The highly anticipated game “Cyberpunk 2077” by Polish video game manufacturer CD Projekt, after 8 years of development and multiple release delays, made it to the top of Steam for the first time on Thursday.
The game, which takes place across a hugely detailed futuristic city where players take the first-person perspective of a customisable mercenary outlaw known as V, features Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves as rebel rocker Johnny Silverhand. It is making a debut when people stuck in their homes due to the pandemic have boosted demand for games but new titles are in short supply as developers working from home find it difficult to adhere to a timeline.
“This is coming out as a big title with not a lot of competition out there so we do expect it to be pretty big,” said David Cole, founder of research firm DFC Intelligence.
Jefferies analyst Lyra Li estimates that Cyberpunk, which is priced at 49.90 pounds ($66.40) for a standard version, could sell 33 million units from its launch until end of 2021.
The game is expected to break records set by Nintendo’s runaway hit “Animal Crossing”, which launched in March and has sold 22.4 million units in two quarters.
“We think this is much bigger, Cyberpunk is definitely going to set records, not just this holiday season but in 2021 too,” Cole said.
Before the pandemic, he had predicted that the game would sell about 30 million units in 2021, but now thinks it could even reach 40 million units.
JP Morgan analysts said that as of the end of Wednesday, the number of pre-orders exceeded 8 million, which means that pre-sales have exceeded consensus.
Cyberpunk is CD Projekt’s biggest game since the first release of “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” in 2015.
The success of Witcher made CD Projekt one of the largest listed companies in Poland with a market value of 10.8 billion US dollars.
CD Projekt shares, which have surged 42% this year in anticipation of Cyberpunk’s launch, were 2% lower at 0833 GMT.
The game will be immediately available on older consoles from Sony and Microsoft, and playable on newly-launched consoles next year.
The PC version scored 91 points on the Metacritic 100-point scale after the first 43 reviews, compared to The Witcher 3’s 92 points based on 32 reviews. It received acclaim for its world design, characters, though critics highlighted some technical glitches.