CD Projekt RED is pretty much the holy grail to a lot of gamers. That team gave us the incredible The Witcher series and is bringing us Cyberpunk 2077 in the foreseeable future. That being said, many in the industry - both consumers and colleagues alike - respect what the crew over at CD have to say so when they weighed in on the incredibly explosive loot crate controversy, we listened.
In an age where major publishers like EA can openly say they don't think people "want" single player games anymore and that they don't want to pursue them because they can't monetize them with microtransactions, companies like CD Projekt's focus away from multiplayer is a refreshing pace. As they continue towards Cyberpunk's completion, they have a few more sentiments to add to their previously expressed thoughts on the loot crate frenzy.
CD Projekt RED's CEO Adam Kincinski recently sat down with our pals over at PC Gamer about what the upcoming "online elements" would mean for the upcoming game and if their original stance on microtransactions has changed.
"'Conversation' sounds way too nice to describe what was happening last year. I would rather call it community backlash," says Iwiński "And this time around, it wasn’t just the hardcore community, there were a lot of really pissed off gamers out there and they decided to speak up. Where we stand is quite simple and you could see it with all of our past releases—most recently The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and GWENT. If you buy a full priced game, you should get a big, polished piece of content, which gives you many, many hours of fun gameplay.
"The definition of ‘many’ may vary on a title-by-title basis, but in our case it was always 50-60+ hours of the main story-line, with up to a couple of hundred of hours of side activities—if you really wanted to max out the title. To me, this is a fair deal. You get what you paid for, plus we are always trying our best to overdeliver. There is no better PR than a happy gamer recommending your title to their friends."
Paid additional content is nothing new - in fact, it used to be something that gamers looked forward to. The CEO mentioned this when touching on how the evolution of paid content has changed through the years from something with the player's interest in mind, to something more superficial:
"Then there’s additional paid content. What we call Expansions (not DLC, mind you). Things like add-ons way back in the Baldur’s Gate era. We released two Expansions like that, and each of them was a meaningful piece of content delivering many hours of new story and gameplay. Finally, there are the DLCs. For us, they’re small pieces of content which should be available for free (and that was the case with TW3).
"The above covers full-price titles, but there’s also free-to-play territory. Here we have GWENT, where you can buy card kegs and some vanity items. Again, the deal is simple—you can play the game for free and craft your desired card collection this way, or decide to spend money and get card kegs. The choice is yours, and the only thing you pay for is time and convenience."
He also mentioned that he thinks it's good that gamers and industry folk alike are speaking up against companies that take advantage of this business model. Calling recent moves an "unfair way" to have players spend even more cash, he thinks that by the community remaining vocal that perhaps these big name companies will get back in touch with the consumers that make them: gamers.
You can read more on the interview here, but it's great to see huge influencers like this not only take a stand, but take it eloquently. As for Cyberpunk 2077, the evil geniuses have yet to give us a solid release date.