During CD Projekt Red's company strategy video yesterday, the studio covered all sorts of ways in which they feel they got things wrong during Cyberpunk 2077's development. Not just development, but Cyberpunk's marketing too. In the future, they say they'll wait until much closer to a game's launch to start firing up trailers and demos and in depth looks at gameplay. That means if there's another big Witcher game out there on the horizon, we may not hear about it for quite a while yet. Honestly? Good.
"We have learned many things from our marketing and PR campaigns for Cyberpunk 2077," they say during their segment on how they plan to handle external communication. "Going forward, our campaigns will be much shorter. We'll wait until much closer to a game's launch before we start showing things like trailers, demos, or going in depth about mechanics, etc."
In case the timeline has blurred together for you like it has for me, Cyberpunk's first big gameplay reveal was that 48 minute preview back in 2018. At the time, they said, "Cyberpunk 2077 is deep in development. We have a lot of design ideas, a lot of mechanics being playtested, but we don't know what we'll end up with at launch. This makes publishing videos like what you just saw risky."
They judged the risk worth it back then, but apparently it now looks different in hindsight. On top of that, last year was a bit of a special case. Game delays related to Covid-19 wound up pushing Cyberpunk 2077's final launch date even further away from all of the footage CDPR had started sharing.
"Of course that doesn't mean that small teasers for new projects will stop," they add in yesterday's video. "If it makes sense, we will still tease future projects at an early stage, with the actual campaign waiting until closer to launch."
So what the heck is next? CDPR said in the same video that they're reconsidering plans for Cyberpunk 2077's multiplayer. They also mention shifting to annual roadmaps for the studio, rather than attempting to publicly lay out five years of planned work at a time. For this year, CDPR reiterate their Cyberpunk 2077 free DLCs and continued patches. On the Witcher side of the company, they've got a mobile AR game in the works, their standalone Gwent card game, and a next-gen (now-gen) update for The Witcher 3.
From the sound of it, this all means that we won't be hearing about a hypothetical big new Witcher game for quite some time. I don't know about you lot, but I'm quite alright with that. If CDPR go back for another big singleplayer Witcher romp—which sort of seems inevitable—I'd rather not be tired of hearing about it by the time it's in my hands.