CD Projekt Red's Roadmap: What to Expect from CDPR's 5 Next Games
CD Projekt Red (CDPR) is a powerhouse studio responsible for major game IPs like Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher. Although the studio has faced some rocky launches and controversy over the past decade, they've experienced a recent resurgence of popularity and success after the launch of their transmedia show Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. Now they've dropped a bombshell reveal of not 1, but 5 projects they have in the works.
Whatever your thoughts on the studio, CDPR is ready to hit the ground running. CD Projekt Red recently bought two North American studios, Digital Scapes and The Molasses Flood, to help bulk up their dev base and expand work on their games. They have also added a new CDPR studio in the USA. They've been laying out the roadwork to get these projects moving over the past couple of years, so it'll be interesting to see how their development pans out.
Below is the official list of project names and information, as well as my two cents on the direction CDPR is heading.
The newly announced projects are:
Project Orion: Orion will expand The Dark Future universe that Cyberpunk 2077 is set in and will release after the in-development Cyberpunk 2077 DLC, Phantom Liberty. This game is being developed in-house by CDPR in a new USA location. The official CDPR announcement said Orion would "take the Cyberpunk franchise further," so I'm assuming the Phantom Liberty DLC will spell V and Johnny Silverhand's retirement and help pave the road for Orion's narrative. There's a potential that CDPR could capitalize on the success of their Cyberpunk: Edgerunners show and tie parts of the show's narrative into Orion-- but given how few details we have, it's anyone's best guess what story they'll spin next.
Project Sirius: Sirius is currently in pre-production by one of CDPR's owned studios, The Molasses Flood, and takes place in the Witcher universe. Per verbatim of CDPR: "It [Sirius] will differ from our past productions, offering multiplayer gameplay on top of a single-player experience including a campaign with quests and a story." Based on the game's listed scope and CDPR's announcement language, I have doubts that this game will focus on Geralt's tale or anyone associated with him. For those curious, The Molasses Flood studio is known for its games The Flame in the Flood and Drake Hollow.
Project Polaris: Polaris is the Witcher game whose announcement sent Twitter into a frenzy back in March. Based on old teaser images, the game will focus on The School of the Lynx. This will open an interesting narrative opportunity to cameo Geralt, Lambert, and/or Eskel as all three Witchers are canonically tied to the School via the book series. That said, CDPR has harped in earlier statements that Geralt's story is complete and would not be revisited in their games. CDPR has said that Polaris "is the beginning of a new saga" and that they aim to create a new RPG trilogy out of the Polaris story.
Project Canis Majoris: Canis Majoris is a new single-player, open-world RPG based in the Witcher setting. (It will not be related to the Polaris narrative, nor will it be connected with the original trilogy.) This project is not being developed in-house or by either of the studios that CDPR has recently acquired. According to their official announcement, it will be developed by "an external studio headed by experienced developers who have worked on past Witcher games." My immediate guesses were between two new studios opened by ex-Witcher devs, Rebel Wolves and Dark Passenger. While both studios have unrelated projects in the works, both companies have professional connections to the Witcher IP.
Project Hadar: Hadar is going to be a unique IP that's been in incubation since last year and is still in the concept phase. This project has the least amount of public information available because it's still in ideation. That said, it's good to know that CDPR is planning on expanding beyond the success of their Witcher and Cyberpunk IPs and is going for something new.
Fun fact: CDPR's project names are related to stars/star systems!
- Project Orion = The Orion Constellation
- Project Sirius = The Dog Star, Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky
- Project Polaris = The North Star, Polaris
- Project Canis Majoris = Alpha Canis Majoris is another name for Sirius, the Dog Star. The project name can also relate to VY CMa, the red supergiant star in the Canis Major constellation that holds Sirius.
- Project Hadar = Beta Centauri star system, Hadar
Diehard CD Projekt Red fanboys can check out their official product outlook video, where they lay down the groundwork for these games. Those curious about it can also check out CDPR's Twitter thread where they announced these projects.
What are your thoughts on all these ambitious CD Projekt Red projects in the works?