In a brief tweet posted earlier today, CD Projekt’s Investor Relations Twitter account shared how much cash the company raked in during Q1 2021. The good news: CD Projekt was in the green with a 32.5 million PLN (or $8.68 million) profit. The bad news: that’s less than half of what they made in their record Q1 just last year.
CD Projekt made a profit in Q1 2021, but it came in well below Q1 2020’s record.
CD Projekt making less in Q1 2021 over Q1 2020 wouldn’t be that much of a story if not for one minor detail that separates the two years: the controversial launch of Cyberpunk 2077. By no means is Cyberpunk 2077 a flop, at least not in th3 traditional sense (like Square-Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers), but its botched release and the ensuing fallout have evidently had an impact on long-term sales of the sci-fi RPG.
In Q1 of 2020 CD Projekt made record 92 million PLN ($22.9 million) in net profit, driven largely by the resurging success of the aging The Witcher 3. On paper, Q1 2021 should have been an even better quarter for CD Projekt thanks to the release of their much advertised and hyped Cyberpunk 2077. There’s no need to beat a dead horse here, but suffice to say the game doesn’t appear to have the same legs as Geralt’s final virtual outing.
It appears CD Projekt frontloaded all of their Cyberpunk 2077 sales thanks to their pre-launch marketing throughout 2020, which saw the title draw in over 13.7 million in reported sales. Pre-orders alone made up over 8 million of those initial sales. The title made back its development costs with profits to spare; Cyberpunk is an objective success. That said, the poor reception has hobbled the game’s long-term outlook if the drop in Q1 profits is any indication. For reference, sales have dropped precipitously month to month, as compared to the latest Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed titles that debuted around the same time.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of 2021 goes for CD Projekt. Far as we know, the company doesn’t have anything major brewing at the moment, so they’ll need to coast on the continued success of their existing titles for the remainder of the year. Geralt and company have clearly carried the company through dry spells before, but without another Cyberpunk to drive hype or sales it’s hard to see CD Projekt’s 2021 exceeding their 2020.
- This article was updated on:May 31st, 2021