CD Projekt still hasn't said whether or not it'll follow up The Witcher 3 with another big Witcher RPG, but did seem to imply as much this week. In a slide from its latest investor update, the company declared that "parallel AAA development" will start in 2022. The text is set over artwork from The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077—pretty suggestive!
The future isn't quite as clear as the image makes it seem, though. CD Projekt president and joint CEO Adam Kiciński did say in the latest strategy update video that the company will work on two "AAA" games simultaneously by growing its operations (it bought a Canadian studio, as one step), but he didn't mention any plans for a new Witcher game, and definitely didn't indicate plans for a new Cyberpunk game. In fact, CD Projekt is backing off of designs for a Cyberpunk multiplayer game.
"Previously we hinted that our next triple-A would be a multiplayer Cyberpunk game, but we have decided to reconsider this plan," Kiciński said in the video.
CD Projekt SVP of business development Michał Nowakowski also said that, compared to past marketing campaigns, CD Projekt won't start showing trailers and demos until its games are "much closer" to launch. It may still tease things, but don't expect another years-long series of trailers and demos. If there is a new Witcher RPG in the works, CD Projekt isn't saying for now.
As for what is announced, the current Cyberpunk roadmap includes "patches and updates," free DLC, and the next gen update. CD Projekt is also working on a next gen update for The Witcher 3, and its other Witcher plans include more work on mobile game Monster Slayer and "further development of Gwent." That's all that has actually been announced.
There's still a decent chance that one of those AAA projects is a Witcher game. It probably won't be The Witcher 4, as CD Projekt has said that the current RPG series is a trilogy and only a trilogy, but the company did negotiate a new deal with Witcher author Andrzej Sapkowski back in 2019, and has said in the past that it doesn't plan to stop making Witcher stuff.
While the strategy update expresses that CD Projekt is more than a singleplayer RPG developer—it's now into TV, music, merchandise, mobile games, and multiplayer modes—big RPGs remain the basis for all that other stuff. In investor update terminology, "world-class AAA RPGs" are the first elements in CD Projekt's Cyberpunk and Witcher "franchise flywheels." (Where would we be without franchise flywheels?)
That in mind, there's surely more than Cyberpunk DLC and a Witcher 3 next-gen update on the way, and CD Projekt has hinted at other RPG projects before. The specifics of previous teases may not be very reliable anymore, though, with Cyberpunk multiplayer as one example of something that won't pan out as expected. And with CD Projekt becoming more cautious about early announcements and years-long marketing periods, we may not know what's ahead until it's nearly upon us.
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