Polish game developer CD Projekt announced a 66 percent increase in net profit for 2022, totaling 347.1 million zlotys ($81 million) compared to 209 million zlotys ($49 million) in 2021.
It also reported a revenue of 953 million zlotys ($222 million), an increase from the previous year’s 888 million zlotys ($207 million).
This growth was driven by higher sales of their most successful games — The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077. The publisher sold more than 20 million copies of Cyberpunk 2077, while the sales of The Witcher trilogy surpassed 65 million copies that year.
Despite this positive trend, the company could not replicate its success in 2020 when the release of Cyberpunk 2077 resulted in a significant revenue surge, leading to a massive annual profit of 1.15 billion zlotys ($268 million).
“It was a tough decision to make, but we also believe that it was the right one. Our intention was to cut costs early and give ourselves time for reassessment. We don’t want to carry on with projects that we’re not aligned with”
Adam Kiciński, President & CEO of CD Projekt Group
CDPR’s profit and loss report revealed a year-on-year revenue increase of seven percent, which is an impressive feat considering that the company hadn’t released a major game in two years.
The Warsaw-based company also benefited from an 18 percent decrease in operating costs due to lower expenses incurred on updating and improving Cyberpunk 2077 and research and development costs for its upcoming projects.
CD Projekt’s statement last week revealed that the write-down resulted from reassessing the project’s initial concept and potential for commercial success. The company is currently working on developing a new framework for the project.
During a conference call on Thursday, the president and joint CEO of CD Projekt, Adam Kiciński, said that although it was a “tough decision to make,” the company believed it was “the right one.”
The CEO said the company intended to “cut costs early” and allow time for a reassessment. He further mentioned that the company does not wish to continue with projects that do not align with its goals and values.
Kiciński also said that he did not anticipate any write-downs for project Polaris. “I don’t see any write-down risk […] but […] projects like Polaris or Orion, […] are our flagship, internal productions and the very core of everything what we do.” Kiciński said.
Restarting The Witcher project
During a recent financial earnings call, the developer also confirmed that the upcoming Witcher game by The Molasses Flood, codenamed Sirius, has been restarted internally with a new design and format.
The executive highlighted that the project differs significantly from the company’s well-known large-scale productions. He said that to stay competitive, the team has “to keep looking for new ways” to extend its franchises.
Kiciński also mentioned the importance of being open to reevaluating original concepts, even if development has already commenced.
Last October, CD Projekt unveiled three new games in The Witcher series — Project Sirius being one of them. Unlike their previous productions, the game will feature single-player and multiplayer gameplay. It also has a campaign with quests and a story.
The developers also announced that they had partnered with Fool’s Theory to develop a remake of the original Witcher game utilizing Unreal Engine 5. The project is still in its early stages of development.
Kiciński acknowledged that the transition to Unreal Engine 5 has not sped up The Witcher 4’s development since the team focuses on creating necessary tools and training employees on the new engine.
Despite this, CD Projekt is optimistic that future projects using Unreal Engine 5 will be smoother once they overcome the initial challenges. According to the CEO, approximately 200 people are currently working on developing The Witcher 4.
CD Projekt Red launched The Witcher in 2007. Although less refined than its sequels, it established much of the lore, mechanics and overall atmosphere that would later become the hallmark of the highly acclaimed RPG franchise.