Cyberpunk publisher CD Projekt stock rises after announcing new games

An indication promoting the sport Cyberpunk 2077.

Mike Kemp | In Pictures by way of Getty Images

Shares of Polish sport publisher CD Projekt rose sharply Wednesday after the corporate introduced a number of main games it is engaged on within the subsequent few years, together with new installments in its widespread Cyberpunk and Witcher franchises.

In a method replace late Tuesday, CD Projekt revealed a slew of new titles at the moment in improvement, together with a sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 codenamed “Orion.” The sport “will take the Cyberpunk franchise further and continue harnessing the potential of this dark future universe,” the agency stated.

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Shares of CD Projekt had been up round 7% Wednesday afternoon, having earlier surged as a lot as 9% on the market open.

It comes after a collection of mishaps which have plagued the corporate over the past two years. After a lot hype, Cyberpunk 2077’s launch in 2020 was met with rage from players who skilled bugs and poor efficiency on older consoles. The sport’s launch got here the identical yr that new machines from Sony and Microsoft had been being launched.

Backlash to the blunder was so fierce that at one level Sony eliminated the sport from its digital PlayStation Store. Cyberpunk 2077 was later reinstated on the service.

Since then, CD Projekt made a number of updates and enhancements to Cyberpunk 2077, whereas the discharge of an anime TV collection based mostly on the futuristic sci-fi franchise, “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,” has helped revive curiosity within the sport.

CD Projekt says it has offered 20 million copies of its Cyberpunk 2077 sport so far, and over 65 million copies of all three games in its Witcher franchise.

Last yr, the corporate suffered a ransomware assault that noticed hackers steal the supply code to a number of of its games — together with The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 — and promote it on the darkish internet. Notably, CD Projekt on the time refused to pay the ransom demanded by hackers.

Despite a surge in CD Projekt’s share value Wednesday, the stock is down greater than 40% for the reason that begin of the yr.

Here had been another highlights from CD Projekt’s technique replace:

  • The firm proposed a stock-based incentive program for workers aimed toward attracting — and retaining — prime improvement expertise. According to Chief Financial Officer Piotr Nielubowicz, this system will probably be “similar to those offered by our top global competitors.”
  • It is opening a new improvement studio in Boston, Massachusetts, to assist increase its footprint in North America.
  • CD Projekt plans to purchase as much as 100 million Polish zlotys ($21 million) price of its personal stock from buyers in a share buyback plan.

The firm additionally revealed its co-founder and joint-CEO Marcin Iwinski will probably be stepping down after 28 years within the position. Iwinski will proceed on as joint-CEO till the tip of 2022, after which he’ll turn out to be chairman of the supervisory board.

He will stay “a major shareholder” and “active and engaged” in supporting the board, in line with a press release Tuesday.

Packed pipeline of games

Three new games within the Witcher role-playing sport collection are anticipated to launch within the coming years, together with a new installment within the franchise codenamed “Polaris.” Previously introduced by the corporate in March, the sport is a follow-up to the agency’s highly-acclaimed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It is at the moment in pre-production.

CD Projekt didn’t specify a timeline for when the new games would come out however stated its three new authentic Witcher titles would launch inside a six-year interval after Polaris’ launch.

The firm plans to push into on-line multiplayer with a few of its future titles, together with one other sport within the Witcher franchise codenamed “Sirius.”

“We are planning to add multiplayer to some of our future titles, and we are planning to do more in the area of TV and film,” stated Michal Nowakowski, CD Projekt’s senior vice chairman of enterprise improvement.

CD Projekt’s multiplayer ambitions have a whole lot of potential as a result of increased engagement in multiplayer,” Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank, wrote in a note Wednesday.

CD Projekt also announced a totally new game it is working on beyond its main two franchises, codenamed Hadar. The firm did not give away much detail but said it “at the moment within the conceptual part.”

It was an uncommon show of transparency within the games business. Big publishers typically stay tight-lipped about deliberate main releases up till they’re able to current some visuals and gameplay to followers, sometimes at giant commerce reveals.

Companies like Sony and Nintendo have more and more eschewed showy business conferences just like the E3 expo in favor of smaller-scale updates. After being cancelled as soon as in 2020 after which changed with a digital various in 2021, E3 was once more scrapped this yr by organizers, who cited well being dangers surrounding Covid-19.

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