For the second time CD Projekt RED postpones the release date of “The Witcher 3” for Play Station 5 and Xbox Series X|S. The Poles have broken their partnership with Sabre Interactive. No new release date was given for the production. Russian-Ukrainian war in the background
Source: media materials at thewitcher.com/witcher3/
CD Projekt’s stock market announcement stated that the company “is in the process of evaluating the scope of work remaining to be done and has decided to postpone the release previously planned for the second quarter of this year.” It was pointed out that the management of CD Projekt decided to continue the production of The Witcher 3: Wild Game for next-generation consoles based on an internal development team, and that the decision was based on the recommendation of the people managing the production of this title. The information was also given on the game’s official twitter account.
We’ll update you as soon as we can. Thank you for your understanding. 2/2
– The Witcher (@witchergame) April 13, 2022
According to industry media in Russia, which cited their sources, CD Projekt has broken off its partnership and demanded that St. Petersburg-based studio Saber Interactive (the studio behind the Nintendo Switch port) hand over all of the project-related items developed to date. CD Projekt RED withdrew sales of its products from Russia after its attack on Ukraine, which negatively affected the ratings of The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 on Steam.
In the second half of March, CD Projekt Red confirmed that it was working on the next installment of the “The Witcher” game series and announced that it had signed a licensing and partnership agreement with Epic Games International. The contract sets out the terms for the use of the Unreal Engine game engine and for the parties to work together to develop and improve the engine to suit the needs of open-world game development. CD Projekt has the right to develop and publish games based on Unreal Engine 4, 5 and subsequent versions. The agreement has a 15-year term with an option for further extensions and does not limit the number of games developed using the engine. It also provides for Epic’s technical support for the titles released by the company.
Thanks to the use of ready-made tools, it is supposed to be easier for CD Projekt to prepare a new game, characterized by a high level of graphic design and better detailing. This is especially important after the huge slip-up with “Cyberpunk 2077” (its release date was postponed three times). “W3: Wild Game” will remain a single-player RPG. Using the capabilities of Unreal Engine 5 should also speed up the work on the title itself. The computer version will receive support for Ray Tracing (it is not known whether the console version will also be available).
The Witcher – history of the phenomenon
“The Witcher 3: Wild Game” premiered in 2015. It won critical acclaim and made its creators world famous. The game was sold in more than 30 million copies. This translated into record financial results for CD Projekt: in 2015 the company recorded PLN 798.01 million in revenue and PLN 342.43 million in net profit, compared to PLN 160.29 million in revenue and PLN 4.68 million in profit the year before. CD Projekt topped the 2015 results only in 2020 (PLN 2.14 billion revenue and PLN 1.15 million net profit), mainly thanks to the pre-sales of the game “Cyberpunk 2077” launched in December 2020 (only in the fourth quarter the company had PLN 1.67 billion revenue and PLN 984.19 million profit). Numerous errors in “Cyberpunk 2077”, especially in the console versions (the game was withdrawn from PlayStation Store shortly after its release for six months) resulted in worse than forecast results of CD Projekt last year: in the three quarters the company recorded PLN 615.11 million in revenue and PLN 121.39 million in net profit. In February this year. CD Projekt offered “Cyberpunk 2077” in versions for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles and released a new patch for it – patch 1.5. “Cyberpunk 2077” fans include Elon Musk, which he admitted in a post on Twitter.
On the wave of the game’s popularity, Netflix bought the screen rights. The production with Henry Cavill (known for his role as Superman) playing Geralt of Rivia was a success. The works on the third season of the series are in progress.
In July 2021, CD Projekt purchased Digital Scapes, a Vancouver-based development studio. In turn, in October CD Projekt acquired 60 percent of the shares of the American development company The Molasses Flood, known for the survival games “The Flame in the Flood “and “Drake Hollow”. In early June last year, CD Projekt paid a dividend of PLN 503.69 million on its 2020 earnings, at PLN 5 per share. Unfortunately, in the third quarter of last year, CD Projekt group recorded financial results much lower than analysts’ expectations. Consolidated sales revenue increased year-on-year from PLN 104.5 million to PLN 144.5 million, and net profit decreased from PLN 23.4 million to PLN 16.3 million. At the beginning of February, Paweł Zawodny and Jeremiah Cohn were appointed to the management board of CD Projekt. Both have worked for the company for several years in director positions.
Today at 6.30pm, the company will hold a conference call with analysts and journalists following the release of its 2021 results.
Source: CD Project RED, PAP Biznes