CD Projekt have certainly endeared themselves to fans by bucking the trends of the day, first by pursuing old-school RPGs with The Witcher, then by selling DRM-free digital games through GOG, then by sticking with massive single-player games and meaty expansions for The Witcher 3. That’s not changing to pursue the profits of loot boxes, either.
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“Where we stand is quite simple and you could see it with all of our past releases,” CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński tells PC Gamer, “most recently The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Gwent. If you buy a full priced game, you should get a big, polished piece of content, which gives you many, many hours of fun gameplay.” Iwiński says that The Witcher 3’s major expansions show a focus on major pieces of content with new story and gameplay. The studio views DLC for its full price titles as a number of free updates throughout the game’s life, with Iwiński saying “There is no better PR than a happy gamer recommending your title to their friends.”
Of course, Gwent is a free-to-play game and as such has a somewhat different pricing structure, charging you for card kegs and vanity items if you don’t want to grind out those drops for free. “The choice is yours, and the only thing you pay for is time and convenience.”
As for how the outcry over loot boxes has shaken out in the last few months, Iwiński says “Things often look great from a spreadsheet perspective, but decision makers often aren’t asking themselves the question of ‘How would gamers feel, or is this offer a fair one?’ Gamers are striking back, and I really hope this will change our industry for the better.”
There had been some concern over the studio’s upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 leaning more toward a modern service model than their other games, but it seems those fears were unfounded, and now we’ve got even more affirmation of that.