Logo in use since May 2014
|Traded as||WSE: CDR|
|Owner||Marcin Iwiński & Michał Kiciński (23.5%)|
Piotr Nielubowicz (6.38%)
Number of employees
CD Projekt S.A. (Polish: [ˌt͡sɛˈdɛ ˈprɔjɛkt] ) is a Polish video game developer, publisher and distributor based in Warsaw, founded in May 1994 by Marcin Iwiński and Michał Kiciński. Iwiński and Kiciński were video game retailers before they founded the company, which initially acted as a distributor of foreign video games for the domestic market. The department responsible for developing original games, CD Projekt Red, best known for The Witcher series, was formed in 2002. In 2008, CD Projekt launched the digital distribution service GOG.com (originally as Good Old Games).
A video game developer is a software developer that specializes in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with employee responsibilities split between individual disciplines, such as programming, design, art, testing, etc. Most game development companies have video game publisher financial and usually marketing support. Self-funded developers are known as independent or indie developers and usually make indie games.
A video game publisher is a company that publishes video games that have been developed either internally by the publisher or externally by a video game developer. As with book publishers or publishers of DVD movies, video game publishers are responsible for their product's manufacturing and marketing, including market research and all aspects of advertising.
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is officially estimated at 1.780 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres (199.6 sq mi), while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres (2,355.39 sq mi). Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, and a significant cultural, political and economic hub. Its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The company began by translating major Western video-game releases into Polish, collaborating with Interplay Entertainment for two Baldur's Gate games. CD Projekt was working on the PC version of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance when Interplay experienced financial difficulties. The game was cancelled and the company decided to reuse the code for their own video game. It became The Witcher , a video game based on the works of Andrzej Sapkowski.
Interplay Entertainment Corp. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Los Angeles. The company was founded in November 1983 as Interplay Productions by developers Brian Fargo, Jay Patel, Troy Worrell and Bill Heineman, as well as investor Chris Wells. As a developer, Interplay is best known as the creator of the Fallout series and as a publisher for the Baldur's Gate and Descent series.
Baldur's Gate is a fantasy role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published in 1998 by Interplay Entertainment. It is the first game in the Baldur's Gate series and takes place in the Forgotten Realms, a high fantasy campaign setting, using a modified version of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) 2nd edition rules. It was the first game to use the Infinity Engine for its graphics, with Interplay using the engine for other Forgotten Realms-licensed games, including the Icewind Dale series, as well as other licensed D&D campaign worlds such as Planescape: Torment. The game's story focuses on players controlling a protagonist of their own creation who finds themselves travelling across the Sword Coast alongside a party of companions, to unravel the mystery surrounding a sudden iron crisis affecting the region and attempting to discover the culprits behind it, while uncovering dark secrets about their origins and dealing with attempts on their life.
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is a 2001 action role-playing/hack and slash video game developed by Snowblind Studios for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It was ported to GameCube by High Voltage Software, and to the Game Boy Advance by Magic Pockets. The game was published for PlayStation, Xbox and GameCube by Black Isle Studios, a division of Interplay Entertainment, and distributed by Vivendi Universal Games. The Game Boy Advance version was published by DSI Games. CD Projekt was developing a version for PC, but it was ultimately cancelled.
After the release of The Witcher, CD Projekt worked on a console port called The Witcher: White Wolf; but development issues and increasing costs almost led the company to the brink of bankruptcy. CD Projekt later released The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings in 2011 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015, with the latter winning various Game of the Year awards. The company's upcoming project is Cyberpunk 2077 , an open-world role-playing game based on the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game system, for which it opened a new division in Wrocław.
Development hell, development limbo, or production hell is media industry jargon for a film, video game, television program, screenplay, software application, concept, or idea that remains in development for an especially long time before it progresses to production, if it ever does. Projects in development hell are not officially cancelled, but work on them slows down or stops.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is an action role-playing hack and slash video game developed by CD Projekt Red for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, OS X, and Linux. The game was released for Microsoft Windows in May 2011, for Xbox 360 and OS X in 2012, and for Linux in 2014.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a 2015 action role-playing game developed and published by CD Projekt, based on The Witcher series of fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. It is the sequel to the 2011 game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Played in an open world with a third-person perspective, players control protagonist Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter known as a witcher, who is looking for his missing adopted daughter on the run from the Wild Hunt: an otherworldly force determined to capture and use her powers. Players battle the game's many dangers with weapons and magic, interact with non-player characters, and complete main-story and side quests to acquire experience points and gold, which are used to increase Geralt's abilities and purchase equipment. Its central story has several endings, determined by the player's choices at certain points in the game.
