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Default CD Projekt - Conference Summary

November 19th, 2009, 13:56
Apparently CD Projekt organised a conference to detail their merger with Optimus. Ausir attended for Polygamia and sends word of this summary. Here's a snip to whet your appetite:
  • According to CD Projekt, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is to be a "breakthrough RPG like Fallout 3" that should get over 90% score at Metacritic
  • The Witcher 2 development team currently consists of ca. 80 people, both from CD Projekt Red and from Metropolis Software, whose FPS titled They is currently "on hold"
  • The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf, the console port of the first game, is not canceled but suspended, and will likely be made after all. This time with the use of CD Projekt's own technology, not an engine outsourced from a third party. However, it might not happen until after the second game is finished.
  • The Witcher 2 uses CD Projekt's internal, multi-platform engine, which is focused not only on the renderer and physics, but on non-linear quest design. CD Projekt founders believe that it will be in the vanguard among game engines, and especially RPG engines.
More information.

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November 19th, 2009, 13:56
Actually, I didn't attend for Polygamia, Toread did. I just wrote the article based on his recordings of the conference and his interview with CDP's founders.
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November 19th, 2009, 14:34
"breakthrough RPG like Fallout 3" - now i have a fear
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November 19th, 2009, 14:49
80 people crew … i don't like that for some reason.

TW 1 used easy to uninstall TAGES as DRM , i don't get how DRM will be an issue .
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November 19th, 2009, 15:29
Fallout 3 did not in my opinion deserve the over 90% scores that it got. It was a good game, but a score around 8-8.5/10 would have been better, I find.

The first game, Witcher 1, was indeed a breakthrough game. It proved that in this day and age, a deep story based rpg could hold its own and sell about 1,5 million copies….

I'm a bit worried that this time around more focus will be on the combat side and not on making quest for this game, Wicther 2.

I don't get why people want a rating of over 90% ? A good game is still a good game, whether it gets a rating of 80/100 or 90/100…

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November 19th, 2009, 16:31
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
I don't get why people want a rating of over 90% ? A good game is still a good game, whether it gets a rating of 80/100 or 90/100…
Because for AAA games, 90-100 is good. 80-90 is mediocre. It's the way the rating system works, and game developers and journalists have long since stopped pretending otherwise.

And there's this whole bizarre importance companies attach to metacritic averages, despite the site running on a nebulous average-calculation system. Oh well.
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November 19th, 2009, 17:13
"Non-linear quest design" sounds interesting.

It's always been that way for games press/industry BN, even back in the Your Sinclair & Zzap 64 days. Who, in their right mind, is going to want their game to score badly?
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November 19th, 2009, 17:21
"breakthrough RPG like Fallout 3"
You mean it's going to rape the lore, be an action game (and not an cRPG), have retarded dialogues and story and have a level-scalling?

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November 19th, 2009, 17:28
I think they should stick to the formula of the first Witcher and not look at the commercial supah hits.
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November 19th, 2009, 17:50
Then, all they need to do is make a console game, that's all it takes for most of the game press to give 90% + scores. Oh wait…I get it, now.

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November 19th, 2009, 18:19
Originally Posted by woges View Post
It's always been that way for games press/industry BN, even back in the Your Sinclair & Zzap 64 days. Who, in their right mind, is going to want their game to score badly?
No one, obviously, but when someone like Kevin Saunders seems to feel as if he failed because MotB scores "only" in the 80s range on Metacritic, I do feel something somewhere is wonky. Both the spiraling upwards of scores and the difference between scoring AAA and non-AAA games does disturb me somewhat.

Originally Posted by gobbo
I think they should stick to the formula of the first Witcher and not look at the commercial supah hits.
Should they? Ok, without revealing more of what I know about CD:P from inside sources than I already have publicly, let me try and give an angle on CD:P's position here:

First off, the Witcher is not the unambiguous success some people would think it is. Its costs - by Polish standards - went through the roof. Fact is that the lower price-point for Polish games and the massive piracy (due to the lower price-point still being more than many can afford) are usually compensated by lower development cost, even for the AAA titles, due to lower overhead (wages, infrastructure costs). I forget how much TW ended up costing but it was too much to hope to win back, something CD:P admitted by noting this game was meant to establish a franchise more than make a profit.
And that's exactly what happened, most of the Witcher's million+ sales came from Poland and Russia, neither of which have a very high price-point for games. TW did cover its own production costs, I think (not sure), but nothing more.

So, franchise established, what does CD:P do? They borrow a metric ton of money and start up their franchise extensions: console port TW:Rise of the White Wolf, sequel TW:Assassins of Kings and a third TW project I'll not name, though I'll note it was fused into TW2 even before RotWW. All well and good if perhaps overly ambitious, but then the financial crisis hit. Poland's been doing surprisingly well during this crisis, but even so CD:P was hit and hard, creating major flow-of-cash problems…

That's when the crumbling started we've been witnessing. CD:P canned the third TW project mergings its assets into TW2 and letting quite a bit of the staff working on it go, got into contract issues with RotWW's developers (the details of which I do not know), sold gram.pl after initially wanting to shut it down, slowly downsized Metropolis into a skeleton crew either merging their crew into the TW2 crew/CD:P staff or letting them go, until finally suspending They and closing the last of Metropolis recently. At least none of it has affected GOG, at least as far as I know (I'm not sure).

