CD Projekt hosted its financial conference call for investors and analysts and the company’s executives talked more about their plans for Cyberpunk 2077.
We hear from CEO Adam Kiciński that from the creative point of view the studio “can be proud of the core strengths” of Cyberpunk 2077: a beautiful and engaging city, a gripping and exciting story, and multi-layered characters.
From a business standpoint, the company managed to introduce a new IP to the market and to the minds of players around the globe.
That being said, he admitted once more that not everything went as planned, and this is a huge lesson for the developer and one that will never be forgotten.
Later in the presentation, board member Piotr Nielubowicz mentioned that in financial terms, 2020 was the best year in the history of the developer. That being said, he admitted that taking into account the sentiment around the release of Cyberpunk 2077 and the suspension of sales on the PlayStation Store, the situation is not directly comparable to the scenario seen after the premiere of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Moreover, a big part of the CD Projekt RED team (approximately 40%) is now focused on improving Cyberpunk 2077, and this will influence costs in 2021 and the timing of upcoming releases. A lot of resources are also being focused on the next-gen upgrades for both Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3, as the developer believes those will be crucial for the future.
No precise information was provided about Cyberpunk 2077 sales in the first quarter of 2021 (on top of the 13.7 million announced for 2020) and more will be shared during the next presentation at the end of May. Yet, the executive admitted that in general, the sentiment about Cyberpunk and the situation with the suspension of sales from the PlayStation Store that cut the game off from a large portion of the market (which may also indirectly affected the gamers’ decision to purchase the game on other platforms), definitely influenced sales.
Kiciński mentioned that he believes that the next-generation version launching this year should have “a significant influence on sales and the general atmosphere about Cyberpunk” 2077.
He confirmed that there won’t be public beta testing for said next-gen release, but CD Projekt is working with external professional contractors, so there are plans in place to run as much testing as is needed.
The strategy going forward is pretty simple, to keep working on the game and its content, to keep improving the player experience. This is “the only strategy” to make sure that people have more good quality content to play with. This is something CD Projekt is “very keen” on delivering.
Work in improving the game will continue “as long as it’s necessary.”
Kiciński confirmed that, while a big part of the team and budget is focused on improving the single-player of Cyberpunk 2077, work on the multiplayer is continuing and it will be released step-by-step as online elements added to the single-player. Ultimately, it’ll take more time to deliver, but CD Projekt believes it’s important to push more on the single-player for now.
We also hear a rough estimate of copies of Cyberpunk 2077 refunded to players. CD Projekt received approximately 30,000 requests and over 95% have already been processed.
It was also clarified that most of the sales for the game attributed to the PC & Stadia category were on Steam, and those on Stadia aren’t really comparable to those on Valve’s platform. Sales on GoG.com were slightly less than 10% of PC sales.
The company is planning a sizable marketing campaign for the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 on next-gen consoles, but it won’t be comparable to the one launched at the end of 2020.
Kiciński confirmed that CD Projekt isn’t interested in being acquired by other companies. For now, they don’t see any advantage in joining bigger groups and they’re not seeking any possibility in this regard. That being said, they are open to M&A, but in the other direction, with CD Projekt actively looking to possibly acquiring teams that can help them execute their own strategy.
If you’d like to read more, you can check out our article dedicated to the newly-revealed financials results. Recently, CD Projekt announced a relevant shift in its development strategy.