CD Projekt Red: We want to be like Rockstar

The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 developer highlights focus on small number of projects, critical success over commercial gain and industry-changing releases as following in the footsteps of Grand Theft Auto studio
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The CEO of CD Projekt Red has said that the Witcher creator plans to grow into a studio in the form of Rockstar.

Marcin Iwinski told GamesIndustry.biz that he sees the Grand Theft Auto maker as a “role model” for its interest in producing high quality games at its own pace, rather than pushing projects out the door in pursuit of a quick cash-grab.

“What Rockstar is doing is amazing,” he explained. “It's not like: 'We have to ship a game or we may not hit our financial goals.' It's: 'Here's GTA V and, by the way, it's the best game ever made.'”

Last year’s The Witcher III propelled CD Projekt Red into the limelight, with the game collecting multiple awards and ranking among the best-selling releases of 2015. But Iwinski insisted that “it's never about money” for the developer, instead placing a priority on polished titles that push the industry forward.

"Yes, we deliver results, but we always explain to our investors that we have a long-term perspective,” he continued. “They shouldn't expect us to annualise, or suddenly start releasing games just because there's a business opportunity.

“Fundamentally, The Witcher III has proven that, and right now we have a lot of credit, so we should use that and take the time to make Cyberpunk [2077] something really meaningful for the whole industry. It has to reach the next quality bar – and I'm not talking just for us, but for the market.

"If you get 8s, you don't get the sales success or commercial success you get if you do 9s. The average Metacritic for The Witcher 3 is 93, and the user reception is over 9. It's amazing."

Expanding on the firm’s next major project, which was announced back in 2012 and is yet to have a solid release period dated, Iwinski said that CD Projekt Red would continue to invest more in fewer games.

"The Witcher finished with 80 people [and] The Witcher 3 finished with 250, so Cyberpunk will probably be even more,” he predicted.

“Don't think about scale in terms of us doing 20 projects; no, we'll focus, we'll focus on certain things. We don't want to be a 10-project studio. The Rockstar model is nice."

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