CD Projekt Red on Loot Boxes and Keeping Gamers Happy

CD Projekt Red remains one of the most beloved game developers out there, thanks to its highly-successful Witcher franchise which has sold more than 25 million copies as of last year. Back in November 2017, CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kiciński revealed that the developer’s next game, Cyberpunk 2077, will have an “online element” and “acknowledge” the games-as-service model.

This has understandably worried many gamers who believe in CD Projekt Red as one of the last true bastions against the rampant rise of loot boxes and microtransactions. Speaking to PC Gamer, CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwiński is here to put all their fears to rest.

He starts by saying that the loot box controversy last year was due to “community backlash,” as both casual and hardcore gamers alike decided to stand up against the issue. Iwiński states that all of the Polish developer’s past releases, including The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and GWENT, proves that players should always receive a polished piece of content with many hours of fun gameplay when they purchase a full-priced game. This implies that loot boxes have no place in any CD Projekt Red game.

He adds that CD Projekt Red had always ensured its games contained at least 50 to 60 hours of gameplay for the main storyline, with the addition of hundreds of hours more of side-activities. He refers to that as a fair deal, with players getting what they paid for, and that “there is no better PR than a happy gamer recommending your title to their friends.”

Iwiński further explains that additional paid content, which the developer calls Expansions, should deliver many hours of new meaningful content and gameplay. These Expansions refer to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine. CD Projekt Red also believes that DLCs are “small pieces of content which should be available for free,” which is what they did in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

He adds that even the developer’s free-to-play games like GWENT only has microtransactions like card kegs and some vanity items, where the only thing players pay for is “time and convenience.” Iwiński stresses that other developers should practice transparency and make information about their games readily available to players. That will allow players to make “well-informed decisions.”

Iwiński believes that it is good for the industry when gamers speak out against any unfair dealings by game developers and publishers. Answering the question of a Witcher sequel, he says that the developer isn’t leaving the IP behind yet but encourages players to try GWENT and its upcoming Thronebreaker single-player story campaign. However, he maintains that the developer has switched the focus to Cyberpunk 2077 in terms of big RPGs.