In a thread on Twitter, the company revealed three new projects set in The Witcher universe. Project Polaris, the start of a new trilogy for The Witcher franchise, is in preproduction at its development studio, CD Projekt RED, with the ambitious goal of releasing the next two games in the trilogy within six years after Polaris’s release. Project Sirius will be an “innovative” multiplayer title, and is in preproduction at another subsidiary, Molasses Flood, with support from CD Projekt RED. Project Canis Majoris will be a single-player, open-world RPG contracted to an unnamed third-party studio led by veteran developers of The Witcher series.
Project Orion is described as a sequel to “Cyberpunk 2077” that “will prove the full power and potential of the Cyberpunk universe,” reads the company’s announcement. Orion’s development will be spearheaded by the company’s new North American studio, CD Projekt North America.
The company also plans to release an expansion for “Cyberpunk 2077,” titled “Phantom Liberty,” next year.
The final announced project, Hadar, is CD Projekt’s first original IP. Hadar had been brainstormed for a few years, but didn’t start its conceptual phase until a small incubation team was assigned to it last year.
CD Projekt described its strategy in greater detail in a video on its YouTube channel.
In the video, CD Projekt Chief Financial Officer Piotr Nielubowicz said the company has been developing two AAA projects in parallel, stating that the ability to work on several titles in tandem is “crucial to our future growth.” He also revealed CD Projekt RED will be using Epic Games’ Unreal engine moving forward, replacing the in-house REDengine the studio has used since 2011’s “The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.”
“A key strategy decision was forming a long-term partnership with Epic Games,” Nielubowicz said. “Unreal engine will be the technology which we will build upon to deliver our creative vision, CD Projekt RED’s unique style and exceptional quality in open-world storytelling.”
To bolster CD Projekt’s ambitions, the company touted the acquisitions of developers CD Projekt Vancouver (formerly known as Digital Scapes) and Molasses Flood in Boston. The two studios combined to form the company’s latest regional branch, CD Projekt North America. There have also been two new appointments to CD Projekt’s board: Chief Technology Officer and Head of Production Pawel Zawodny, and Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Franchise Development Jeremiah Cohn.
CD Projekt President and joint-CEO Adam Kiciński said in the strategy video that the company has more than 700 developers (and over 1,100 workers in total) across its studios.
The company laid out a road map for all its announced products along with a burgeoning multimedia vision for its IPs.
CD Projekt will also invest more deeply into broadening the reach of their existing franchises. The company referred to this strategy as the franchise flywheel, which CD Projekt Senior Vice President of Business Development Michał Nowakowski described in the video as “an ecosystem of comic books, TV, film, animation, merchandise and spinoff games we are building around our IPs.”
The success of the Netflix anime “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” was a much needed win for the company after the disastrous launch of “Cyberpunk 2077” in 2020. It released in an unfinished state after years of delays, crunch and allegations of workplace abuse. The game was also criticized for its portrayal of Asian, transgender and female characters. The bugs were so bad that both Sony and Microsoft announced they would refund copies of “Cyberpunk 2077” bought through their stores.
CD Projekt was once praised as one of the most beloved, customer-first publishers in the industry for its firm stance against DRM (digital rights management, which can be restrictive and unwieldy for consumers) in its games and extensive history of releasing free downloadable content. After “Cyberpunk 2077,” CD Projekt was lampooned for months with memes, and became a cautionary tale for the rest of the industry.
The company’s objectives, summarized Tuesday, include cultivating three flagship franchises, branching out to multiplayer titles (“Cyberpunk 2077” had a planned multiplayer mode that never made it to release) and more television and film adaptations.
“We see CD Projekt as a growing force shaped by our teams taking pride in the games they deliver and bold in their ambitions,” Kiciński said in the strategy update video. “We experiment, innovate and create, and we are still all about reaching for the stars.