Witcher dev not looking to sell

CD Projekt Red explains financial and creative independence is "crucial" to developer's strategy.

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The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red is not looking to sell. Studio head Adam Badowski told GamesIndustry International that the company considers creative and financial independence to be a core component of its development strategy.

"Independence is a crucial part of a our strategy," Badowski said. "That means we need to be independent in both ways. First, financially and secondly creatively; they're both crucial for us. So as a company we're listed publicly on the Warsaw stock exchange, which gave us financial independence and creatively we own all our IP so we're free to invest in our own business with total creative freedom. This gives us a fresh eye in the studio, so it's very important to us. Maybe we could get extra money or experience, but it wouldn't make us happy."

Badowski elaborated further on the subject of independence, saying CD Projekt Red has gone to great lengths to ensure business decisions do not decide the company's future.

"I believe that if you want to succeed, creative vision has to inform business policy and not the other way around; that's crucial for us," Badowski said. "Sometimes business will decide a company's creative policy, that's very bad for a studio."

Badowski pointed to CD Projekt Red's unwillingness to embrace the free-to-play market as an example of why creative ambition should be placed ahead of business dealings. He said though there may be money to be made in this market, CD Projekt Red ultimately sees free-to-play as "strange and awkward" and a reason to stay away, at least for now.

"I believe that if you want to succeed, creative vision has to inform business policy and not the other way around; that's crucial for us"

"Financial and business concerns shouldn't decide which path we take or the creative aims of the company. For example, right now we are not dealing in the free-to-play market and this is why; the market is far from perfect yet, I think there's something strange and awkward in this business model," Badowski said.

"So we're not getting involved in it, even if everyone is excited by how much money can be made using this model. Maybe we'll change our minds in that regard, but not yet," he added. "To succeed you have to believe in your project first and then do your job 100 per cent. So the creative side and your heart comes first. Business should be based around your vision."

CD Projekt Red is currently developing two projects: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077. The company also operates GOG.com, an online marketplace for PC games.

Discussion

368 comments
qreyjhansi
qreyjhansi

Hell yeah. And between Cyberpunk 2077 and Witcher 3 they got the future made. Fans are down, and there's always Kickstarter if anything goes wrong (just look at the crazy money thrown at the spiritual successor of Planescape: Torment - if the fans are there, no need for big game-ruining companies like EA). 

c0sa_n0stra
c0sa_n0stra

Mad respectfor  CD Project Red their support for the Witcher 2 was among thes best I've ever seen, they faced the wrath of Namco to removed DRM for us post-release, they added free dlc, and kept supporting the game with great patches, one of the few developers who seems to think of the gamers rather then the profits.

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

gog must make them a decent amount, and they sell a lot of copies of everything they do, despite people pirating a lot more than they sell because of the lack of DRM (which goes to show you that all the Robin Hood-type anti-DRM nonsense these guys spout off is BS, they just wanna steal).

Love CD Projekt, my favorite game company right now for their RPG's and GOG.

Slade968
Slade968

MAD RESPECT for CD Projekt Red. The Witcher 2 was one of the best games I've played in a long time. I got the witcher/witcher 2 bundle on the steam holiday sales but have yet to play the first one. Might be time to install.

Lpedraja2002
Lpedraja2002

CD Project Red have shown fans that they're one of the very few companies that actually listen to consumers, if they're ever short on cash to make a new game and start a kickstarter project I bet they will easily surpass their goal within months.  I for one would donate without a doubt.  I can't wait for The Witcher 3, this time I won't hesitate on buying the collector's edition, I know I regret not buying the second game's collector's edition.

Lowri001
Lowri001

They have the right idea, The Witcher 2 was incredible and hope the third is just as good.

Dschadir
Dschadir

Note to EA: see how that works. This is how you create a loyal fanbase.

Taegre
Taegre

CD Projekt RED: "Nobody's going to buy us."
EA: "Challenge accepted!"

erMonezza
erMonezza

CD Projekt RED, I WILL definitely buy Witcher 3. 

