Colin Walder, CTO of CD Projekt RED, at the event in South Korea Inven conferences told how the experience gained from developing Cyberpunk 2077 will help the next sequel to “The Witcher” (codename Polaris).
Cyberpunk 2077 was the result of revision and management errors. Upon release, the game barely worked on consoles and CD Projekt RED spent the next three years trying to regain the lost trust of players.
“Obviously morale has taken a serious hit. The main thing was to admit what happened: the result was not what we hoped for. We were determined to change everything. But it’s one thing to say it and another to do it. Actions speak louder than words.” Walder said.
After the failures of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt has learned not to set strict deadlines that provoke rework. If the team doesn’t meet the deadline, management may suggest a change in approach or an adjustment to the plan.
“Once this becomes the norm and the team sees serious efforts to prevent overtime, confidence and morale will return. People have to see to believe.”Walder explained.
Additionally, CD Projekt decided to test Polaris on consoles from the start of production, rather than near the end, as was the case with Cyberpunk 2077: “We have to keep the situation under control from the start.”.
Polaris is a massive open-world RPG and the start of a new The Witcher trilogy. Publication is not expected until 2025 at the earliest. Nobody knows what the game will be called, but CD Projekt themselves seem to be calling it The Witcher 4.