Polish video game developer CD Projekt Red said Tuesday it was hit with a cyberattack, with hackers threatening to release closely guarded source code of games like Cyberpunk 2077 and an “unreleased version” of the popular title ‘Witcher 3’ unless a ransom payment is made, adding to the misery for the company which was recently panned by fans and the press for the botched release of its biggest game Cyberpunk 2077.
In a press release shared on Twitter, CD Projekt Red said that “an unidentified actor gained unauthorized access to our internal network,” and left a ransom note which the company has shared publicly.
The company has not disclosed the amount of ransom being demanded but has said that it will “not give in to the demands nor negotiate with the actor.”
In the ransom note, the hackers write that they have gained access to closely guarded source code of the company’s biggest titles Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3 and Gwent along with an “unreleased version” of Witcher 3.
The hackers also claim they have managed to dump all of the company’s documents relating to accounting, administration, legal, HR, investor relations and more.
The note warns if the demanded ransom is not paid the hackers will either leak or sell the source codes and share the documents with video game journalists, which they suggest will harm the public image of CD Projekt Red.
The video game maker is still investigating the incident and it has so far found that the compromised systems did not contain any personal data of its players and users of its services.
What To Watch For
It is unclear if the hack has had any impact on GOG.com, the digital video game store that is operated by CD Projekt Red. Any impact on GOG’s database would be serious as the platform likely holds the private and payment information of millions of users.
The hack could not have come at a worse time for CD Projekt Red, which has been at the receiving end of fury from its fans and criticism from the press for mishandling the launch of one of last year’s most anticipated video games, Cyberpunk 2077. The game was first announced in 2012 and was initially scheduled to launch in April 2020, but it was delayed multiple times as the team faced issues finishing the game’s development amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The game was eventually released on December 10, but players who bought the game on consoles found that it was riddled with technical glitches and ran very poorly, especially on older consoles. The company has been accused of hiding the game’s issues by forcing reviewers to sign restrictive non-disclosure agreements that forced them to use images and gameplay footage that had been provided by the company. In a series of reports, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier also put a spotlight on the company’s harsh working conditions in which employees were forced to work long days and six-day weeks in the lead up to the launch.
CD Projekt Red faces at least two class-action lawsuits for the botched release of Cyberpunk 2077. The lawsuits claim that the company misled investors over the state of the game, especially the technical issues it faced on last-generation consoles the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It is unclear if the hacked documents contain any internal communications about the state of the game. The hackers, however, have suggested in their note that the hacked documents have information that may be damaging to the company.
4.1%. That’s how much the company’s stock value has dropped in Tuesday’s trading. The company’s shares, which were close to an all-time high of 443 Polish zlotych ($120) per share in the run-up to the release of the game, have slumped more than 38%, wiping hundreds of millions of dollars from the fortunes of the studio’s co-founders.
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