The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red completely missed its chance to capitalize on the massive hype for the Netflix series.
Netflix isn’t the only one reaping the rewards from the success of its new fantasy series, The Witcher. Game developer CD Projekt Red has been cashing in too.
A recent NPD report revealed that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sales exploded by 554% in December 2019 – the month the Netflix show debuted – compared to the previous December.
But the company may have missed out on an even bigger windfall by failing to capitalize on the Netflix-fueled Witcher hype.
Maybe timing The Witcher 4 for a December 2019 or early 2020 release would have been way too ambitious. But they could have at least unveiled some new Wild Hunt DLC.
And it may already be too late for CD Projekt Red to correct its blunder.
Season two of the Netflix series is expected to air in 2021, so it’s virtually impossible that The Witcher 4 would be ready by then.
Before CD Projekt Red begins developing the sequel to Wild Hunt, it has to complete development on Cyberpunk 2077 – which has just been delayed to September 17. Then it will develop Cyberpunk 2077’s multiplayer gameplay, which it plans to launch after 2021.
It took three and a half years to develop The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – and that game was delayed several times. That means we may not see The Witcher 4 until at least 2024.
By 2024, the series may have ended. Netflix is notorious for canceling shows after a few seasons. Or maybe the quality drops off dramatically, and viewers lose interest.
The Witcher, which has a lengthy production cycle and pays lead actor Henry Cavill $400,000 an episode, isn’t cheap. Netflix can’t afford it to be a niche product.
No matter what happens, it looks like CD Projekt Red has already missed its best chance to leverage the series into a fat payday.