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It seems that after the PR disaster that was Cyberpunk 2077's launch, CD Projekt now has a fever. And the only prescription is more Witcher games. As a result, we now have this strategy update that outlines the Group's plans for the foreseeable future.
These include five new The Witcher games, with two of them being developed by outside studios with a focus on mass-appeal and multiplayer. And then, there's also a new Cyberpunk game in the works, as well as some new IP codenamed Hadar.
Here's a quick overview of the planned projects:
A video with plenty of details:
And a text summary:
The CD PROJEKT Group has published a strategy update which focuses on a set of key long-term projects. In the coming years the Studio intends to release a number of games set in The Witcher and Cyberpunk universes. It is also carrying out conceptual work on a third, proprietary IP, codenamed Hadar. The Management Board has announced the launch of a new studio in North America, adding multiplayer to the majority of future projects, and further expansion of the Group’s franchises in the direction of film and TV.
Last year’s update focused on transforming the game development process, changing the Group’s approach to management and communication, and rolling out various organizational improvements e.g. to enable parallel work on two AAA projects – which has indeed been ongoing since the beginning of 2022. This year’s update is devoted to the Group’s long-term product outlook.
– Our core activities and values remain unchanged. We want to create revolutionary role-playing games with memorable stories that inspire gamers – says Adam Kiciński, CEO of CD PROJEKT.
In addition to previously announced releases – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt new-gen console edition, scheduled for Q4 2022, and a large expansion for Cyberpunk 2077 titled Phantom Liberty, expected in 2023 – the Studio has revealed several projects which will be released in later years and which currently carry working titles. Among them is the game codenamed Project Sirius, under development at the Boston-based The Molasses Flood studio.
– The game will be set in The Witcher universe, but it differs from our past releases in that it targets a much broader audience. Sirius will provide both single-player and multiplayer gameplay – says Adam Kiciński.
Another announced project, Polaris, marks the launch of a new Witcher saga. The saga will consist of three games, which CD PROJEKT RED intends to publish in a six-year period starting with the release of Polaris. The second and third installment will rely on the technological foundation put in place for Polaris, which should streamline development and enable the Studio to focus on achieving its creative vision.
The next Witcher-themed release – Canis Majoris – will be a full-fledged production, carried out by an external studio under the supervision of experienced developers who have previously worked on The Witcher games.
– This is the first such product being developed outside of the Group. However, this does not imply that its quality will lag behind our in-house productions. From the technological standpoint it will be based on Unreal Engine 5, along with the toolset created for Polaris. Expect additional announcements soon – remarks the CEO of CD PROJEKT.
Project Orion, which refers to the next Cyberpunk game, is set to fully unleash the potential of the Cyberpunk universe. It will be developed by CD PROJEKT’s new North American studio.
– Our plans are certainly ambitious, and call for a great deal of work, dedication and further growth. This is why we’re setting up a new team in Boston, which, together with the expanding Vancouver team, will form our new studio – CD PROJEKT RED North America. As a result, we will be able to fully tap into the North American talent pool – says Piotr Nielubowicz, Vice President and CFO of CD PROJEKT, adding – note that The Molasses Flood remains independent, so that, in effect, we will have two separate teams operating in the Boston area.
CD PROJEKT has also announced the beginning of work on an entirely new original IP codenamed Hadar.
– We started toying with the idea several years ago. Early-stage conceptual work commenced in 2021, and – for the first time in our history – the IP is being incubated entirely within CD PROJEKT RED. It is important to understand that right now we are still working on basic concepts and laying the groundwork for this new franchise – remarks Michał Nowakowski, Board Member responsible for business development.
CD PROJEKT also intends to implement the franchise flywheel concept, developing an ecosystem of mutually reinforcing products which exploit the potential of the Group’s respective franchises. To this end, the Studio is opening up to collaboration with external teams.
– Our goal is to work with experienced partners who can meet our quality requirements and deliver worthwhile experiences for our fans. We are doing this to create new, exciting ways of interacting with our brands, and also to enable our internal teams to focus on what drives us as a company: developing revolutionary role-playing games – adds Michał Nowakowski.
CD PROJEKT is looking at opportunities offered by the movie and TV industry. The Cyberpunk: EDGERUNNERS anime series, co-developed with the Japanese Studio Trigger and available on Netflix, has proven that delivering high-quality content to fans of the Studio’s franchises is the right way to go, both in terms of brand development and business strategy.
– Thinking ahead, we’re now looking at three unique, strong and enduring franchises. At the center of each we envision a growing number of single-player games with memorable storylines, enhanced with multiplayer experiences. We see CD PROJEKT as a growing force, shaped by teams which take pride in their achievements and take bold steps to realize their ambitions – summarizes Adam Kiciński.
Further information regarding the CD PROJEKT Group Strategy Update can be found at www.cdprojekt.com/en/capital-group/strategy/.