A video game distribution service, GOG.com was established by CD Projekt to help players find old games. Its mission is to offer games free of digital rights management (DRM) to players and its service was expanded to cover new AAA and independent games. The company opposes DRM in video games, and hopes that free downloadable content becomes an industry standard. CD Projekt considers maintaining their independence one of their most important strategies. By September 2017, it was the largest publicly traded video game company in Poland, worth about US$2.3 billion. It joined WIG20, an index of the 20 largest companies on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, in March 2018.
GOG.com is a digital distribution platform for video games and films. It is operated by GOG Sp. z o.o., a wholly owned subsidiary of CD Projekt based in Warsaw, Poland. GOG.com delivers DRM-free video games through its digital platform for Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux. In March 2012, it began selling more recent titles such as Alan Wake, Assassin's Creed and the Metro Redux series, among many others.
Digital rights management (DRM) tools or technological protection measures (TPM) are a set of access control technologies for restricting the use of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works. DRM technologies try to control the use, modification, and distribution of copyrighted works, as well as systems within devices that enforce these policies.
AAA is an informal classification used for video games produced and distributed by a mid-sized or major publisher, typically having higher development and marketing budgets. AAA is analogous to the film industry term "blockbuster".
CD Projekt was founded in May 1994 by Marcin Iwiński and Michał Kiciński.According to Iwiński, although he enjoyed playing video games as a child they were scarce in Poland (which was in the Soviet Union's sphere of influence at the time). Polish copyright law did not exist and Iwiński, in high school, sold cracked copies of Western video games at a Warsaw marketplace. In high school Iwiński met Kiciński, who became his business partner; at that time, Kiciński also sold video games.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
The Iron Curtain was in the first place a non-physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991. The term symbolizes the efforts by the Soviet Union (USSR) to block itself and its satellite states from open contact with the West and its allied states. On the east side of the Iron Curtain were the countries that were connected to or influenced by the Soviet Union, while on the west side were the countries that were allied to the United States or nominally neutral. Separate international economic and military alliances were developed on each side of the Iron Curtain.
Copyright is a form of intellectual property that grants the creator of an original creative work an exclusive legal right to determine whether and under what conditions this original work may be copied and used by others, usually for a limited term of years. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright on ideas is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.
Wanting to conduct business legitimately, Iwiński and Kiciński began importing games from US retailers and were the first importers of CD-ROM games.After Poland's transition to a primarily market-based economy in the early 90s, they founded their own company. Iwiński and Kiciński founded CD Projekt in the second quarter of 1994. With only $2,000, they used a friend's flat as a rent-free office.
A CD-ROM is a pre-pressed optical compact disc that contains data. Computers can read—but not write to or erase—CD-ROMs, i.e. it is a type of read-only memory.
A market economy is an economic system in which the decisions regarding investment, production and distribution are guided by the price signals created by the forces of supply and demand. The major characteristic of a market economy is the existence of factor markets that play a dominant role in the allocation of capital and the factors of production.
Generally speaking, a calendar year begins on the New Year's Day of the given calendar system and ends on the day before the following New Year's Day, and thus consists of a whole number of days. A year can also be measured by starting on any other named day of the calendar, and ending on the day before this named day in the following year. This may be termed a "year's time", but not a "calendar year". To reconcile the calendar year with the astronomical cycle certain years contain extra days.
When CD Projekt was founded, their biggest challenge was overcoming video game piracy. The company was one of the first in Poland to localize games; according to Iwiński, most of their products were sold to "mom-and-pop shops". CD Projekt began partial localization for developers such as Seven Stars and Leryx-LongSoft in 1996, and full-scale localization a year later.According to Iwiński, one of their first successful localization titles was for Ace Ventura ; whereas previous localizations had only sold copies in the hundreds, Ace Ventura sold in the thousands, establishing the success of their localization approach. With their methods affirmed, CD Projekt approached BioWare and Interplay Entertainment for the Polish localization of Baldur's Gate . They expected the title to become popular in Poland, and felt that no retailer would be able to translate the text from English to Polish. To increase the title's popularity in Poland, CD Projekt added items to the game's packaging and hired well-known Polish actors to voice its characters. Their first attempt was successful, with 18,000 units shipped on the game's release day (higher than the average shipments of other games at the time).
