New Cyberpunk and Witcher games prove CDPR's wild ambition remains intact
Despite Cyberpunk 2077’s struggles, CD Projekt Red isn’t slowing down.
CD Projekt Red has certainly made a name for itself over the last decade, with games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077. The studio has already made some big moves, but its has some incredibly ambitious plans for the future, as evidenced by a massive update provided today. It’s rare to see a studio share its development pipeline for the next 10-15 years, but that’s exactly what CD Projekt Red has done. With that, we’ll break down everything that the company announced and talked about in its recent strategy update.
What Happened — On October 4, 2022, CD Projekt held its “Group Strategy Update,” but in a surprise move the studio made all of its future plans entirely public. There’s a lengthy video walking through all of the news, as well as a slide presentation you can view, but essentially the company announced five new Witcher games, a sequel to Cyberpunk 2077, and a brand new IP. We’ll get to those later, but there are a couple of other important points to hit first.
CD Projekt seems to be overhauling the way it approaches both internal development and partnerships and licensing of its franchises. One of the major focuses going forward is going to be introducing multiplayer “to enrich the single-player experience.” While we don’t know exactly how multiplayer will look in future projects, the studio has talked about wanting to introduce it quite a bit over the last couple of years.
At the same time, CD Projekt wants to put a larger emphasis on expanding into other media, like TV and film. This is likely a byproduct of the overwhelming success of Cyberpunk Edgerunners, the Netflix anime that’s received wide critical acclaim. Multiple slides in the presentation talk about how CD Projekt wants to expand the appeal of its IPs, including the studio changing its approach to mobile games. To this end, there are multiple videos on CD Projekt’s YouTube channel, detailing the studio’s approach to franchise development, game development and technology, and more.
Another important piece of info is that CD Projekt is establishing a brand new team in Boston , Massachusetts, which together with the Vancouver, Canada team, will form a new studio. Finally, Marcin Iwiński, co-found and joint CEO of CD Projekt, will be stepping down in the near future, handing his duties over to the company’s board.
New Witcher Projects — CD Projekt Red had previously announced that The Witcher 4 had started production and that it would kick off a new trilogy of games. However, the company has now announced that the fifth and sixth games are planned to be released within a six-year window after the release of The Witcher 4. This trilogy is going to be developed in-house by CD Projekt and is “built on the legacy of The Witcher 3.”
Apart from the trilogy, there are two other Witcher games in development. The first is Project Sirius, developed by The Molasses Flood and described as “an innovative take on the Witcher universe telling an unforgettable story for existing Witcher fans and new audiences.” The Molasses Flood is an independent studio that previously released the narrative survival game, The Flame in the Flood.
The final Witcher project is called Project Canis Majoris and is a story-driven, single-player open-world RPG. Interestingly this title is going to be developed by a contracted 3rd party studio, led by ex-Witcher veterans.
Cyberpunk 2077 Sequel: Project Orion — Cyberpunk 2077 is officially getting a sequel, currently called Project Orion. While we don’t know any details about the sequel yet, it does seem to be in the very early stages of development. Orion will be developed by the CD Projekt Red team, and the studio’s presentation says it “will prove the full power and potential of the Cyberpunk universe.
The studio also re-iterated the expansion for Cyberpunk 2077, Phantom Liberty, is planned for release in 2023.
CD Projekt New IP — The final surprise from CD Projekt was the announcement of a brand new IP, meant to be distinct from both The Wither and Cyberpunk. Don’t expect this new IP for quite a while, however, as the project is currently in the conceptual phase, and has been in the very early stages since late 2021. At the moment, there’s no other information.
The Inverse Analysis — It’s incredibly surprising to see a notable developer be so transparent about its projects in development, especially in an industry so obsessed with secrecy. It’s an important move on CD Projekt’s part, especially in the wake of all the controversy around Cyberpunk 2077’s launch. Essentially, this transparency lets the studio move away from secrecy and rumors, and focus squarely on expectations for each game. In a way, it could allow CD Projekt to control the hype machine more, as fans won’t feel as much of a need to wildly speculate on what a project is.
That being said, there are some worries that pop up with all of this as well. CD Projekt has come under fire in the past for crunch, particularly with the development of Cyberpunk 2077. Announcing so many projects at once creates a bit of a worry about how the company will manage everything without crunch.
This is especially true with the company setting a six-year timeline with an entire Witcher trilogy. The Witcher 3 was in development for nearly four years by itself, and conceivably CD Projekt will be working on both Cyberpunk and its new IP during the new Witcher games. The company has obviously grown much larger over the last couple of years, and it seems to be committed to changing its development practices, but CD Projekt has made similar promises before and failed to change.