CD Projekt Slides as Ransomware Hack May Delay Cyberpunk Fix

Poland’s biggest computer game maker CD Projekt SA dropped the most in a week after falling victim to what it described as a targeted cyber attack that threatens to expose source codes of its blockbuster titles.

The attack adds to CD Projekt’s woes as the company tries to clean up after a botched December release of its much-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 game. As the studio scrambles to return the title to Sony Playstation store, the incident could further slow down the process of releasing bug fixes and patches, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Kanterman.

The hack compromised some of the company’s internal systems and included a ransom demand, the company said in a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday. CD Projekt lost 5.8% to close at 270 zloty, the lowest level since Jan. 22.

“With these efforts already likely to delay new content releases and the eventual multi-player mode, this could further push out the timeline,” Kanterman said.

CD Projekt Chief Executive Officer Adam Kicinski told PAP newswire that the attack will affect the company’s game-development work over the near term and that it was “too early” to assess any bigger impact of the hack.

While Cyberpunk glitches prompted Sony Corp. to drop the title from its store, it has won some high-profile enthusiasts. Billionaire Elon Musk last month called “the esthetics” of the game “incredible” in a tweet that sent the stock soaring.

CD Project said it won’t give in to hacker’s demands and to its “best knowledge” the compromised systems didn’t contain any personal data of its players or users. The company is investigating the incident and has already reached out to authorities and IT forensic specialists for help. Its backup systems remain intact, according to the statement.

Unfortunate Timing

The purported ransom note released by CD Projekt shows a hacker claiming to have stolen source codes of some of games, including Cyberpunk 2077 as well as the “unreleased version of Witcher 3.” The note also says the attack is intended to destroy the company’s public image and cause investors to lose trust.

The company was a victim of hackers’ attack in 2014, when production data and gameplan for Witcher 3 leaked months before the official release of the firm’s best-selling game. Cyberpunk files were stolen in a 2017 ransomware attack.

Kacper Kopron, an analyst at Trigon Dom Maklerski SA brokerage, sees the leaks of the future versions of CD Projekt’s titles as a significant risk for the company.

“The timing of this attack is unfortunate as it undermines CD Projekt’s efforts to restore its reputation among gamers,” he said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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