Our eyes were all glued to the screen as Geoff Keighley pumped out announcements and teased a big surprise at Summer Game Fest. The end of the show unveiled a new trailer and release date for Elden Ring, which is all people can talk about on Twitter. Meanwhile, CD Projekt Red quietly posted an update about the severity of the hack from earlier this year, which looks to be more severe than previously thought.
— CD PROJEKT RED (@CDPROJEKTRED) June 10, 2021
The update from CDPR reveals they’ve learned that information from the February security breach which stole the source code for Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3, among other things, is currently circulating on the internet, and once something’s circulating on the internet, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to put the genie back in the bottle.
CD Projekt Red can’t yet verify the exact contents of the data being circulated, but they believe it contains “current/former employee and contractor details in addition to data related to our games.” They also say that they can’t confirm if the data has been tampered with since it was acquired illegally.
The company is taking the appropriate legal action, working with police, Interpol, and more to locate the perpetrators responsible. They’ve also committed to pursuing legal action against those who share the data in question, regardless of its veracity, in order to protect the privacy of their employers and contractors. Additionally, CDPR has taken extensive measures to prevent such future hacks from occurring.
Kotaku noted that CDPR dropped this update right in the midst of Summer Game Fest and just ahead of E3 weekend. While it can’t be proven that this was their intention, it’s common PR practice to drop bad news that you want to disappear near the end of a week or while people are distracted with something else. The positioning of this announcement suggests that CDPR, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is using the hype surrounding Summer Game Fest and E3 2021 to mitigate potential blowback and bury this news among the rest of the hype this week.
CD Projekt Red hasn’t had the best of years following the botched launch of Cyberpunk 2077 in late 2020. The company is still waiting on Sony to approve the game returning to the PlayStation Store after six months of being removed from the platform, and its earnings fell far below expectations thanks to ongoing sales of Cyberpunk quickly drying up after negative launch coverage.
How this latest update surrounding the data breach will impact the ongoing development and release schedule of future CDPR games and updates remains to be seen, but for now, it’s clear that the publisher didn’t want the security breach to once again be the headline of the day. But by trying not to be Summer Game Fest news, it became Summer Game Fest news.