Witcher 3's next-gen re-release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X could help push 5 more years of sales, CD Projekt RED hopes.
Witcher 3's next-gen re-release in 2021 could lead to a decade of strong sales--or at least that's what CD Projekt RED wants. The beloved RPG has already sparked 5 years worth of strong sales across consoles, PC, and Switch, and now CDPR is shooting for five more.
The 2021 re-release will mark the fourth The Witcher 3 launch; first in 2015, then again in 2016 as a GOTY edition, then once more in 2019 on Switch. This time CDPR is pushing the game past its limits with new higher-end CPU, GPU, and storage tech.
In a recent conference call, CD Projekt president Adam Kicinski gives insight on why The Witcher 3's next-gen re-release is happening. It's all about extending sales, which makes sense given how infrequent CDPR releases its games.
4-5 years happens to be part of the internal development timeline CDPR gives to develop its games ("CD PROJEKT RED usually takes between 2 and 4 years to produce a game," the company said in a new report), and Kicinski has confirmed a new singleplayer game is in the works outside of Cyberpunk 2077.
Considering CDPR only has two franchises, the other game is likely another Witcher game.
"But of course this will also be a new product for new gamers on each platform, so at a certain point next year we'll be selling a new version of The Witcher 3 with all those enhancement and upgrades. The key thing behind this decision is to extend the lifecycle of the game," CD Projekt president Adam Kicinski said in the call.
"The Witcher 3 is still selling great and we believe that having it updated on par with the most recent games--or the games that will be released--is a great advantage in terms of sales over the next who knows how many years? 5? 4? So, in the long term it will be a meaningful addition to our back catalogue.
"Expect a full blown next gen bells and whistles version with great features of the upcoming generation. And ofcourse we will release it on PC as well. I believe that it will greatly enhance the longevity of this amazing game."
The Witcher 3 is still a sales revenue monster. The game has accounted for the lion's share of the franchise's 50 million sales to date, and remains one of the best-regarded games ever made.
Based on CDPR's past data, The Witcher 3 made over $120 million in two months from sales and helped skyrocket the company's earnings to 796 million PLN, the highest point in its history.
The 2020 period is set to break 2015's historic highs. CDPR's 1H revenues are already strong at 363.99 million PLN, almost half of 2015's earnings. Cyberpunk 2077's release in November during the Q4 period is expected to dramatically spike 2020 earnings and carry over in 2021, and then the Witcher 3 re-release will launch sometime later in 2021 as well.
There's no word on when exactly the next-gen version launches, but we do know it'll feature ray tracing, higher-end textures and resolution, and ultra-fast loading times thanks to the built-in PCIe SSD tech of both consoles.
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