The company continued to work with Interplay after the release of Baldur's Gate, collaborating on a PC port for the sequel Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance . To develop the port, CD Projekt hired Sebastian Zieliński (who had developed Mortyr 2093-1944 ) and Adam Badowski. Six months after development began, Interplay experienced financial problems and cancelled the PC version. CD Projekt continued to localize other games after Dark Alliance's cancellation, and received Business Gazelle awards in 2003 and 2004.
Enthusiasm for game distribution ebbed, and CD Projekt's founders wondered if the company should continue as a distributor or a game developer after Dark Alliance's cancellation. With the game cancelled and its code owned by CD Projekt, the company planned to use them to develop their first original game. They intended to develop a game series based on Andrzej Sapkowski's Wiedźmin books (which were popular in Poland) and the author accepted the company's development proposal. The franchise rights had been sold to a Polish mobile game studio, but the studio had not worked on anything related to the franchise and CD Projekt acquired the rights to the Wiedźmin franchise. According to Iwiński, he and Kiciński had no idea how to develop a video game at that time.
To develop the game, the company formed a video-game development studio (CD Projekt Red Sp. z o.o., headed by Sebastian Zieliński) in Łódź on 2002. The studio made a demonstration game, which Adam Badowski called "a piece of crap" in retrospect. The demo was a role-playing game with a top-down perspective, similar to Dark Alliance and Diablo , and used the game engine which powered Mortyr.Iwiński and Kiciński pitched the demo to a number of publishers, without success. The Łódź office closed and the staff, except for Zieliński, moved to the Warsaw headquarters.
Zieliński left the company, and Kiciński headed the project. Although the game's development continued, the demo was abandoned. According to CD Projekt, the development team had different ideas for the game and lacked overall direction; as a result, it was returned to the drawing board in 2003.The team, unfamiliar with video-game development, spent nearly two years organising production. They received assistance from BioWare, who helped promote the game at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo by offering CD Projekt space in their booth next to Jade Empire . BioWare also licensed their Aurora game engine to the company.
The game's budget exceeded expectations. The original 15-person development team expanded to about 100, at a cost of 20 million złoty. According to Iwiński, content was removed from the game for budgetary reasons but the characters' personalities were retained; however, there was difficulty in translating the game's Polish text into English.Atari agreed to publish the game. After five years of development, the game brought Wiedźmin to an international audience, and so the company came up with an English name: The Witcher . The Witcher was released in 2007 to generally positive reviews.
Sales were satisfactory, and the development of sequels began almost immediately after The Witcher's release. The team began the design work for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings , and experimented with consoles to develop a new engine for The Witcher 3. Their development was halted when the team began work on The Witcher: White Wolf , a console version of The Witcher. Although they collaborated with French studio Widescreen Games for the console port, it entered development limbo. Widescreen demanded more manpower, money and time to develop the title, complaining that they were not being paid; according to Iwiński, CD Projekt paid them more than their own staff members. The team cancelled the project, suspending its development. Unhappy with the decision, Atari demanded that CD Projekt repay them for funding the console port development and Iwiński agreed that Atari would be the North American publisher of the sequel of The Witcher 2. CD Projekt acquired Metropolis Software in 2008.
The dispute over White Wolf was costly; the company faced bankruptcy,with the financial crisis of 2007–08 as a contributing factor. To stay afloat, the team decided to focus on The Witcher 2 with the Witcher 3 engine. When the engine (known as Red Engine) was finished, the game could be ported to other consoles. To develop The Witcher 2, the company suspended development of Metropolis' first-person shooter, titled They. After three-and-a-half years of development, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was released in 2011 to critical praise and sales of more than 1.7 million copies.
