During CD Projekt Red's Q3 2020 earnings call, the one where the company assured shareholders the game was really, really going to release on December 10, the company's chief financial officer Piotr Nielubowicz disclosed an interesting tidbit about the volume of Cyberpunk 2077 preorders, calling them "visibly higher" than any Witcher title, referring to a slide that was shown during the earnings call.
"All the revenues we generate on Cyberpunk are not booked directly into our profit and loss account—all of them are presented in our balance sheet as deferred revenues, and we will show them upon release of the game," he said.
The deferred revenue for Q3 2020 increased by PLN 77.7 million (approx. $20.7 / £15.5 million). This is "the biggest increase of deferred revenues we ever experienced," according to Nielubowicz, and directly linked to Cyberpunk 2077 preorders. Overall, the third quarter of 2020 was the best performing in recent years for CD Projekt Red.
The game has also seen significant digital preorders. "The expected ratio between digital and physical on our sales, as we see it on preorders, digital is very strong," he said. "How far we'll go? We honestly speaking do not know, definitely farther than we had on The Witcher 3 and definitely more than 50% should come from the digital channel."
He also put that number in context by comparing it to the split between digital and physical sales for the Witcher games. "The history of Witcher 3 shows the longer the game is on the markets, the more the split shifts towards digital again. On Witcher 3, it's [the] vast majority. And on Witcher 2 and 1 it's, let's say, 99% of the revenues we generate are digital. So, this is the only direction that can be expected in that near and longer term."
This is fairly normal, as games are often bought in digital sales, and so the lifetime split between digital and physical skews towards digital as time goes on. On the whole, The Witcher franchise likely isn't going to lose popularity any time soon, as "despite being focused on Cyberpunk, we maintained popularity of the Witcher franchise during the typically dry summer season."
You can read the whole transcript of the earnings call over at SeekingAlpha.