Witcher 3 Ships Almost 10 Million Copies - Report

A huge hit.


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has shipped nearly 10 million copies, CD Projekt Red's Adam Kasinki reportedly said this week as part of the company's latest earnings report. Overall, the entire Witcher series has sold 20 million copies, meaning the latest game--released in May 2015--made up half of all franchise sales.

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"In these 20 million units sold, The Witcher 3 constitutes almost 10 million," Kicinski said during the briefing, according to Twinfinite.

Before this, the latest Witcher 3 sales number that CD Projekt Red disclosed was 6 million copies back in August 2015. This was before the holiday shopping season, of course.

By comparison, another high-profile single-player RPG--The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim--has sold more than 20 million copies.

The 20 million figure for The Witcher 3 referenced earlier includes sales of The Witcher (2007), The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2011) and The Witcher 3 (2015).

Released in May 2015 to glowing reviews, The Witcher 3 is expected to be the final entry in hero Geralt's story, though not necessarily the last game in the series. Whatever the case, you shouldn't expect CD Projekt Red to release another Witcher game anytime soon, as the Polish studio is now focusing on Cyberpunk 2077.

More Witcher 3 content is coming this year, however, as the Blood and Wine expansion is due to launch in the first half of the year. Perhaps more interestingly, CD Projekt Red also plans to ship a brand new game before the year is out.

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Avatar image for abhisheknerdy20

we love you CD Projekt Red!!!!

Avatar image for so_hai

The Witcher 2's piracy rate was approximately 4-5 for every 1 sold. (Bohemia Interactive's CEO stated).

If the Witcher 3's rate is similar (which is a conservative assumption), then that game's been pirated 45 million times.

Avatar image for Pelezinho777

Best game. It was honor to play it.

Avatar image for PS2fweak

I love reading stuff like this. Congrats to CD Projekt Red!

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of my favorite games, but what's strange is I've only done one playthrough. I always play my favorite games more than once and I'm sure I'll eventually play TW3 again, but it's usually something that happens instantly for me. I was wondering if that was a bad thing, but then I started thinking the reason I haven't started a new game is because the first playthrough took me exactly 2 weeks, at least 15 hours a day, I got NOTHING ELSE done, and the game made me cry. A legitimate "no, no, no, no...!" tears streaming cry.

I'm just gonna call it my all time favorite game because I think I just don't need to play it again. I'm still overly satisfied, and it took so much out of me. I haven't even played the DLC yet. One day I hope I will have a 2 month block of time where I can I just start from the beginning and then work my way through all of the new content.

And then I think about Cyberpunk 2077 and my heart starts racing...

Avatar image for merwanor

@PS2fweak: Been playing game for like 20 years and I am also inclined to call Witcher 3 my favorite game, at least in the top 3. I have done 2 playthoughs and one reason why you might not need another playthrough is because the game has a very memorable story. But you really should play the Heart of Stone DLC. It is really good.

Avatar image for jeffreybernabe

Hearts of Stone 10 dollar expansion (8 dollar pre order discount on GOG) has more content than 10 dollar Heroes of the Storm Skin..

Avatar image for bobothemighty

Phenomenal success for their first large title, something not as accessible for newcomers and released in a very competitive year...248 GOTY awards so far.

And the amount of butt hurt it provokes, makes it all the sweeter. :P

Please Eddie, give us more articles about it and further rub it in... I want to see their heads explode!


Avatar image for kutulu1

Despite how much I like Witcher 3, I have yet to do a second play through. DA:I on the other hand, I've done 3 play throughs.

Avatar image for 001011000101101

@kutulu1: Inquisition has much more roleplay opportunities, in the sense that you get to pick a race, gender, class, sub-class, and three people to run along with you (whom all have a ton of different builds to explore too). There's a few different builds for Geralt and personalities you can take on, but overall he'll largely remain the same dude. That's not to say that Witcher 3 is in any way inferior to Inquisition (because it's quite honestly the most incredible game I've played in years) but I can totally see why someone would replay Inquisition more times. I've done it myself.

I do plan on playing Witcher 3 again though. Of course.

Avatar image for wexorian

@kutulu1: becauseyou felt complete after finishing witcher 3 and after dai you were not.