After The Witcher 2 CD Projekt wanted to develop an open-world game of a quality similar to their other games, and the company wanted to add features to avoid criticism that it was Witcher 2.5. They wanted to push the game's graphics boundaries, releasing it only for the PC and eighth-generation consoles. This triggered debate on the team, some of whom wanted to release the game for older consoles to maximise profit. million copies in its first six weeks and giving the studio a profit of 236 million złoty ($62.5 million) in the first half of 2015. The team released 16 free content downloads and two paid expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine . CD Projekt released two other The Witcher games: The Witcher Adventure (a board game for PC, iOS and Android) and The Witcher: Battle Arena, a multiplayer online battle arena game for iOS and Android.The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt took three-and-a-half years to develop and cost over $81 million. After multiple delays, it was released in May 2015 to critical praise. Wild Hunt was commercially successful, selling six
In December 2015, CD Projekt Red won the "Developer of the Year" award at The Game Awards 2015.In March 2016, the company announced that they had another role-playing game in development, and that the title is scheduled to be released in the period 2017 to 2021. They also announced plans for expansion, where the Red division will expand two-fold. At E3 2016, the company announced Gwent: The Witcher Card Game , based on the popular card game known as Gwent from The Witcher 3.
In March 2018, the opening of a new studio in Wrocław, supporting the development of Cyberpunk 2077, was announced. Acquired from a studio called Strange New Things, it is headed by former Techland COO Pawel Zawodny and composed of other ex-Techland, IO Interactive, and CD Projekt Red employees.In August 2018, CD Projekt established Spokko, a development studio focused on mobile gaming.
In 2008, the company introduced Good Old Games, a distribution service with a digital rights management-free strategy.The service aims to help players find "good old games", preserving old games. To do so, the team needed to unravel licensing issues for defunct developers or negotiate with publishers for distribution rights. To recover old code for conversion to modern platforms, they had to use retail versions or second-hand games. CD Projekt partnered with small developers and large publishers, including Activision, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft, to broaden the service's portfolio of games to triple-A and independent video games.
Despite suspicions that it was a "doomed project", according to managing director Guillaume Rambourg, it has expanded since its introduction. as of June 2015 [update] , GOG.com had seen 690,000 units of CD Projekt Red's game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt redeemed through the service, more than the second largest digital seller Steam (approx. 580,000 units ) and all other PC digital distribution services combined. Income from GOG.com (known internally as CD Projekt Blue) accrues to CD Projekt Red.Indeed,
CD Projekt Red developed three Witcher titles before deciding that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt would be the final game in the series with Geralt. as of 2017 [update] , the series had sold over 33 million.Regarding the future of the Witcher series, Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, game director of The Witcher 3, stated in May 2016 that he hoped to continue working with the series sometime in the future, but had nothing planned at the time.
The company's next project is Cyberpunk 2077 , an open-world role-playing game based on the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop system created by Mike Pondsmith. Introduced in May 2012 with an international development team,it was described by CD Projekt as "far bigger" than The Witcher 3. Another CD Projekt office in Kraków, which had assisted the development of CD Projekt's previous games, is expected to develop their own games in the future. CD Projekt Red is planning to release another AAA title by 2021.
|2007||The Witcher||macOS, Microsoft Windows||Enhanced Edition released in 2008|
|2011||The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings||Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360||Enhanced Edition released in 2012|
|2014||The Witcher Adventure Game||Android, iOS, macOS, Microsoft Windows||Co-developed with Can Explode|
|2015||The Witcher Battle Arena||Android, iOS||Co-developed with Fuero Games|
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One|
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Hearts of Stone||Expansion pack to The Witcher 3|
|2016||The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine|
|2018||Gwent: The Witcher Card Game||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One||Spinoff of a card game featured in The Witcher 3|
|Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales||Standalone release of the former single-player campaign for Gwent, originally known as Gwent: Thronebreaker|
They decided to focus on a few aspects and assess the value of other features. This approach, they hope, helps to maintain the quality of their games.The company focused on the development of role-playing games, with the team working on established franchises with a fan base and introducing lesser-known franchises to a wide audience. When the team develops an open-world game, they prioritise quest design over the size of its world in the belief that having choices to make encourages players to immerse themselves in the game.
