"We are not a games factory. We treat games as an art."
The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red could have developed The Witcher 3.5 and made a quick buck. However, the studio opted instead to make Cyberpunk 2077 because churning out a sequel runs counter to the company's ambition to always push the boundaries and try new things. That's according to founder Marcin Iwinski, who said at E3 this week that CD Projekt Red is "not a games factory."
"We would love at a certain point to tell more stories about The Witcher, but when and how I cannot tell you now," he explained at the E3 Coliseum. "We are not a games factory. We treat games as an art."
Iwinski said CD Projekt Red's ambition is to "push the bar higher" with every new release. As such, while the Polish studio theoretically could have made The Witcher 3.5, it decided to try something completely new with Cyberpunk 2077 instead.
"We want to push the bar higher with every single game release. It's not about getting The Witcher 3.5 out there which would be fairly easy--of course it's very difficult. Using the same engine, telling the same stories; the technology is established. And making a quick dollar. But that's not [what we do]," he explained.
In working on Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red will learn a lot about making new games, and some of these learnings could be applied to a new Witcher game potentially, Iwinski suggested. Overall, Iwinski said CD Projekt Red's vision to always develop "new amazing gaming experiences."
Also in the interview, Iwinski said CD Projekt Red wanted to create two main development teams inside the company after The Witcher 3 so it could be working on multiple big projects simultaneously. However, this proved too difficult for a variety of reasons and it didn't happen. As such, the team that worked on The Witcher 3 shifted over to Cyberpunk 2077, Iwinski said.
Iwinski's comments on The Witcher 3.5 are similar to what Halo studio head Bonnie Ross said recently. She spoke about how Microsoft considered developing Halo 5.5, but abandoned those ideas and instead pursued a much more ambitious game with Halo Infinite.
Finally, Iwinski said CD Projekt Red is currently in the polishing phase for Cyberpunk 2077. This is the most challenging part of the development process, Iwinski said, adding that he expects the team to be able to deliver "some amazing bells and whistles graphically" when the process is finished.
Cyberpunk 2077 launches on April 16, 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. For more on the game--which features Keanu Reeves in a lead role--check out GameSpot's preview of the new gameplay CD Projekt Red demoed at the show, as well as a look at its story.