Avatar image for deactivated-58b0b257815cf


Cool story bro.

Avatar image for rolento25

Hey Bethesda, this is how you make RPGs, instead of wannabe shooters.

Avatar image for so_hai

@rolento25: greed - they're FPS games dabbling in RPG-lite elements. Explains why the Elder Scrolls Online didn't do well - the audience are FPS players.

Avatar image for dannydouble

witcher3 is quite possibly the most bland rpg ive ever played

Avatar image for razecah12

in few years the witcher 3 will sold almost 20 million , and the witcher 4 will sold even more

Avatar image for Cruxis27

"Awhhh these guys are so cute!" -Bethesda

Avatar image for deactivated-58b0b257815cf

@Cruxis27: So cute they stomped a mud hole in Fallout 4 come award time.

Avatar image for Salt_AU

@slappy54: Except for the one GOTY that actually mattered. Fallout 4 won the Academy Award equivalent while The Witcher took home the Blockbuster and MTV awards.

Avatar image for deactivated-58b0b257815cf

@Salt_AU: http://gotypicks.blogspot.com/

Dream on, son.

Avatar image for Igal-Ze

@slappy54, @Salt_AU Well, to be completely fair, this is not the first time I hear people talking about Huffington Post Canada being the Academy Awards of gaming... My Canadian gramma gets all of her gaming news from HPC as well.

Avatar image for battlestreak

Congratulations CD Projekt Red! In my opinion, this game is easily one of my favorite games of all time, and one of the best games of all time.

It still amazes me that a game like Call of Duty (not that Call of Duty is so bad though) still sells so much more that this game, so easily.

Avatar image for nl_skipper

So happy to see this game series blow up the way it has, and without losing any of its complexity or charm just to try and appeal to the masses. CDPR appeals by busting their asses and delivering the best they possibly can, not changing their vision and compromising the game in the name of "streamlining" or mass marketing.

Wish the same could be said about SE.. who is now pushing out a Thief movie in the hope it'll make the Thief franchise more appealing. Pro tip Square Enix, Thief was always appealing until you guys got your hands on it and produced the most recent addition/abomination. Work on making your game more involved and intricate, larger in scale and more in-depth. They did the complete opposite with Theif and now they're slapping the brand on a movie in the hope of generating more interest in the series... wtf... why do so many businesses suck at common sense...? You'd swear they think Thief has the allure of Star Wars or something with a stupid ass plan like that lol...

Anyway that's my mini-rant, at least we've got CDPR to count on for the foreseeable future!

Avatar image for AM-Gamer

One of the best games of all time in my opinion.

Avatar image for 001011000101101

@AM-Gamer: Completely agree. It's rare to see a game where all the elements combine into something so incredibly good, as is the case with W3.

Avatar image for bungholio

This game in particular is easily one of my favorite games ever. I'm on my 4th play through on ng+ death march, nearly 500 hours across ps4 and PC and there's still places I haven't been

Avatar image for JamesJoule

one of the best franshises ever made... the witcher 1 was hard to get into because it's not too mainstream but still was one of my fav. games of all time
the witcher 2 was a near perfect storytelling masterpiece
the witcher 3 combined the awesome storytelling of the 2nd game and the mysterious and full of secrets nature of the 1st game into a huge open world ...
easily a 10/10 game and how squeals should be made

Avatar image for kingcrimson24

Amazing game , Perfectly made , well deserved . nothing else to be said really .

Avatar image for archav3n

Without consoles. This isn't even possible. I bet the sales on PC version is even lesser than 30%. Bow before the true race: ConsoleMasterRace!

Avatar image for mdinger

@archav3n: I think you're actually very much underestimating PC game sales. For example see this: http://www.pcgamer.com/the-pc-accounts-for-nearly-a-quarter-of-ubisofts-first-quarter-sales/ and this: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/rise-of-the-tomb-raider-first-month-pc-sales-almos/1100-6435094/. The fact is PC sales are very much under appreciated: https://medium.com/steam-spy/steam-sales-in-2015-2e81a6bb0f5a#.7t6zpucq8. You really need to stop spreading disinformation - it is of no use to anyone. Right?

