According to CD Projekt RED’s latest financial results, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has successfully sold six million copies, both physical and digital, within the game’s first six weeks of release. The financial statement further outlines that CD Projekt RED has grossed over 237 million PLN ($63.3 million USD) in net profits for the first half of 2015, which will rise with the future releases of DLC that will come out later in the year. Along with these financial statements, CD Projekt RED has also released a heartwarming letter from their Studio Head.
The norm in the gaming industry today is being built around microtransactions (play to win), costly dlc ( $2.99 for a character skin pack), lousy shoehorned multiplayer modes, numerous game editions, and exclusive pre-order bonuses that differ depending on if you get them from Best Buy or Gamestop, all gimmicks of the trade. CD Projekt RED decided to turn the tides and go old school by deciding to give players just what they want and deserve, and a little extra.
It may not seem that surprising that The Witcher 3 sold so many copies for a game that reviewed very well upon its initial release and gives off game of the year contender vibes; although, there are a few things to take into consideration which make this news even more impressive.
The Witcher 3 is a completely single player experience that gave player’s over 200 hours of exploration. On top of that, CD Projekt RED has additionally taken a step against the norm and offered players 16 free pieces of dlc, which were recently rounded up with a new game plus mode last week. The game had no shoehorned multiplayer, no exclusive pre-order bonuses, and only one wicked special edition instead of several editions of a game (ranging from limited, special, collector’s, and etc.) that gave us awesome tangible items instead of downloadable skins and add-ons that should have been in the game in the first place. The physical copy of the game carries a few surprises as well. I remember going to pick up my copy upon Witcher 3’s release and being pleasantly surprised to find the game comes with a slip cover, something I have yet to see on current gen and have rarely seen on last gen games. Upon opening the container I found a compendium booklet, stickers, map, CD soundtrack, and a thank you note from the developer; All the ingredients for other games to release in a pricey limited edition have instead been thrown in for free. The Witcher 3 reminds me of a simpler time when player’s bought a product and received the entire game: character skins, add ons, multiplayer maps included all on the disc for one price.
Most AAA games these days are usually structured around payment models, multiplayer rehashing, and marketing methods with the player’s enjoyment being the least important factor. On the other hand, the smaller CD Projekt RED developer took four years to release a passion project with the player’s enjoyment on the top of their list of priorities. The Witcher 3 has gone the opposite route of most AAA games and proven that all these gimmicks, like micro transactions, do not have to be a thing of the future. I personally feel that CD Projekt RED and The Witcher 3 have set a new and high standard for players to hold AAA games and developers. After realizing all this, the 6 million milestone that CD Projekt RED has accomplished feels all the more triumphant and well deserved. All I have left to say now is thank you, CD Projekt RED.
Matthew Owczarz is a Canadian writer for The Game Bolt.