CD Projekt Red: One-Hit Wonder?

Before anyone reading this grabs a pitchfork and tries to impale me and hang me at the stake, the title is a thought that I’ve had and discussed with a few friends regarding CDPR, Cyberpunk, and The Witcher series. CDPR is considered to be one of the “big boys” of the videogame industry now, thanks to The Witcher 3 – and with Cyberpunk 2077 right around the corner, they may just prove that they are worthy of that spot. But there’s a case to be made that they could, though very unlikely, be a one-hit-wonder.

CD Projekt Red has been in the game development scene since 2007, which his quite recent in the grand scheme of things, where they released The Witcher on PC. Keep in mind that this is after Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released. The game was overall well-received, however, it had some criticisms regarding the combat. Personally, I thought it was good, a bit clunky, and hasn’t aged all that well – but you can tell CDPR put a lot of care and thought into every aspect of the game.

The Witcher 2 was released in 2011 and was also widely praised. My personal opinion is that it’s fine, but I wasn’t a big fan of the combat. It felt too harsh and felt like a step down from Witcher 1. They changed it entirely rather than building what they already had and making it work better. This was the game that was famously given to Barack Obama by the Polish Prime Minister when he visited Poland. He didn’t like it…

In 2015, The Witcher 3 was released, and as I’m sure you’re aware it received thunderous praise and is considered one of the greatest RPGs of all time. Admittedly, I didn’t play it until 2018. After doing so I regretted not playing it sooner – not long afterwards I played the previous games and started reading the books. With Cyberpunk 2077 releasing next year, it got me thinking, what if Witcher 3 was just a one-hit-wonder?

Witcher 3 is the game that gave CDPR most of its attention, as the other games haven’t aged too well, while Witcher 3 still holds up nicely. The expansions they released too were also of high quality, if not even higher than the base game. In my opinion, I believe that Cyberpunk will be the decider of whether CDPR are masters of the craft, or just struck gold with Witcher 3. So far, it’s looking pretty certain that Cyberpunk will be great, as they seem to enjoy telling deep enriching stories while still focusing on the little details. Finally, even if it wasn’t that great, with GOG 2.0 you can tell they’re still going to be major players within the industry. Let’s be honest though – they know what they’re doing.

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