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Cyberpunk 2077’s three-year late DLC “counterintuitive,” CEO says

The CEO of CDPR says the late Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty launch was "counterintuitive," even though the sales were still very high.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty CEO: a neon lit bar with a women with bright blue hair

The joint CEO of CD Projekt Red calls the late launch of Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty “counterintuitive” in comparison to the base game, but notes that the team has still seen the same level of success it did with the Witcher 3 DLCs in a similar timeframe.

Michał Nowakowski, joint CEO of CDPR alongside Adam Badowski, has provided more details surrounding the launch success of Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty expansion, and compared it to the success of the DLCs in the company’s other RPGs too.

By October 2023 the base game of Cyberpunk 2077 had sold around 25 million units, with CDPR announcing last week that Phantom Liberty sales hit over 5 million units since launch in September 2023. That’s an attach rate – the ratio of main units to secondary (DLC) units – of around 20% after three months.

Nowakowski puts this into perspective against the two Witcher 3 DLCs in response to a Forbes article.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty CEO: tweets from the CDPR CEO

“Three months after the release of Hearts of Stone & Blood and Wine we were at 22% and 24% attach rate. We landed between these values with Phantom Liberty in a similar timeframe.”

The difference here is that both Witcher 3 DLCs came out within a year of the base game, while Phantom Liberty came three years after launch, which was itself pretty disastrous. So while the attach rates within three months are very similar, Cyberpunk has had much more of an uphill climb to achieve it.

“To be honest, the decision to go through with the expansion so long after launch of the single-player game was a bit counterintuitive,” Nowakowski continues. “But what happened is proof to us that solid content that people are happy with is the way to go.”

I can see Nowakowski’s logic. The numbers don’t lie, even if Cyberpunk had a very different initial reception to Witcher 3. In fact, my own Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty review was glowing, in part due to how CDPR resurrected a cataclysmic image, but also because the DLC is excellent in its own right.

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Yes, CDPR is a massive company with the budget to make something like Phantom Liberty, but having it completely turn around the perception of a single-player game three years after launch is nothing short of miraculous. The Cyberpunk 2077 Ultimate Edition does come with Phantom Liberty already, so going forward it’ll be interesting to see how people buying that skews the numbers in the DLC’s favor even more.

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