Why did CD Projekt just announce 6 new game titles?

In a long-time period technique update Tuesday, CD Projekt laid out an really bold advancement plan, stretching considerably into the future, and which include affirmation of no less than six new game titles in addition to the new Witcher game it experienced now mentioned: two further more Witcher sequels, two Witcher spinoffs, and a sequel to Cyberpunk 2077, additionally the creation of an entirely original 3rd series, at this time in the early conceptual levels.

CD Projekt wisely place no company timeline on any of this, but from what the studio said, it is doable to place the assignments in a rough launch order, and to explain in which the resources to make them will arrive from.

In the close to upcoming, CD Projekt Red — the company’s major studio, comprising a few enhancement hubs in Poland — stays focused on finishing a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Collection X variation of The Witcher 3, thanks this year, and the Phantom Liberty growth to Cyberpunk 2077, due in 2023.

Following that, the subsequent a few game titles in the progress pipeline all belong to the Witcher franchise, and two are in pre-output. The 1st is “Sirius”, the codename for a solitary- and multiplayer recreation designed by Boston studio The Molasses Flood, which CD Projekt obtained very last year, and which produced co-op survival activity Drake Hollow. Also in pre-production is “Polaris”, the very first game in the new Witcher saga, designed by the main CD Projekt Red workforce. Next up is most probable “Canis Majoris”, a “full-fledged” Witcher recreation, but independent from the new saga and manufactured by an external studio.

Over and above this trio, CD Projekt Pink expects to adhere to “Polaris” with two sequels in the house of just 6 years. Meanwhile, “Orion,” the subsequent sport in the Cyberpunk universe, will be manufactured by a new CD Projekt Red studio in Boston as perfectly as CD Projekt Red Vancouver (formerly Digital Scapes, a different latest acquisition). “Hadar”, the new IP, is the most distant prospect CD Projekt Red is operating on the placing but has not begun any type of actual game improvement.

Image: CD Projekt Purple

There is at minimum a decade’s well worth of new match releases in this article. It is very rare for any publisher or developer to established out its options so far in advance. It also signifies a radical enlargement for a firm that, right up until this yr, only worked on one key venture at a time — and took its time about it, as well. (The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 were being in output for 4 to 5 decades apiece.) Now CD Projekt is speaking about handling two to 3 initiatives at interior studios at the same time, moreover functioning with an exterior studio for the very first time on anything bigger than a cell match.

It is, in short, an incredibly intense system, and revealing it in whole is a surprising, just about unparalleled PR shift. What’s heading on listed here?

One motive CD Projekt’s enthusiasm below is challenging to parse is that there is so much likely on in its messaging, in addition to asserting its huge output slate. Across a 15-minute approach movie, an trader call, a presentation doc, and a number of more deep-dive video clips (on marketing, tradition, and technological innovation), CD Projekt appeared anxious to talk about a array of subject areas, which include: increasing into multiplayer gaming (although retaining a aim on one-player experiences) transitioning from its personal technologies to Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 increasing further into film, Tv, and cellular gaming marketing a nutritious and sustainable doing the job tradition throughout its group of studios bettering each the quantity and quality of its product or service. All this, and it declared a transform of management, also, with joint CEO Marcin Iwinski shifting back to a non-government placement as chairman of the board.

There is no question the enterprise and its investors have been shaken by the response to Cyberpunk 2077, which released in late 2020 in this kind of a rough state that PlayStation took the extreme step of withdrawing its PlayStation 4 variation from sale. Previously this yr, it was reported that CD Projekt’s stock cost had slumped to a quarter of its price just before the game’s launch. With gross sales of Cyberpunk 2077 now hitting 20 million — helped together by the success of new Netflix anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners — CD Projekt is not battling fiscally, but it will certainly be keen to rebuild self esteem in its capability to make game titles, and to travel up that stock selling price.

The recurring insistence on activity quality, the substantial dialogue of how Unreal Engine 5 will streamline the advancement method, and the strain placed on a increasing network of interior and external studios, all feel built to give submit-Cyberpunk reassurance. But the extent of the declared approach goes so much further than that — and so considerably outside of CD Projekt’s ability to supply hence significantly, according to its keep track of history — that it appears the enterprise has a loftier aim right here than just reassuring everybody that its up coming online games won’t be buggy messes.

Over-all, the displays seem to be bent on transforming the quite conception of the kind of corporation that CD Projekt is. Considering the fact that The Witcher 3, CD Projekt has projected an picture related to that of Rockstar Online games: a top rated-flight developer relocating at a deliberate tempo from just one mega-blockbuster to the subsequent. This new vision of the enterprise, functioning throughout three qualities, and 3 or additional assignments concurrently, is rather different.

The explosion of action all over The Witcher in certain implies the way a publisher like Ubisoft seeks to exploit the likes of Assassin’s Creed with a continual stream of new video games (coincidentally, Ubisoft made its personal raft of far more or fewer nebulous Assassin’s Creed announcements recently). But maybe Blizzard is a nearer comparison: an entity midway involving a publisher and a mega-studio, with numerous interior teams operating on a handful of cherished homes.

This appears to be the graphic CD Projekt now would like to venture the final dilemma is to whom is it projecting that? One credible response is prospective personnel some of the movies arrived throughout like extended recruitment advertisements, and the corporation certainly has a large amount of staffing up to do. An additional concept may be that CD Projekt is showing its wares to present alone as an interesting acquisition prospect, as a wave of massive mergers continues to roll through the industry.

Or it could be the reverse. Supplied the company’s depressed share price tag, and remaining CEO Adam Kiciński’s previous insistence that the company is not for sale — which he bolstered with chat of its entire independence in the technique video clip — it would seem most most likely that CD Projekt is basically attempting to bolster its worth and rally its shareholders towards the temptation of using a swift buck from some prospective buyer. Stick with the corporation, its leaders are indicating, and a dazzling, empire-making future awaits.

It is a compelling eyesight. Now CD Projekt just demands to deliver it.

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