Cyberpunk 2077's controversial history doesn’t seem to have dampened CD Projekt Red’s ambitions at all. The Polish development company announced a sequel is coming at some point, currently codenamed Project Orion. It also has three Witcher projects in the works, including an entire sequel trilogy planned to follow up on the success of The Witcher 3.
The full slate of CDPR’s upcoming release plans were teased in a new strategy presentation shared on Twitter, and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how the studio that continues to promise no more crunch is going to deliver on all of it before the PlayStation 7 comes out. Here’s everything it revealed today:
- Project Hadar - new IP
- Project Sirius - Witcher game from The Molasses Flood
- Project Polaris - new Witcher trilogy from CDPR
- Project Canis Majoris - story-driven open world Witcher RPG from a third party
- Phantom Liberty - Cyberpunk 2077 expansion from CDPR
- Project Orion - Cyberpunk 2077 sequel from CDPR
Hardly any details are known about any of these games, but the clear takeaway is that CDPR is going to double down on the Witcher and Cyberpunk licenses while still trying to make something entirely new on the side. Around 350 people are currently working on the Phantom Liberty DLC due out in 2023. The follow-up, Orion, will be set in the same universe. Sirius will be an “innovative take on The Witcher universe” by The Molasses Flood, best known for the roguelike adventure, The Flame in the Flood. Polaris, meanwhile, will effectively be The Witcher 4 and currently has around 160 developers involved in it. And Canis Majoris will be a separate Witcher series led by an unnamed third-party studio led by ex-Witcher designers.
A time table for when these grand plans will come to fruition was also thin. The new Witcher trilogy is planned for release across a six-year period but is still in pre-production, while Hadar remains in the conceptual phase. And Orion, the Cyberpunk 2077 sequel, doesn’t appear to be in any stage of production yet. It’s worth remembering that CDPR first announced Cyberpunk 2077 back in 2012, and released its first trailer in 2013, nearly a decade before the game actually launched.
CDPR also outlined its intent to bring multiplayer to its upcoming games, something that had been rumored for Cyberpunk 2077 but ultimately fell out along its reportedly rushed and rocky development and post-launch period. “Introducing multiplayer to most of our new games to enrich the single-player experience,” one slide in the presentation reads. While live service games and microtransactions make up the lions are of revenue at a lot of gaming publishers these days, it remains to be seen how those mechanics can be smoothly integrated into the hulking single-player adventures most fans come to CDPR for.
As part of these new plans, the company will also expand with a new studio in based in North America, and joint CEO and co-founder Marcin Iwiński announced he will be stepping down from the role to focus on being an advisor to the board of directors. After reports of forced overtime and messy development on Cyberpunk 2077, CDPR pledged (for the second time) to work more sustainably and humanly on future projects.
Finally, in case you were worried there was anything CDPR wouldn’t be doing in the future, the company announced it also plans to expand further into mobile gaming and and TV, building off the success of The Witcher and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners on Netflix, the latter of which helped to almost single-handedly kickstart Cyberpunk 2077's recent revival. The presentation is no doubt largely aimed at exciting investors and bringing in new job applications, but I’m sure it will also give fans plenty to speculate about as they wait years for CDPR’s next game.