Meet the second Witcher

czerwiec 12th, 2011

Dear readers,

On May 17, the whole gaming world was buzzing about the latest release by CD Projekt – The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. The game received extensive coverage and has also seen one of the game’s main female characters on the cover of Polish Playboy Magazine. With such media hype around the new Witcher, CD Projekt made sure you’d have to live in a cave not to know the game was coming out.

source: wikipedia

image source: wikipedia

According to this infographic, it took an enormous amount of work to create the one of the most anticipated games in the history of Polish digital entertainment. Over 3 years of development work, 100 employees, 130 000 words in the script, and 24 kg of coffee may seem like impressive figures, but was it enough to shake the worldwide market?

At this point, it is hard to say. According to DI BRE analysts, the game is estimated to bring CD Projekt an operating profit of PLN 150m. Rumour has it that the sales figure for the first three years of the game’s worldwide distribution may even be as high as PLN 195m – a hefty sum for a Polish-made computer game. Some sources are even more optimistic and set the sales forecast at no less than PLN 200m.

With little competition on the domestic market, the title may not be very well prepared to face the harsh international conditions. Although many game reviewers agree that The Withcher 2 is an exceptional game, it has been proven many times that having a good product is simply not enough. CD Projekt’s board may have underestimated the power of the gaming console market, and with the ‚coming soon’ badge on its Xbox 360 version of The Witcher, the company may be missing out on a golden opportunity as the time is slowly running out. It is not like computer games have expiry dates on them, but marketing and PR budgets will not last forever, and sooner or later, some other computer game character will find itself on the Playboy cover.

Another stingy issue is the game’s demanding system requirements. Many gamers will have to upgrade their PCs in order to enjoy the true beauty of the game rather than a 10 frame /sec.  slideshow. It is as if the game that was purpose-made for the graphic processors of gaming consoles has somehow found its way to the exclusive next-generation PC market. Although powerful personal computers are quite popular in Poland, their numbers worldwide are slowly diminishing in favour of console systems.Was releasing The Witcher 2 as a game aimed mainly at PC users an appalling marketing mistake?

Not necessarily. So far, the title is selling like hotcakes. In an interview for Parkiet (a Polish weekly) quoted here, Optimus CEO Adam Kicinski, expects The Witcher 2 to continue to produce high revenue in 2012. He points out that if marketed properly, role-playing games can sell well for many years. „We have already come up with a programme aiming to keep the interest in The Witcher 2 alive,” he declares, adding that from the very start the game was designed as a saga that would have many sequels.

Polish video game market is expected to grow in value from USD 333m  to USD 383m over the next two and half years and everybody seems to want a piece of action. Aside from CD Projekt, Optimus’s other businesses, such as digital distribution of video games are finally beginning to bring in the long-awaited profits. International success of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is only going to help the domestic computer game market gain the necessary momentum to expand internationally and compete with such giants as Electronic Arts or Activision Blizzard. The first step has already been made.



  1. buzz about – brzęczeć o czymś
  2. media hype – zawierucha medialna
  3. anticipated – oczekiwany
  4. rumour has it – mówi się, że
  5. hefty – duży
  6. sales forecast – prognoza sprzedaży
  7. domestic – krajowy
  8. expiry date – data ważności / przydatności do spożycia
  9. sell like hotcakes – sprzedawać się jak ciepłe bułeczki
  10. a piece of action – udział