Witcher dev avoiding "hit-and-run" strategy to releasing games

CD Projekt Red says relationship with gamers after release is what "defines us" as a company; publishers that lie will be exposed.

The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red is actively avoiding the "hit-and-run" strategy to releasing games, CEO Marcin Iwinski has told Gamasutra in a new interview.

He explained that what really matters is straightforward and honest postlaunch support. This is why gamers continue to come back to CD Projekt Red, he said.

"At the end of the day, what really matters is the experience which you are having with the game when it's out," Iwinski said. "And this is the one unique moment which defines us. If it's an average experience, pretty much what we are doing every day doesn't make sense."

Iwinski admitted that sometimes the "hit-and-run" strategy can work, in the short-term, but this isn't a path CD Projekt Red is looking to take.

"For a lot of companies, from a short-term business perspective, the famous hit-and-run strategy, there are still a lot of people applying this. And sometimes it works!" he said. "And then they are probably telling [other companies about] what they do. I just don't think it's [the way we should run our business]. So we are really deliberately choosing what we want to do, and we will do it for as long as we are happy with the effect."

Iwinski pointed to downloadable content for the Witcher series being free on the PC as an example of CD Projekt Red's vision of relationships with consumers trumping monetary gain.

"And they appreciate it. Then they tell their friends we are doing a good job and we respect them. And ultimately it will result in a sale," Iwinski said. "Some people are saying, 'Why do you do that? You could have charged for it!' Yeah. But I think the value in the whole proposition is that we are honest, straightforward, and fair, and this pays back. So you can call it a business model, in a way."

Being open and honest with gamers is more important now than ever, Iwinski argued, because the rise of the Internet and its various social networks will expose companies that are disingenuous.

"And I think that this will become even stronger and ever more important, because the way to the gamer is direct, so there is no place for a lie anymore. If you lie, you are a joke on social networks in seconds," Iwinski said. "The liars from back in the day, their fate is pretty grim right now. We can see it all around. There is a statement from Company A. People say, 'Hey, it's not like that.' And the whole Internet goes crazy. Ten years ago, it wouldn't be the case, pretty much. People would talk between each other and it would die out."

CD Projekt Red is currently developing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Cyberpunk 2077, and a "smaller" game, estimated to be about 20 hours in length.

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Discussion

416 comments
Lowri001
Lowri001

I really hope they don't turn into one of the many money grabbing companies the industry has spawned, I loved The Witcher series and CD Projekt seem to have the right approach to games.

vadagar1
vadagar1

also witcher is the only game i never have a wishlist for cause frankly i can't make up the great stuff they do

vadagar1
vadagar1

i want his game so fucking bad

sadly good things won't last and every company becomes a blizzard monster eventually, money corrupts people and lots of money fucks people up, and we have to put it to sleep just like failizard

Hurvl
Hurvl

"publishers that lie will be exposed" but people's willingness to put up with that, just to play games will also be exposed. I love CD Projekt Red and other companies that offer post-launch support, but create enough hype from a franchise and people will care less about hit-and-run strategies.

ph4n745y
ph4n745y

Cheers to your passion Nd commitment cdpr. Your at the forefront of the *hopeful* revolution of developer and gamer relationships. Keep it up.

sk8oridie44
sk8oridie44

"because the rise of the Internet and its various social networks will expose companies that are disingenuous."

FINALLY. So glad to hear this out of a developer! Unbelievable how straightforward they are! Definitely buying this game from them! 

Soxism
Soxism

And this is Exactly why I love CD Projekt... Yeah many people could have pirated their games, but its because they have this attitude about their development and relationship with gamers is why i will always support them and Buy their games over Rival companies. Its just a bonus that their games are extremely fun!

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

I think priced DLC can be good if the content itself is good. Expansion packs like the old days don't exist anymore, so why can't DLC replace that?

Brave New World is an example of a good DLC pack that is worth its price. If the Witcher devs released a huge awesome DLC pack and they charged for it, I'd be cool with it IF IT WAS WORTH IT.

When devs release pay-to-use costume packs and stuff, that really pisses me off. Because in the old days useless things like that were just in-game bonuses you could acquire through gameplay or through cheats. Today they actually have the nerve to try and sell these things.

chris230990
chris230990

Mel Gibson is going to make a film about a man named CDPR who comes to guide and teach us. Everything goes well until a bunch of RomEAns come a long and kill him.


We must stop Mel Gibson before it's too late.

frozenux
frozenux

Darth Vader was once a Jedi...

Homeless-_-
Homeless-_-

Hopefully these guys never get corrupted, let's just hope it stays like this for a long time at least.

oyvs
oyvs

Do not have a clue what this guy is saying.

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

My friend recently got into gaming and first game that he played was Assassin's Creed then Darksiders . I thought it will be too early to suggest him Witcher games because those games target hardcore RPG fans and not broader audience but still did that . He loved the challenging gameplay and said "Now this is what I call a game , that offers challenge . What an epic story" , he finished the game last night and decided to pre order any game , developed by CDPR .

jo8n3645
jo8n3645

cant wait for witcher 3 but witcher 2 i could never finish another play through which is weird cause i was in love the first time i played it :/

orangesonic
orangesonic

that`s why they have my respect and support as long as theirs policy do not change...

i have been buying Cdprojekt games since the first one and was never disappointed!

can`t wait for Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk

G4m3r0uTL4wZ
G4m3r0uTL4wZ

I just cant wait for this game and Dark souls 2

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

As much as I think CD Projekt is a good company, I think they might be trying to oversell it now with all these statements about how great they are from a customer relations standpoint. You guys don't need to say how good you are because your actions will speak for themselves, so just keep doing what you do well. 