The merger with Optimus and hopefully money flows that come from there should enable Red to finish The Witcher 2. But they need it to be a hit, perhaps even more of one than the Witcher was. The interesting proposition here is that dumbing it down for NA sales might be a riskier proposition than sticking to the TW formula and relying on Eastern European sales. So who knows how they'll handle it? But their interest in supah hit titles is certainly understandable.
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November 19th, 2009, 18:32
You don't need much knowledge about the whole situation to understand that if The Witcher 2 won't be the hit the company will close, that much is clear after they canceled the console version of the Witcher. I don't care if the Witcher will turn into an action game (wasn't a good rpg in the first place, but they delivered the atmosphere) as long as it keeps the lore and the word created by Sapkowski as it should be.

Thanks for the information Brother None.
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November 19th, 2009, 19:12
Originally Posted by Explodin' Gobbo View Post
…that much is clear after they canceled the console version of the Witcher.
Suspended is the correct word I believe… This is not BIS' Torn.

Anyway, Brother None thanks for the info. One thing I can't agree - you note most of sales in Poland and Russia… But I bought my EE box here in Croatia.
Also there is more I expect from "the franchise". Wiedzimin the movie (or miniseries) on imdb got slashed. I haven't seen it but if it's really that bad, then it's time to make a classy Wiedzimin movie/series. And there is no reasom to make it in Poland. How about giving a job to someone who can't miss, for example Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Spiderman, Drag me to hell, Xena series, upcoming Spartacus series, just check the trailer willya please)? Or it's a job for Guillermo del Toro?
But there is something Poland has an ultimate worldwide force to do. The name of that force is: Platige (image). IMO CDProjekt should give 'em to make animated series or an animated movie. I bet Baginski would make a better job than Cameron with his expensive upcoming Avatar movie. And I bet it would sell all over the world like plague. Let's face it, his Fallen Art is more Fallout than Fallout3 will ever be.
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November 19th, 2009, 19:27
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Anyway, Brother None thanks for the info. One thing I can't agree - you note most of sales in Poland and Russia… But I bought my EE box here in Croatia.
I know it's big in neighbouring countries as well, which is why I mentioned Eastern Europe later, but Russia and Poland were by far the biggest audiences. If I recall correctly, of their ~million sales 350k were in Poland and 250k in Russia, or perhaps vice versa (someone will have the numbers).

As for EE, that's another thing: that thing cost millions to make. I appreciate the sentiment, but I'd be curious if it made its money back…probably not? What a moneysink that was.

Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Also there is more I expect from "the franchise".
Sure, but that's not directly related to CD:P and their establishing a VG TW franchise.

Originally Posted by joxer View Post
IMO CDProjekt should give 'em to make animated series or an animated movie.
CD:P give 'em? CD:P doesn't own the Witcher license outside of videogaming as far as I know.
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November 19th, 2009, 19:38
Wiedzimin the movie (or miniseries) on imdb got slashed.
And it got slashed rightly. The tv series "Wiedźmin" is bad and the movie is horrible (actually the movie are just random scenes from tv series that don't make any sense for someone who didn't read books). Just forget about this, or if you really feel like watching it - rent it for really cheap price or get it for free. The only good side of tv series/movie is good role-playing of Jaskier (by Zbigniew Zamachowski) and Geralt (Michał Żebrowski).

it's time to make a classy Wiedzimin movie/series. And there is no reasom to make it in Poland.
If not in Poland then where? I doubt anyone abroad would like to make movie based on Sapkowski's books. Americans? No way, they prefer something like Lord of the Rings kinds of fantasy movies (at least directors). West Europe? I don't think anyone would be interested as well. The only country where I see possibility for movie based on Wiedźmin is Russia. Still I doubt it will ever be realised

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November 19th, 2009, 19:46
Originally Posted by Konjad View Post
If not in Poland then where? I doubt anyone abroad would like to make movie based on Sapkowski's books. Americans? No way, they prefer something like Lord of the Rings kinds of fantasy movies (at least directors). West Europe? I don't think anyone would be interested as well. The only country where I see possibility for movie based on Wiedźmin is Russia. Still I doubt it will ever be realised




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November 19th, 2009, 19:48
CD give 'em? CD doesn't own the Witcher license outside of videogaming as far as I know.
They licensed comic book rights from Sapkowski as well. Movie rights are most likely with Sapkowski now.
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November 19th, 2009, 21:23
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
No one, obviously, but when someone like Kevin Saunders seems to feel as if he failed because MotB scores "only" in the 80s range on Metacritic, I do feel something somewhere is wonky. Both the spiraling upwards of scores and the difference between scoring AAA and non-AAA games does disturb me somewhat.
It doesn't sound like he's disappointed with MotB, rather, he's disappointed with himself/the press for not rating it higher. Even GB only gave it an 8.2 when it is clearly a pretty special expansion pack.
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November 19th, 2009, 21:35
Originally Posted by woges View Post
It doesn't sound like he's disappointed with MotB, rather, he's disappointed with himself/the press for not rating it higher. Even GB only gave it an 8.2 when it is clearly a pretty special expansion pack.
That's what I meant. Maybe I'm too much of an underachiever, but if I had a straight-rating press, I'd be pretty happy to go into the 80s range.

Hell, I myself, as a reviewer, don't go into the 80s range that easily. Let alone the 90s. Even Dragon Age, easily RPGotY, might not hit the 90s if I were reviewing it (I'm not).

And yeah, that 8.2 rating looked weird after that interview, but is pretty high by GB standards, even though Carter habitually rates a lot higher than I do. Personally, and I've said this before, I loathe ratings and would just like to dump 'em from GB wholesale. Or at least just give them over to the head editor so they're more consistent.
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November 19th, 2009, 21:57
Last time I saw a costing for TW, it was USD$10M, which is an extraordinary amount of money for a Polish development, I would have thought.

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