Following the announcement of CD Projekt's financial results for the fiscal year 2022, the studio's CEO Adam Kiciński and CFO Piotr Nielubowicz provided more details about the studio's future projects during the conference call for investors and analysts.
Kiciński talked about the transition to Unreal engine, mentioning that the studio is working on the pipeline and some developers are still learning the technology, while at the same time, there are teams working together with Epic Games on the aspects needed by CD Projekt's open-world story-driven RPGs.
Speaking of Project Polaris (a brand new mainline Witcher game that will mark the start of a new multi-game saga announced a few months ago), this transition "won't slow down, but won't accelerate" the development. On the other hand, CD Projekt expects the change to Unreal to make production smoother for the following projects. That's why CD Projekt expects to be able to release three big Witcher games in six years starting with Polaris.
We also heard that it's possible that more than half of the company's development force will be working on Polaris by the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
Incidentally, Kiciński mentioned that both Polaris and Orion (a sequel for Cyberpunk 2077) are at the very core of the studio's activity, so it's "hard to imagine" that CD Projekt may decide not to carry on with their development. He doesn't see a risk of that ever happening.
Speaking of Cyberpunk 2077, the impact of the anime Cyberpunk Edgerunners was "really visible" in the company's sales. Q4 was "super intense" and ended up being the second-best Q4 in the history of the company (following the quarter in which the game launched), driving 2022 to be the second-best year ever for CD Project in terms of financial results.
Said impact on sales was visible for "many weeks" and when sales settled down, their volume was still better than before the release of the anime.
The marketing campaign for the expansion Phantom Liberty (which starts in June), is going to be "significant" as the release of the expansion is going to be the studio's biggest event of the year. Of course, it won't be comparable to the marketing campaign for the launch of a fully new AAA game. While the campaign has been in the planning phase for a while, the executives declined to confirm or deny whether they will be present at E3 2023 in June.
CD Projekt expects the launch of the expansion to help increase sales of the main game in the long run, establish the franchise even more, and make it a long-seller. This happened in the past with The Witcher 3 and it's the effect the studio is looking for with Cyberpunk.
Cyberpunk 2077 is currently available for PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, and Xbox One.