 2077. Add substantial content, add storylines, add playability and re-playability. Fix the remaining glitches," said Claudio Lenato, a 26 year-old gamer from Italy.

The company said on Monday it would release the 1.2 patch to the game soon, after it was delayed due to a cyber attack last month. Analysts believe the patch could be one of the key steps towards bringing the game back to Sony's PlayStation store.

(Reporting by Anna Pruchnicka, additional reporting by Enrico Sciacovelli; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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