CD Projekt RED: "We are honest, straightforward, and fair, and this pays back"
In a world of downloadable content and micro transactions, CD Projekt RED is an anomaly. While the studio’s mostly known for crafting the Witcher franchise, it’s also garnered the love and respect of its fans by releasing exorbitant amounts of extra content for free. It might not make much sense from a traditional business perspective, but CD Projekt RED co-founder Marcin Iwinksi sees things differently.
In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Iwinksi acknowledged the importance of showing goodwill to its customers, thus garnering a supportive and loyal fan base. Iwinski used the free Enhanced Editions of The Witcher 1 and 2 as examples of how good faith pays off in the long run.
“[People] appreciate it,” Iwinski said. “Then they tell their friends we are doing a good job and we respect them. And ultimately it will result in a sale. Some people are saying, ‘Why do you do that? You could have charged for it!’ Yeah. But I think the value in the whole proposition is that we are honest, straightforward, and fair, and this pays back. So you can call it a business model, in a way.”
Iwinski also advocated the importance of being a self-financed developer and publisher, saying negotiating a game’s development with an outside party is often a detriment to the game’s quality.
“I'm not very good [at compromising],” Iwinski said. “And I think you cannot make great creative decisions if you have to follow different interests in different directions. And of course, I do not want to sound too idealistic, because at the end of the day, we have to sell games. But the game comes first, and this is really crucial for us. A lot of people in the industry I have met are forgetting about it.”