The team makes the players their priority; according to Iwiński, support from players "drives" the company(which considers themselves "rebels"). The team focuses on creative strategy over business strategy. CD Projekt Red opposes the inclusion of digital-rights-management technology in video games and software. The company believes that DRM is ineffective in halting software piracy, based on data from sales of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. CD Projekt Red found that their initial release (which included DRM technology) was pirated over 4.5 million times; their DRM-free re-release was pirated far less, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was released without DRM technology. The team, believing that free downloadable content should be an industry standard, published 16 free DLC releases for Wild Hunt as an example to others in the industry.
According to Adam Badowski, head of CD Projekt Red, maintaining its independence is a company priority. They avoided becoming a subsidiary of another company for financial and creative freedom and ownership of their projects.Electronic Arts was rumoured to be attempting to acquire CD Projekt. This was quickly denied by Iwiński, who said that maintaining the company's independence is something he "will be fighting for". One of the core values of the company is open communication. As such, financial details on development, marketing and release costs are freely published.
The company aims to follow Rockstar Games' business model, where the company works on a single project with a large team, and avoids working on multiple projects at the same time.
R. Talsorian Games, based in Renton, Washington, is a publisher of role-playing game books and accessories. Their titles include the Cyberpunk 2020 series and for anime-related titles such as Dragonball Z. Their major product line today is the Fuzion system.
Michael Alyn Pondsmith is an American roleplaying, board, and video game designer. He is best known for his work for the publisher R. Talsorian Games, where he developed a majority of the company's role-playing game lines since the company's founding in 1982. Pondsmith is credited as an author of several RPG lines, including Mekton (1984), Cyberpunk (1988) and Castle Falkenstein (1994). He also contributed to the Forgotten Realms and Oriental Adventures lines of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, worked in various capacities on video games, and authored or co-created several board games. Pondsmith also worked as an instructor at the DigiPen Institute of Technology.
The Witcher is an action role-playing game developed by CD Projekt Red and published by Atari, based on the novel series of The Witcher by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The story takes place in a medieval fantasy world and follows Geralt of Rivia, one of a few traveling monster hunters who have supernatural powers, known as Witchers. The game's system of moral choices as part of the storyline was noted for its time-delayed consequences and lack of black-and-white morality.
Geralt of Rivia is a fictional character, the protagonist of The Witcher series of short stories and novels by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, as well as its adaptations, which include film, TV series, comic books and video games. Geralt, one of the few remaining witchers on the Continent, is a traveling monster slayer for hire, mutated and trained from an early age to slay deadly beasts.
Litil Divil is a video game released by Gremlin Graphics Software in 1993.
Metropolis Software was a Polish video game developer founded in 1992 by high school friends Adrian Chmielarz and Grzegorz Miechowski. The studio gained success in Europe with their titles.
Cyberpunk is a literary subgenre of science fiction.
Cyberpunk 2077 is an upcoming role-playing video game developed and published by CD Projekt, releasing for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on 16 April 2020. Adapted from the 1988 tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020, it is set fifty-seven years later in dystopian Night City, California, an open world with six distinct regions. In a first-person perspective, players assume the role of the customisable mercenary V, who can reach prominence in three character classes by applying experience points to stat upgrades. V has an arsenal of ranged weapons and options for melee combat.
REDengine is a game engine developed by CD Projekt Red exclusively for their nonlinear role-playing video games. It is the replacement of the Aurora Engine CD Projekt Red had previously licensed from BioWare for the development of The Witcher.
Marcin Przybyłowicz is a Polish composer and sound designer. He is mostly known for his contributions as music director and lead composer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and as the sound designer for The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. He also composed the score to a Polish historical television drama series Korona królów produced by Telewizja Polska.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is a free-to-play digital collectible card game developed and published by CD Projekt for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2018. The game is derived from the card game of the same name featured in Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher novels and playable in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt video game.
The Witcher Battle Arena was a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by CD Projekt Red. The game released for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices in 2015, and was playable until the end of that year when the servers were closed.
The Witcher Adventure Game is a board game set in the universe of The Witcher. A tabletop version was created by CD Projekt Red and Fantasy Flight Games. A digital video game version was developed by CD Projekt Red and Can Explode Games.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is a role-playing video game developed by CD Projekt Red. It is a spin-off of The Witcher video game franchise, and acts as the standalone single-player component for Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. It was initially conceived as a single-player campaign for Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, but repurposed as a standalone game in August 2018. Thronebreaker was released on 23 October 2018 for Microsoft Windows and on 4 December 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.