CD Projekt RED - Respecting Fans
Gamasutra has a very short article explaining on how CD Projekt RED respects it's fans while growing larger.
How do you keep yourself growing slowly and sustainably, rather than getting ahead of yourself?
MI: That's actually a very good question, because there are a lot of companies which run like crazy into different directions, some of them big, some of them small. We've made some mistakes like that before. We were doing a lot of things. We were expanding our distribution. We had some more stuff... there was the Rise of the White Wolf project, which didn't work out for us.
[Ed. note: Rise of the White Wolf is a cancelled version of the original Witcher for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.]
But I think the important thing is we are learning. What we've definitely learned throughout the last 20 years is that we have to focus. We focus on what we do best, and what we do best is tell stories in big, epic, mature dark fantasy settings -- or in the case of Cyberpunk, futuristic settings. But this is the thing we have to focus on. You will not see from us a lot of diverse stuff. We will not suddenly start making racing games, because I do not think that is where our strength is.
At the end of the day, what really matters is the experience which you are having with the game when it's out. And this is the one unique moment which defines us. If it's an average experience, pretty much what we are doing every day doesn't make sense.
For a lot of companies, from a short-term business perspective, the famous hit-and-run strategy, there are still a lot of people applying this. And sometimes it works! And then they are probably telling [other companies about] what they do. I just don't think it's [the way we should run our business]. So we are really deliberately choosing what we want to do, and we will do it for as long as we are happy with the effect.
Hence, for example, The Witcher 1, and the Witcher 1 Enhanced Edition, and The Witcher 2 and Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition, which for the PC players was all for free, because we think we could have done better, and here it is.
And they appreciate it. Then they tell their friends we are doing a good job and we respect them. And ultimately it will result in a sale. Some people are saying, "Why do you do that? You could have charged for it!" Yeah. But I think the value in the whole proposition is that we are honest, straightforward, and fair, and this pays back. So you can call it a business model, in a way.