Cyberpunk 2077 is more ambitious than Witcher 'on every single front'

CD Projekt Red talks about its lofty ambitions for the upcoming RPG and how the studio is following the Rockstar Games model.

CD Projekt Red has yet again spoken up to talk about the "ambitious" nature of its upcoming RPG, Cyberpunk 2077. In an interview with GI.biz, CEO Marcin Iwinski says the massive success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (it's shipped around 10 million copies) gives the developer more resources and the opportunity to go even bigger with Cyberpunk 2077.

The game will be "more ambitious on every single front, in the development and on the marketing side," Iwinski said.In March, CD Projekt Red's Adam Badowski described Cyberpunk 2077 as being "even better, even bigger, even more revolutionary" than The Witcher. At the time, he described the mysterious title as a "huge game" that has a magnitude "much greater" than the Witcher series.

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CD Projekt Red

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 path.

"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.

You can read the full GI.biz interview here.

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