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CD Projekt Red isn’t slowing down, for better or worse

The past year-and-a-half havs not been kind to Polish developer CD Projekt Red. The studio — part of CD Projekt Group, a company that also owns the online games marketplace GOG — faced enormous criticism with the release of Cyberpunk 2077 and has since been busy fixing the game. In the time since, the studio has faced setback after setback, with its announcements leaning more toward a project being delayed rather than good news for fans.

Outwardly though, the company is appearing to shake off the dust of Cyberpunk 2077. While its short-term ambitions are pointed exclusively at past releases, the studio has future plans. It’s looking forward — and in a big way. A recent earnings report from the company revealed that it’s working on numerous unannounced projects, one of which is being co-developed by another studio, The Molasses Flood, and will be based on one of CD Projekt Red’s franchises.

Flooding the pipeline

CD Projekt Red’s current content plans seek to reinforce what the studio already has out there. Cyberpunk 2077 recently received a current-gen update and will get its first major story expansion next year. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is also set to get its own current-gen update, though its release date has been postponed indefinitely following CD Projekt Red’s decision to bring development in-house.

The Polish studio also has a sequel to The Witcher 3 in the works. The game doesn’t have a title yet and was only teased with a screenshot showing a Witcher’s talisman half-buried beneath the snow, but it was enough to intrigue fans. The Witcher franchise is massively popular, and a sequel that follows The Witcher 3, which felt like a conclusion of longtime protagonist Geralt’s story, has a lot to live up to.

Let’s be clear here: CD Projekt Red can’t afford another Cyberpunk 2077, especially in regard to a new Witcher title. Goodwill toward the studio is already at an all-time low because of Cyberpunk and a botched release for a new Witcher game would send any consumer faith crashing into the ground.

A talisman depicting a dog with glowing red eyes lays in the snow.
A new entry in the Witcher franchise is in development at CD Projekt Red.

It’s somewhat baffling that on top of those projects (as well as a new single-player Gwent spinoff), CD Projekt Red has even more games in the works. According to the company’s latest investors report, it’s currently doing “conceptual and research work on unannounced projects” and has another unannounced game in development at The Molasses Flood.

Here’s a quick recap if you haven’t heard of The Molasses Flood before: It’s a small studio based in Boston that’s owned by CD Projekt Group. Founded in 2014, The Molasses Flood has only developed two games. Its third will be a new entry in one of CD Projekt Red’s franchises.

While it’s not clear how many unannounced projects CD Projekt Red is internally developing, today’s investor relations call makes it sound like a studio spread thin. Of course, sometimes investors need to hear the right things. It’s entirely possible that the studio is toying with some smaller ideas — another free DLC for Cyberpunk 2077 or something on a similar scale — and passing that off as “conceptual and research work” for an unannounced project.

If that’s not the case and the studio really does have more large-scale projects in the works, it’s fair to ask if the studio has its focus set on the right spots. It’s good for CD Projekt Red to move forward; it can’t be held up by Cyberpunk 2077 forever. But its next thing has to be enormous, and so far, its next thing is a sequel to The Witcher 3. Fans can only hope that project is getting all of the attention and resources it needs, and that CD Projekt Red isn’t being spread thin.

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