A 23 year-old game studio are growing faster than 100s of startups: CD Projekt

The Witcher 3

The Financial Times, that estimable business newspaper, have published a table of Europe’s 1000 fastest-growing companies. Pirouetting in amongst the tech startups and Internet media consultancies are Witcher developers CD Projekt, which is a bit of a surprise for a 20-year-old games developer.

The Witcher III deservedly claims a place on our list of the best RPGs on PC.

CD Projekt are ranked #66 in the list. From 2012-15, their revenues have grown by a pretty incredible 1,259%. No decimal point – that’s four figures.

It’s also significant that CD Projekt are already a bigger company than many of the others in the top 100 – with revenues of almost €167 million in 2015, only two companies out of the 65 which grew faster than them made more money overall. CD Projekt are also the only company in the top 100 to have been founded in the ‘90s (1994, to be exact), so most of their faster-growing rivals are young whippersnappers, with no guarantee of sustaining that growth. For such a long-established company to be growing as quickly as a startup is a notable exception to the general rule.

It’s tempting to chalk this up to the rampant success of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – which, it was recently announced, has raked in $250 million (about €233 million) all by itself. But remember that game only released in 2015 and it has had a pretty long tail, so at most it’ll have given CD Projekt a spike at the tail end of the period when these revenues were recorded.

In another exception, CD Projekt are the only games developer in the top 100 apart from FEO Media, a Swedish mobile studio. They’re ranked #15, with revenue growth of 3,419% from their foundation in 2012 to 2015 (though, at €13.5 million, their total revenue is less than 10% of CD Projekt’s).

CD Projekt are sharing the wealth. In November last year, they announced they will contribute to a $20 million fund to support innovative indie developers in Poland.