CD Projekt Red has announced its half year financials alongside some guidance on what its various teams are working on now, and will be in the future. The figures cover the period up to June 30 2023, and show a decrease in revenue and profit (hardly surprising given the absence of new releases in this time) which CDPR reckons will turn around with the release of Cyberpunk 2077: Project Liberty.
CD Projekt CFO Piotr Nielubowicz says the company’s spent just under $40 million on development costs in the first half of the year, thanks to the “most intensive phase” of Phantom Liberty development, and ramping up the staff on the next Witcher game, codenamed Polaris. The team on another Witcher project, Sirius, has decreased in size after the project was rebooted, and the Gwent team continues to reduce as the game reaches the end of content support.
The most notable news to come from the report, however, is that following Phantom Liberty there will be no other expansions for Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt CEO Adam Kiciński said CDPR is “very happy” with pre-orders of Phantom Liberty but this marks the “last time we are working on the REDengine”. This is CDPR’s proprietary engine, which has been used for all its games so far, but will be replaced by Unreal Engine 5 for future projects. Following Phantom Liberty’s release, the staff currently working on that will be shifting to the Witcher games and project Hadar (a new IP).
The financials and desk-shuffling come shortly after CDPR announced significant layoffs in July, with about 9% of its workforce losing their jobs. At the time Kiciński reached for the favourite CEO euphemism of “agile” teams, continuing: “There’s no easy way to say this, but today we are overstaffed. We have talented people on board who are finishing their tasks and—based on current and expected project needs—we already know we don’t have other opportunities for them in the next year.”
This feels like something of a fizzling out for Cyberpunk 2077, which surely had much more ambitious post-launch plans at one stage. But it feels like CDPR spent so long firefighting after the game’s launch that pretty much everything else went by the wayside, with its multiplayer mode cancelled entirely and the announcement of an early in development sequel. At least Phantom Liberty looks like it’ll take us back to a much more polished, and fun, vision of Night City: even if it is for the last time.
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