CD Projekt RED plans Cyberpunk sequel and lots more Witcher games
The sloppy launch of 2020’s Cyberpunk 2077 and the years devoted to repairing the game have not clipped the ambitions of its studio, CD Projekt RED.
Driving the news: The Polish game-maker announced a slew of new games today, most many years out, including a Cyberpunk sequel and a new trilogy in its hit fantasy series The Witcher.
Details: The studio offered an unusually transparent look at what it is working on.
- The Cyberpunk sequel got a codename, Orion, but no sense of release timing. In a call with investors, executives said it hasn’t started making it as the studio focuses on an expansion to Cyberpunk 2077.
- The new Witcher trilogy will launch with a game codenamed Polaris, with two sequels to follow in a six-year span. (The studio says 150+ people are already working on it; the studio has over 1,000 employees)
- Two other Witcher games are in the works: Codename Canis Majoris, which is new, externally-developed Witcher game, and Project Sirius from Boston-based studio The Molasses Flood, which CDPR recently acquired. Sirius will include single- and multiplayer modes and target a broader audience than previous Witcher games, according to a CDPR statement.
- Something new is also in the works. The studio is conceptualizing a third franchise, Codename Hadar.
Between the lines: The line-up is highly ambitious, especially for a company whose last two releases, Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 were released five years apart.
- The release of Cyberpunk 2077 was broadly considered premature, given severe performance issues that led to the publisher offering refunds and PlayStation delisting the game for several months.
- The studio also has had a reputation for working its developers hard, and has repeatedly vowed to improve their work-life balance.
- That makes the timetable for the new games, especially the six-year window for the three Witcher games surprising. "It's a bold statement, as we are talking about three large-scale productions,” CDPR president Adam Kicinski said of the trilogy plan, “but we really mean it and we have a plan on how to achieve it."
- Kicinski said the timetable should be achievable thanks to a plan to share technology across the three games.