Avatar image for JamesJoule

@archav3n: lol ... so the game got downgraded because of the platform parity thing so it the gap bet. the awesome pc looking version and the lame console version be shortened ... and the game sold more on pc than any individual console (was cheaper on pc as well ) and previous titles didn't even come to consoles(witcher 2 did on xbox360 only after many months after initial release) and you still type this kind of comment !! i am truly speachless

Avatar image for AM-Gamer

@JamesJoule: no it actually didn't sell more on PC then any platform.

Avatar image for Vojtass

@archav3n:Actually PC sold over 30% of copies. Most important, CDPR gets more money from every copy on PC, because there are very few middlemen. Console sales are still based on retail, which means less income for the developer. Also most of PC copies (about 2 millions) were sold on GOG.com, which is sister company of CDPR. About 1.6 M copies were sold on Steam and other stores.

Avatar image for nikon133

@Vojtass: I failed to find any info on GOG sales... but even if true, it still paints somewhat troubling picture for PC.

First of, game is traditionally PC. It is 3rd release on PC, well established franchise... and only 1st on PS. Second, estimate is 80 to 100 million PC gamers, versus 30-something million of PS4 gamers.

According to VGChartz, game has sold 3.31 million copies on PS4. I have no idea how many copies were purchased digitally from PSN, or even how accurate VGChartz figures are. They should also be on monthly basis, so March number do not show in there. I think I am conservative to expect that total PS4 sales should be around 3.5 million, and if I was overly optimistic, I'd probably expect them in vicinity of 4 million.

Considering all of above... % of PC gamers who have purchased W3 is much lower than % of PS4 gamers. Total number of PC gamers doesn't change much - this being mature segment of gaming - while PS4 will double, probably triple numbers in following years. The fact that W3 sales on PS4 match PC sales even in console's relative infancy cannot but encourage devs to provide support to console even more in the future.

I do expect that Sony/middlemen take more from each sold copy (on average) compared to PC's mostly digital sales... but the other part of equation is that games are usually more expensive on consoles, and hold on to their price longer. Here in NZ, best retail price for W3 I can see is NZ$77.69. That is cheaper than PSN asking price of NZ$89.95 for digital. PC version can be found in retail for NZ$44.99. Even if Steam doesn't offer it cheaper than PC retail at the moment, there is still big fat difference, and devs must be receiving chunk of that. In short, I'm not convinced that devs get more from each PC copy sold.

I've also noticed some post about good old tired "game doesn't sell as well as it should because of "downgrade"". Do people still buy this? Downgraded or not, it is still one of the best if not THE best playing and the best looking RPG out there at the moment - save, maybe, for The Division. Also... even if game did have that tech-demo level of visual IQ, vast majority of gamers would not be able to take advantage of it for the lack of powerful enough hardware; for most, the game would look like as it does. Those lucky few who could push visuals further, even if some of them refused to purchase game as it is (and would purchase it otherwise), are not numerous enough to significantly boost numbers.

Avatar image for Vojtass

@nikon133: You're wrong - number of PC gamers is increasing. More and more people are willing to try games, that are unavailable elsewhere. Many of these people also have consoles or other gaming devices, they see advantages of every platform and are interested in trying something new.

'I'm not convinced that devs get more from each PC copy sold'

It's not my opinion, I'm stating the facts. Digital distribution is absolutely dominant on PC. GOG.com belongs to CDP Group, so they get 100% from every TW3 copy sold there. More than 50% of TW3 PC copies were sold on GOG. Steam and Origin take 30%. Retailer, who sells console games, usually takes 35% per copy, but 40 or even 50% isn't rare - that depends on specific deal. Now you should add money for the platform owner (MS/Sony) which is another 15%. Next: money for distributor (in the case of TW3: Warner and Namco Bandai) - not less than 10%. CDPR will get 40% from each boxed console copy AT BEST. Digital distribution on consoles in the case of big budget hyped games is nowhere near PC. 70-80% is retail in such cases.

'First of, game is traditionally PC. It is 3rd release on PC, well established franchise... and only 1st on PS.'

