Overall, CD Projekt Red has “amazingly large ambitions” for this game. To support its grand vision for Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red president Adam Kicinski said during an earnings presentation last month that the studio plans to at least double its headcount, which currently stands at around 400 people.
Not all will work on Cyberpunk 2077, of course, as the team members will be split into four distinct groups, some of which will “penetrate new gaming segments,” he said.
Cyberpunk 2077 puts players into a “dark future” in 2077 where advanced technologies have become “both the salvation and the curse of humanity.” The game promises a nonlinear story designed for “mature” players and is set in the metropolis of Night City. It was also revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 will feature sandbox elements, though this has not been specified.
Although The Witcher 3 was a smash hit, it didn’t end up in the top ten sales chart for 2015. Alluding to CD Projekt Red’s ambitions for Cyberpunk 2077, Kicinski said last year, “Sure, many people consider The Witcher 3 to be the best game in the world [in 2015], but this is not a game that broke any sales record.”
Also in the GI.biz interview, Iwinski talked about how CD Projekt Red is modeling itself after Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption developer Rockstar Games. That studio’s games are often highly regarded, even if it takes a long time for them to come out. CD Projekt Red sees itself on a similar patch.
“For us, it’s never about money,” Iwinski said. “Yes, we deliver results, but we always explain to our investors that we have a long-term perspective. They shouldn’t expect us to annualise, or suddenly start releasing games just because there’s a business opportunity. Fundamentally, The Witcher 3 has proven that… and right now, we have a lot of credit, so we should use that and take the time to make Cyberpunk 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 we look at our role models, what Rockstar is doing is amazing. 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.’ We’re all looking forward to Red Dead Redemption 2, because you know they’ll show something and you’ll be like, ‘Oh my god.’”
Cyberpunk 2077 is due to arrive sometime in the 2017-2021 window. Platforms have not been announced, but Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC would appear to be likely candidates.