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CD Projekt aims to start production phase of ‘Polaris’ in 2024

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FILE PHOTO: Boxes with CD Projekt’s game Cyberpunk 2077 are displayed in Warsaw, Poland, Dec. 14, 2020. (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo)

CD Projekt to expand ‘Witcher’ universe with new game

By Adrianna Ebert | REUTERS

Polish video game maker CD Projekt aims to start the production phase of the next game in its blockbuster “Witcher” series this year, the company’s new joint CEO Adam Badowski told Reuters.

“We’d like to have around 400 people working on the project by the middle of the year”, Badowski said.

Badowski, a company veteran, took the helm at CD Projekt along with Michal Nowakowski at the start of the year.

The project, called “Polaris”, is a new trilogy expanding the universe of the “Witcher” medieval fantasy franchise, which has sold over 75 million copies since the first game was released in 2007.

CD Projekt did not give a premiere date for the first game in the project, but analysts expect it to debut in 2026 or 2027.
That leaves the company without major game release in the next couple of years.

After a bug-ridden launch of another game “Cyberpunk 2077” in late 2020, CD Projekt has been focused on transforming its studio. It has announced plans for several new games and said in October that Cyberpunk’s sales had exceeded 25 million copies.

A sequel to Cyberpunk, code-named “Orion”, is in the conceptual phase, Badowski said. CD Projekt expects to have about 80 people working on the project by the end of the year.

Nowakowski added the company was considering including multi-player elements, but would not discuss details.
He said wage pressures had eased and the company expected hiring in its Polish studios to be “rather low”, but it would continue expanding its North America studio.

He added CD Projekt had formed a team to look into how it could use AI.

“We think that AI is something that can help improve certain processes in game production, but not replace people,” he said.

Speaking about lessons learnt from Cyberpunk’s release, Badowski said the company now had better control of the game production process.

“We believe that in the future we’ll avoid a premiere like the one we faced with Cyberpunk 2077”, Badowski said.

Editor’s Note: Reporting by Adrianna Ebert; Editing by Mark Potter

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