TW1 was a very niche game. CDPR didn't have a money for marketing, BioWare, was a company, that helped them very much. The Doctors even invited CDPR guys at own booth during E3, because they've liked them so much. BioWare sold them licence for obsolete Aurora engine for laughable money. That only shows how low budget game TW1 was. In terms of marketing TW2 was completely different story, but still marketing costs were pretty low - less than $10 M shared amongst three companies during 3 years. TW2 gained much more attention than TW1, but you can't compare it with brands like The Elder Scrolls. Those were two different leagues. Few months later people were talking only about Skyrim. Over $35 M. were spend on promotion of TW3. Huge sales on consoles wouldn't be possible without huge marketing campaign. That's the whole mystery behind good console sales. Also it's worth to mention that PC sales of games like this are better in longer timespan.

'Second, estimate is 80 to 100 million PC gamers, versus 30-something million of PS4 gamers.'

It's not that simple. Computers and PC gamers vary a lot. Many PCs are older machines that cannot run newest, most power demanding games, but that doesn't mean they are not used for gaming. You don't have to have a monster in order to play older games. TW3 was aimed at enthusiast PC gamers, who have decent hardware, and are interested in hyped big-budget games. IMO this group isn't bigger than 30 millions. Also not every console player is interested in RPGs or games where gore, boobs and f-bombs are absolutely normal.

Avatar image for nikon133

@Vojtass: OK, you have some good arguments there. I have a bit different view on few of them, though :)

Of course PC is growing, but not as fast as consoles... since PC has continuity, while consoles start from 0 with every generation. PS4 was around 20 million 6 months ago. Now it is over 30 million. That's 50% growth in 6 months... and they will keep growing reasonably rapidly until they hit 80 million, maybe more if they are lucky.

I know that devs get larger % from digital sales from "open" sources like GOG and Steam (when I say "open", I mean "not belonging to platform owners") than from PSN, XBL and retail stores. Still, games are more expensive on consoles, and they keep prices longer. I haven't noticed anything like Steam Sales on PSN. There are some sales, but quite modest.

Eventually, I'm not certain what platform will generate more money for game like The Witcher 3. They way I'm thinking, a lot of people will buy it on PC when it is really cheap on Steam. That will add to the numbers, but not as much to profit. On the other hand, I think that a lot of new console owners will be buying it, too; it will remain relevant as one of the best RPGs for time to come, and it is not like new console RPGs will look much better - considering consoles' locked hardware.

I hope that CDPR will release info - I'm really curious to see how all that jazz will work out for them. Last release I have seen was from June last year, and if memory serves, game was at 6 million copies sold, 30% of which was PC. Looking at retail charts for consoles, and presuming that Live does not sell much more digitals than PSN, my estimate was 45 - 50% for PS4 and 20 - 25% for X1. Those are solid numbers for platforms that are stil in infancy, numbers wise.

80 - 100 million PC gamers were the only numbers I have managed to find, and they were supposed to represent gamers playing big games - not app stores nibbles and solitaire. Of course many of them play on modest machines and run games on low settings, but then again, consoles are modest machines, too. As long as they buy Battlefield, CoD, Witcher, StarCraft and other big titles, devs don't care - they get the same money from owners of low-end and high-end rigs, right? Of course, not every gamer from that group will be equally interested in every genre, but I think that goes for consoles, too. I'm under impression that RPG - especially western RPG - should be more popular among PC than console gamers?

Avatar image for Vojtass

@nikon133:"Still, games are more expensive on consoles"

Unfortunately I see negative change on this. Many so called AAA games on PC are priced at the same starting level as console versions i.e. $60. That was the case of TW3, but some companies - e.g. EA or Activision - have this price tag for years no. Of course some stores decide to sell new games with lower price, but it's their decision to earn less, not CDPR's. Gog had pre-order promo for the owners of two previous TW games (-15% if I remember correctly). First promo on Steam was available in the middle of September ($42), so 4 months after premiere. First permanent price drop happened in the middle of February. In other words: game's still selling pretty well.

'They way I'm thinking, a lot of people will buy it on PC when it is really cheap on Steam. That will add to the numbers, but not as much to profit.'