With the incredible support for W2, you made a loyal fan out of me, until you sell yourself to the highest bidder and start produce fast, crap games. I sincerely hope that does not happen and you don't become greedy.


cheers

edinko
edinko

Unfortunately there is also some sign of bad things to come (petentionaly). Few days ago he said something in the interview that could be (and was by some people) interpreted as a lame in advance justification of selling out to consoles. I mean the interveiw where he said that PC is the lead platform cause its the most powerful platform but "that might change". Since this statement is nonsense it rally could be interpreted as selling out justification cause it cant change. Its not tenchnologically possible. It just reminds me of other devs who sold out to the crappy console mainstream with awful justifications. Hope it doesnt happen like that. Just dont be surprised when some crap happens. Money is very powerful.

Lei_11
Lei_11

I've like no knowledge about stocks or whatsuch, can anyone briefly explain how a company can just say "we got plenty of cash, so we can spend a shitload of time on development" ? That's kind of what I'm reading out of this and I would love to know how they did it :O

Meatbrawl
Meatbrawl

Whooop!!! Been reading about the ME3 dlc... and got to SimShitty... then here. WHOOP!!! Go you good thing :) Please stick to these beliefs :)

Enundr
Enundr

all i can say is , if i see a CE of W3 thats $120 , consider it sold. great company surrounded by all these idiotic ones (cough EA cough) that love to gouge their customers with  empty / incredibly short bland games and later sell the rest of the game as DLC.

Alexrmf
Alexrmf

they also have the example of Bioware to remind them how bad an acquisition by a major publisher can be to the company and it's projects. Bioware were in the same situation as CDPR before the EA sell, with a great portfolio of games and a flawless A+ track record... come EA acquisition and you have Bioware with 2 out of 2 failed games and the anger of their fans... they lost on all fronts when they became part of EA

MoronGotMyName
MoronGotMyName

Lol, the best part about it is that they make games in my favorite genre, and such amazing games. Two titles in development mean they are growing as well, which is great. 

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

What a dumb title for the article. They want to sell, they don't want to be sell outs. Geez. That said, I wouldn't expect any less from CDProjektRed.

Ink129
Ink129

This is what we call "keeping one's integrity" - some people may find this a rare sight in the gaming industry these days...

Ishiban
Ishiban

Wow, CD Projeckt Red truly is a breath of fresh air in this increasingly rancid industry.

w00tboy
w00tboy

Valve, Obsidian and CD Projekt Red...the lasts of a dying breed. Long may they give the finger to EA and others.

RedLegZeff
RedLegZeff

I sometimes wonder if CDPR is trolling other developers to make them look bad. Kind of an andy kaufman-esque type of thing. They make games as well just to pull it off. 

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

Well I can't say I'm a fan of the Witcher (just not my type of RPG), but I am sure a fan of this dev. Looking forward to the Cyberpunk game. If only Bioware had this mentality...

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

@downloadthefile "(which goes to show you that all the Robin Hood-type anti-DRM nonsense these guys spout off is BS, they just wanna steal)."

Which only comes to show your own ignorance.

Let me explain to you this: 

Game with no DRM -- gets pirated.

Game with terrible DRM -- gets pirated.

Game with draconic DRM - STILL gets pirated.

There is no difference, crack groups still crack the games. The only ones who suffer from this are the players. Or should I remind you of SIMCITY and AC2?


Arrogant fool.

dustbreakangel
dustbreakangel

@downloadthefile Pirate will pirate everything they can. With or without DRM. The old Ubisoft's always online DRM prove DRM is practically useless.

Taegre
Taegre

@edinko CD Projekt isn't a punk band. If they want to open their product to other platforms, that is in no sense "betraying" their current fanbase.

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

@Lei_11 Well, if you go buy stocks, where do you think that money goes? They also get money from GOG.com and good success with the titles they release. So I think they're financially sound to give a big middle finger to publishers wanting to buy them out.

ishsgames
ishsgames

@w00tboy How about bungie (sure activison is terrible but bungie is amazing), crystal dynamics, and also the many developers who don't create AAA titles, however, have delivered phenomenal games such as all the Tales iterations!

