CD Projekt Interview has cranked out an interesting and relatively lengthy interview with CD Projekt's Adam Badowski, in which the studio head tackles questions about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Cyberpunk 2077,, their design philosophy, the prospect of a publisher eventually purchasing the studio in the future, and more. Plenty of quoting going on below:
Q: You moved into console development with Witcher 2, but PC seems very much like your home platform still. In the light of Sony's announcements about how closely tied to PC architecture the PS4 will be, do you see that changing?

Adam Badowski: We know a lot about the next gen platforms that we can't comment on yet, but our strategy is that we're always trying to maximise the quality for the platform, to use its particular strengths and advantages. Usually the weakest platform dictates the quality for all platforms, but high-quality visuals are our trademark so we need to approach each platform as individually as possible.

Of course, large scale technical decisions in our engine, such as opting for 64-but architecture, Direct X11, are made globally, but we do try to treat platforms individually. PC allows for more at the moment, but new platforms are stepping up. In the future, it should be much easier to unify the requirements. Some things, like control schemes, will still need to be tailored to the platforms but the new platforms will unify requirements.

PC was the lead platform for Witcher 2 because it was the most powerful, but that might change in the future.


Q: The Witcher series maintains an excellent balance of established tropes and fresh ideas, setting up expectations and confounding them. Will we see a similar approach to 2077?

Adam Badowski: We always wanted to avoid simple good and evil scenarios. The war between good and evil isn't interesting for us. We love controversial stuff, anti-heroes, Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, for example. So we have controversial roles and post-modern influences in the storyline.

We have a lot of work ahead of us in that regard because the established plots for Cyberpunk - the wars between corporations, fighting against advanced AI, wars over energy sources, have already all been covered quite thoroughly. There's also the Cyberpunk 2020 game from the '90s. Those scenarios are very familiar. In our opinion, though, nobody has shown Cyberpunk in the way that many people imagined it, we would like to extract those feelings they were getting when watching Ghost in the Shell, Hardware or the motorcycle scenes in Akira.

At the same time we want to refresh this universe which means we have to have a new creative approach to things. We believe that the Witcher taught us that we can handle it.


Q: Geralt isn't an everyday hero - he's not always even a particularly heroic or admirable guy. Can we expect more grey morality from Cyberpunk?

Adam Badowski: We don't think that there are enough games for mature, adult players - Cyberpunk is going to be one of them. We learned a lot from working on the Witcher and we want to go even further on Cyberpunk. There are more main characters, we have different classes and character types, so you can expect some new elements to the storyline. Geralt is described in many books, but for Cyberpunk we need to create the character from the start. We're going to keep the same style as we had in the Witcher in terms of moral decisions, the black and white side of the world, but creating a character from scratch gives us new elements.

What plays a crucial role in Cyperpunk are street stories, which will be more intimate and emotionally engaging for the main characters. I think that epic events are important to these characters, but first we need to focus on the characters themselves and offer choice on epic events.


Q: Your success and ambition certainly hasn't gone unnoticed, and I'm sure that there are companies who have looked at CD Projekt with an eye to acquisition. Does that fit with your plans at all?

Adam Badowski: Independence is a crucial part of a our strategy. That means we need to be independent in both ways. First, financially and secondly creatively - they're both crucial for us. So as a company we're listed publicly on the Warsaw stock exchange, which gave us financial independence and creatively we own all our IP so we're free to invest in our own business with total creative freedom. This gives us a fresh eye in the studio, so it's very important to us. Maybe we could get extra money or experience, but it wouldn't make us happy.

Also, having our own distribution channel has given us a lot of independence.