When a game is cheaper, more people will buy it. Number of customers is bigger (income is satysfying), and so group of customers for future expansion packs.

'I'm under impression that RPG - especially western RPG - should be more popular among PC than console gamers?'

True, but this is changing. Many Japanese companies noticed that PC gamers are thirsty of jRPGs. Demand is huge, so more and more devs from Japan are trying to sell those games (even older ones) on PC. Unfortunately some of these ports are horrible (lack of experience in development of PC games). PC gamers are different crowd, they have different habits and preferences than console players. You can play almost every PC game released in the last 30 years. Game catalogue is enormous. There's also bigger variety of genres. In many cases mods make game life longer. So it's not easy to gain an attention of PC players. Developers of multiplayer games are very good at this (DotA2, LoL etc.). Console owners are focused on modern titles, especially those new and hyped ones.

Avatar image for nikon133

@Vojtass: "PC gamers are different crowd, they have different habits and preferences than console players"

I think this is changing too, you know. Most PC gamers I know nowadays have at least one recent console. Not all, but most. Me included. In my case, consoles are late addition - I "refused" them all the way back from early '80 and home computers explosion, to mid-2000, when I purchased slim PS2, out of curiosity. That one didn't get much use outside of God of War games, GT4 and some sofa multiplayers. Still, it did provide some good fun for much as it was used, so it was followed up with PS3 slim and PS4. These two were/are getting as much use as PC, sometimes more. Usually down to what my mates play for multiplayers, but for singleplayers it really depends on mood. My PC is used for many other things so it does not sit in living room, plugged to large TV.

My solution to backward compatibility is simple - I don't sell my games or hardware. Nothing died yet, so I have my PS2 and PS3 ready and willing... but, to be honest, I don't go back down the memory lane often, if at all. I hardly ever revisit games, unless they are multiplayers. There are always great new games I don't want to miss for playing old games indefinitely. I guess that part of me fits in your console gamers' definition.

It is a bit funny, actually... not long ago I got some ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 emulators. Tried some old games... nothing. I remember them gladly, but there was absolutely zero replay value for me. It really is funny because I still remember having blast playing them... and they are exactly the same games... but they really are not, because my perception changed. A lot. Likewise PC games - I tried some old classics like Prince of Persia, Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake 1 and 2 not long ago... much better than 8-bit stuff, but still I could not see me playing through them again.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@Vojtass: Digital sales happen on console. Sure license fees are charged but the price of the game reflects that, you pay less for the PC version. This is a non-issue. I'm sure they get similar money from all versions.

Avatar image for Vojtass

@girlusocrazy: 100% from every copy sold on GOG.com goes to CD Projekt Group. On consoles developers and publishers have to pay a fee for MS and Sony. Always. Digital sales on consoles are popular amongst indies, but this channel is still weak in big-budget sector, because console players want physical copies. Obviously this state will change and digital distribution will be dominant, but for now, boxes have huge advantage.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@Vojtass: Yes but you must realize they charge more for the console version so they still make the same money

Hell yeah physical copies, always guaranteed to work. I don't want to repurchase all my games like all those suckers on Virtual Console.

Avatar image for Vojtass

@girlusocrazy: Regular day 1 price on Steam was $60 (and so GOG) . Pre-order price was $53, if I remember correctly. GOG had lower price only for people who have TW1 and TW2 (10% or 15% less). I'm sure there were some lower pre-order prices for console versions too.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@Vojtass: Weird, steam takes a cut so I figured it'd be lower on GoG

FYI console royalties are $3-$10, gets lower when you break certain thresholds of sales (250k, 500k, 1M, etc)

Safe to say they made their money

Avatar image for TigusVidiks

In 30 years of gaming, The Witcher 3 is hands down in my top 5 favourite games, and is by far the most technically perfect rpg I ever played. And I do love RPG's. There may even be other stories I loved the most. But as a game, overall? The Witcher 3, by far. Everything is just perfect.

Would be hard to do better with what they had available. Hell, with what they had available, I would have been happy with half of what CD Projekt delievered.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@TigusVidiks: But Bloodborne is still at the top in all the years of gaming. Including the future.

Avatar image for Tangsta03

Noice, very noice! Me likey.