Cyberpunk 2077 Dev Responds To COVID-19 Crisis
People working from home could lead to a further shift away from physical games and toward digital, the company says.
The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has issued a statement regarding the impact of the COVID-19 global crisis on its business. In the company's latest earnings report, the Polish company said it does not expect the pandemic to have a significant impact on its business for the upcoming period and beyond, though it could impact how people buy games.
CDPR said it took "preventative action" to try to mitigate the the spread of the disease, which included moving most of its employees to a work-from-home setup (a skeleton crew remains at the office to work on critical tasks on a rotating shift basis), cancelling business travel, and forbidding people to enter the company's offices who came from overseas.
More specifically, CDPR pointed out that it canceled all of its scheduled appearances at trade shows and conferences, including PAX East and GDC. Additionally, it conducted business meetings virtually instead of in-person. What's more, before employees were sent home, CDPR installed hand sanitizer stations and increased the air ventilation at its studio.
CDPR also beefed up its technical infrastructure to help its teams work from home. On the subject of working from home, which began on March 16, CDPR management said the teams continue to work efficiently and all projects remain on schedule.
With teams now working from home, CDPR also introduced special safeguards to protect their games. All hard drives are encrypted, and employees are using a VPN that makes use of "specialized hardware" bought specifically for this.
In regards to the impact of COVID-19 on game sales, CDPR said it does not expect to see a material negative impact. The "vast majority" of CDPR's game sales already are digital, making the business "largely impervious to the current circumstances."
Physical game sales, however, are expected to be down as local governments order people to stay home. CDPR said it has yet to get reports from its physical distribution partners, but it expects sales of physical games to fall. The upside, CDPR said, is that as more people work from home, they might change their purchasing habits to skew more toward digital and away from physical.
In other news, CDPR announced that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is approaching 30 million in sales, with PC leading the way as the most popular platform.
CDPR's next game is Cyberpunk 2077, which is slated to launch in September for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The company has not announced sales projections for the game, nor did it say if the COVID-19 crisis will have any impact on its plans to release the game on schedule.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.