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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is classified as one of the greatest open-world games in history and the numbers have proven that. The title from the Polish video game developer, CD Projekt Red, recently hit gold by selling 50 million copies.

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt

With this number, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is now closing the gap of other best-selling titles like Mario Kart 8 + Deluxe and Red Dead Redemption 2. Both games have sold more than 50 million copies as of 2022 as reported by their respective developers.

Notwithstanding the incredible feat The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has achieved, it is still behind Tetris which remains the highest-selling video game of all time with over 520 million copies sold since its launch. That number is closely followed by Minecraft with over 238 million copies and Grand Theft Auto V with over 170 million copies.

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Despite the booming numbers, CD Projekt Red posted a first-quarter 19% revenue decline to $41.4 million year-over-year. However, its net profit spiked slightly to $16.8 million year-over-year within the same period.

In a conference call after the 2023 Q1 earnings results, CEO Adam Kicinski said the company will not be acquired by Sony. That finally put to rest a rumor that made rounds the previous weekend.

Background on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt world, story, and characters were creatively crafted over three games. The third is considered by many gamers as the best in the series. It was even endorsed by popular movie star Henry Cavill who loved the game so much that he couldn’t resist the offer to play Geralt in the Netflix series.

The game was released in 2015 as a sequel to the 2011 game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings across multiple platforms including Xbox One, Series X|S, PS4, and PC. It was later released on Nintendo Switch in October 2019 and on PS5 on 26 January 2023.

The game’s success spiraled after its re-release and the Netflix series. There are reports that CD Projekt Red may be working on the next installment of the game which is codenamed “Polaris”. The report said the new project will kick off an entirely new trilogy.

Details of the upcoming game have remained sketchy with some gamers speculating that Ciri may become the main character since she was the second protagonist in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

The recent milestone reached by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is likely linked to the release of its new-gen update towards the end of 2022. The update came with revamped frame rate, graphics, and other improvements which allowed gamers to re-experience the game in a whole new way.

Although PC gamers experienced some issues with the update, the worst of them all was quickly fixed by CD Projekt Red. However, some issues lingered on all the platforms. The Patch 4.02 released on 13 March 2023 is believed to have made the game the best it has ever been.

The patch ironed out frame rate issues included in Patch 4.01 and improved ray tracing across all the platforms. It also added refraction to water bodies making rivers and lakes look more satisfying than ever.

A brief insight into CD Projekt Red

Established in 2002, CD Projekt Red now has over 1,000 employees scattered across eight countries. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and other games in the series were based on a book series with the same name. the Witcher was first launched in 2007 and has since sold millions of copies and landed a Netflix adaptation.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt remains CD Projekt Red’s best-selling video game, dwarfing Cyberpunk 2077 which has sold more than 20 million copies. There are speculations that Cyberpunk 2077 would have performed better but for its notorious bugs and poor development at release in 2020. Essentially, many considered it half-baked.

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After waves of backlash from the gaming community, CD Projekt Red was able to turn the game around through patches. Eventually, the company was able to hit its second-best revenue year since its inception in the 2022 financial year. The entire Witcher series is believed to have sold over 75 million copies.

CD Projekt Red developers break away to form Blank

Blank Studio was formed by a team that broke out of CD Projekt Red
Blank Studio was formed by a team that broke out of CD Projekt Red (Photo credit: Blank)

A group of developers that worked on Cyberpunk 2077 and Witcher 3 have formed a new studio called Blank with the ambition of working on games that prioritize “emotion, story, and craftsmanship”. Mateusz Kanik has been part of CD Projekt Red since 2006 and played a major role in all The Witcher games and Cyberpunk 2077.

Kanik left the company in 2022 after 15 long years. He has now teamed up with Marcin Jefimow and Jędrzej Mróz (Cyberpunk 2077 production directors) and Mikołaj Marchewka (Rookiez from Warsaw) to form Blank.

They were joined by other The Witcher team members including Michał Dobrowolski (design director), Grzegorz Przybyś (art director), and Artur Ganszyniec (lead story designer). The ten-member team hopes to expand to over 60 and plans to change the game industry.

The core team from CD Projekt Red that formed Blank (Photo credit: Blank)
The core team from CD Projekt Red that formed Blank (Photo credit: Blank)

One of the things that Blank wants to change is to give ownership to the creative team rather than a single individual. The team also wants to promote the work-life balance of its members rather than setting stiff deadlines and would emphasize quality over quantity.

The team at Blank is already working on their first game. Nothing is known about the game at the moment but Blank mentioned that although they have participated in crafting huge open world games, they now want to focus on smaller goals.

The new game will be a character-driven story in an apocalyptic setting—and that is all the details we know for now. The new company promised to share new details about the upcoming game at the right time. With their wealth of experience, there would be high expectations for their first project.

Are you eager to see what the new project from Blank will look like? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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