Humility is also a virtue.

Sky_Stifler
Sky_Stifler

And that's why we love you CD Projekt Red 

boogie25
boogie25

I love CDPR for what they are..i wish more studios were like them. I supported them and will support as long as they dont fck with us like some other do. Yeah maybe im a witcher fan and have read all the books and novels that mr Sapkowski wrote. But still CDPR will make other games then witcher and I will support them by  buying their games even if they arent as good as witcher. I hope people will respect them as they respect us.

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

Witcher franchise is more than just games , it's symbol of care , relationship and humanity . I am proud to say that I am with this franchise since the beginning .

Picia000123
Picia000123

I really like their commitment to keeping the witcher games as close to the source material as possible. I've read all seven witcher books multiple times and they've managed to present every character from the books really good. I applaud them for that.

02050muh
02050muh

if only ALL companies were like CDPR.........................

damiger
damiger

Damnit, i wish they would release witcher 2 on ps3 :( I dont want to play on my pc :p

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

@vadagar1 If this happens, we will know that the Geralts trilogy was created with love and respect only.

vadagar1
vadagar1

@oyvs he is talking about good game play a concept that seems foreign to you


norolim
norolim

@oyvs It might be a bit to complicated for you. That's why you like EAware: they have a simple message you sould be able to understand: BUTTON-AWESOME

vadagar1
vadagar1

@Cloud_imperium i played witcher games then tried Ass creed ... after a few hours i was bored out of my skull

KeviNOlighT
KeviNOlighT

@Cloud_imperiumTell him to play Dark Souls too! :P I'ts similar in those areas, it's so hardcore that's often misunderstood, hehe, and has really deep gameplay (very challenging, too), story (although it's not narrated, but kind of hidden and you have to make it out) and characters. The Witcher and Souls series are at my top! :)

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

@Cloud_imperium Lucky you. Half of my friends only play GTA or Warframe, the other don't play at all =_=

arod628
arod628

@TenraiSenshi They can say this over and over again if it will change the minds of other big developers to show that their policy is the CORRECT WAY to do business. Not try to take every penny they can get from their OWN consumers. 

The funny thing is the things they are saying can be related to ALL BIG COMPANIES not just gaming developers or publishers.  For some reason companies forgot that WE CONSUMERS are the ones that pay their salary. I just wish we as CONSUMERS would step it up a little more and SHOW THEM WE MEAN BUSINESS by boycotting alot of their STUPID products and policies.  

We should all SUPPORT CDPR

bruta
bruta

@TenraiSenshi CDPR can show off much as they want, they earned this privilege 

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

@Picia000123 If you count the story about Geralts mother and father, then 8 books.

Dundalis
Dundalis

@canavanb 

What? If anything it's proof of their claims. They have every right to pursue pirates just like any other company, but they stopped once they realised it was could be an issue affecting honest gamers. Most companies wouldn't have cared one bit.

CDPR don't accept pirates, and if they could, would sue the crap out of every last one. They accept the reality of the situation though which is the important thing.

SlaviksG
SlaviksG

@damiger lol CDPR games are for PC. Witcher 2 was shit on xbox :D

edinko
edinko

@Dundalis @canavanb They were bullying people mate. That's their only misstep so far but a pretty memorable one. You may not know it but they did it the "german way". There was a time when german companies started to blackmail people with "you downloaded XY.mp3 pay 10 000 or else.."

CDP did exactly the same. THe point of this scheme is to send warning emails with pay 10 000 or else to ANBYBODY. It doesn't matter whether he did something or not. ITs all about scaring people and some will pay.

Its a kind of blackmailing and CDP did exactly this for a short time.

evil_snuggles
evil_snuggles

I own both xbox 360 and PS3 . It would be hard for microSCAM to get another dollar outta me i loved my original Xbox more than my ps2. I played the witcher 2 on the 360 i loved it best game i played since o Demon SOULS. Would love a witcher series collection 1-3 on PS4.

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

@SlaviksG @damiger After playing PC version I went to my friend house and started Witcher 2 on his xbox 360 , the game looked black and white . Barely supports single dynamic light and Geralt looks like teenager and slim because of less polygons like rest of the characters . I showed him PC version at my home and now he is saving money to enter PC gaming and leaving console gaming in next gen .

lemoi
lemoi

@rigbybot127 @Cloud_imperium @SlaviksG @damiger PC gaming with controller and huge monitor - sit back on the sofa and play away. Feels like playing console, only better =D

The down side is your wallet will suffer during the Steam sale...

rigbybot127
rigbybot127

@Cloud_imperium @SlaviksG @damiger No matter how much better PC gaming is, I will never leave consoles. It's strange, and I don't understand it myself, but something about PC gaming doesn't "click" with me. Not sure what.

Good thing The Witcher 3 is coming to next-gen consoles.