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CD Projekt Becomes 2nd Largest European Game Company

CD Projekt, the Polish video game developer and publisher, has just added another accomplishment to its long list. According to a report from TechSpot, the parent company of Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher developers CD Projekt Red has been recognized as the second most valuable European video game company. The only European game company currently outpacing CD Projekt is Ubisoft. 

In just the last month, CD Projekt has seen a $1.2 billion increase in revenue, blasting it far ahead of the competition. The reasons for this accelerated success are many, but they're also extremely obvious.

The most prominent thing to heighten CD Projekt's profile in the last year has been Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher. Though that television series has caused some viewers to scratch their heads as they figure out its twisting and turning timelines and critics haven't exactly been wild about it, the show has been a huge hit with audiences.

The TV adaptation was Netflix's most-watched series debut in the streaming giant's history, with over 76 million viewers within its first month on the platform. The massive success of the television show has also led to people who never played the games seeking them out. In fact, sales of The Witcher 3 rose more than 500 percent in the month following the show's debut. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt saw a boom in concurrent players following the release of The Witcher on Netflix. It was reported that the number of people playing The Witcher 3 in December of last year rivaled the number of folks playing the much more recent Red Dead Redemption 2. 

Even more than when it was first released, The Witcher 3 has become a massive cash cow for CD Projekt. As TechSpot points out, this is also thanks in no small part to the fact that the game has made over $50 million on Steam, which means that CD Projekt now receives 80% of the game's proceeds on the platform.

Even Tesla co-founder Elon Musk jumped on board the Witcher train, asking his Twitter followers if they'd like to have the Witcher series added to the Tesla Arcade platform. Yes, it could soon become impossible to avoid Geralt of Rivia, even when we're on the road. Musk has a huge following in the tech community in particular, so his apparent interest in the property likely got quite a bit of attention from his followers. Chalk that up as yet another win for CD Projekt. Everyone seems to want to toss a coin to the Witcher.

Another thing working in the favor of The Witcher 3's sales is the recent release of the game's Nintendo Switch port. While the visuals took a bit of a downgrade, critics have responded favorably to the port. As Polygon said, "this port's developers opted for performance and playability over visual acuity, which paid off handsomely." This allowed players to take the full game on the go without sacrificing any of the gameplay that made the game such a wild success.

Even better, the Switch port features save integration between the Switch and PC copies of The Witcher 3. This allowed for many PC gamers to purchase a new copy of the game and pick up where they left off. This no doubt led to more sales from fans who were thrilled by the idea of being able to play one consistent game between platforms.

Last but not least, the rabid anticipation surrounding CD Projekt's next game is likely a huge factor in their current high profile and success. It's impossible to discuss the company without tumbling into the unstoppable hype machine that is Cyberpunk 2077

That game has seen its fair share of setbacks over the last few years, including a fairly large delay to its original April release date. Still, that hasn't stopped people from being incredibly excited to see CD Projekt's vision or the future. The inclusion of a massive Hollywood star of Keanu Reeves' caliber in Cyberpunk 2077 is likely another reason that people have sat up to pay attention to CD Projekt.

On the downside of that hype, CD Projekt has been pretty frank in discussing concerns of crunch when it comes to getting Cyberpunk 2077 finished. In short, despite the company's massive success, there's a fear that the folks working on these games will find themselves overworked right up until the final product's release. Hopefully this higher revenue and notoriety can help ease some of that stress for one of the hardest working teams in the industry.