Alexrmf
Alexrmf

@SerOlmy the sad thing in what you say is that Bioware had the exact same mentality as these guys... then they were "indoctrinated" by EA and they became mindless "husks"... that's a pretty big tragedy for me, because I'm a long-time Bioware fan (or was) - now I see in CDPR the young Bioware I fell in love with, I hope they stay clear from any Reapers (aka Publishers)

lindallison
lindallison

@SerOlmy  

Since you've got Freespace 2 as your top-rated game I've got to listen to you.  But am curious what turns you off about Witchering?  Not my favorite type of RPG either, as I'm partial to multi-character party RPG's with Turn Based combat, but I dig these Witcher games in spite of that...

edinko
edinko

@Taegre @edinko You mean like BIOWARE? I have no problem with multile platforms as such. I have a problem when such titles are crippled and dumbed down. Like DA2 etc. Basically all modern bioware games. Lowest common denominator gaming

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

@ishsgames @w00tboy I don't know of the Tales franchise much, but Crystal Dynamic IS owned by Square Enix, and while they have been unusually lenient in their say over the final products, they STILL have the final say.

Bungie sold out to Activision, they have little respect from me, anyways. Obsidian is a great studio that makes flawed yet classic gems, but they are often treated like shit by publishers. Can't forgive Bethesda for the crap they pulled.

Valve and CDProjekt are currently the leading AAA game developers who work independently.

Enundr
Enundr

@Alexrmf @SerOlmy well the general thing is , EA still wasnt in the complete s**t hole before they bought Bioware , they were slowly on the way but not full blown there yet , now  EA is as it is now , CDPR  most likely sees this and wont be bought out with EAs $ , especially with how Bioware turned out after they got "indoctrinated".

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

@Alexrmf@SerOlmy@lindallison

Bah, stupid Livefyre.  Anyway... I am just not a fan of the source material or the protagonist in the Witcher.  Also I'm not big on RPGs that lack any character customization both visually or narratively.  Those things combined make it just not my type of game.


As for Bioware, I said I WISH they had that mentality.  Instead they were indoctrinated and subsumed by EA with predictable, some would say inevitable results.  I am a HUGE ME fan, but I fully expect them to complete ruin any future game in the series.

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

@lindallison "Not my favorite type of RPG either, as I'm partial to multi-character party RPG's with Turn Based combat"

.. I'm sorry, what.

You think.. .The Witcher is a multi character Turn based combat RPG in the style of old cRPGs?

.... WHAT THE FUCK. Did you even watch a single Witcher gameplay trailer?

edinko
edinko

@Lpedraja2002 @edinko @th3warr1or You are right but a bad interface is a bad interface. Its hard to overlook when a game even when its great is crippled thanks to bad gamepad controls. That might not change with the Ps4. Still a controller. I was hoping it wiuld have someyjinh like the WIIU. Then dumbing down colud stop. But here- still wont have enough buttons so games will be inevitably du,bed down, clunky or crippled

Lpedraja2002
Lpedraja2002

@edinko @th3warr1or Yeah the interface was made with consoles in mind, there's no doubt about that but still the game was pretty damn awesome.  People have to grow up though, the PC market is substantially small compared to the console market, we're lucky we have companies like CD Projekt Red that actually care about the PC communities.  Though thanks to the PS4 hardware specs we will hopefully see better "port" games to the PC.

edinko
edinko

@th3warr1or @edinko Well i cant agree mate. W2 while a great game of course was heavily crippled in some way because it was also planned for the 360. I mean the interface/inventory. It was plain AWFUL. And taht is from someone who realli loves the games and read and loved all the novels of course

th3warr1or
th3warr1or

@edinko  

I'm not worried. They released W2 on the 360, and it was very well polished -- didn't affect W2 on the PC either.

Enundr
Enundr

@WantYouBad @Enundr @Altazen i did play it , it wasnt fast paced per say , the physics seemed fine to me (unless your a console only person , then you have my pity in regards to graphics and how games look). combat still tops half the crap that tends to get pumped out lately.