CD Projekt’s senior vice president of business development Michal Nowakowski appeared during the pre-recorded strategy video today to share how CD Projekt can avoid the mistakes with regards to marketing it had with Cyberpunk 2077.Aside from the long marketing campaign, Cyberpunk 2077 sent mixed messaging regarding gameplay elements, like full life-paths and 24-day NPC cycles that ultimately didn’t make the final release version. Perhaps most glaringly, CD Projekt didn’t share what Cyberpunk 2077 looked like on non-PC hardware such as the PS4 and Xbox One until closer to launch, and even then many say PS4 gameplay videos didn’t prepare them for the actual state of the game on last-gen consoles.
All this will change, according to CD Projekt. Marketing campaigns will be much shorter and the company says it will wait until its games are closer to launch “before showing things like trailers, demos, or going in-depth about mechanics.”
CD Projekt also says “when campaigns do start we aim to properly manage expectations across all platforms. This means focusing communication on polished game footage, not concepts,” and showcase game footage on all platforms they will be released on.
The company says it will still release teasers early in a game’s development “if it makes sense,” but the actual marketing campaign won’t kick-off until much closer to launch. Compare this strategy to something like what Bethesda did with Fallout 4 which was announced in June 2015 and released later that year.
A major shift will be how CD Projekt maps out its plans for the public. In the past, the company released five-year plans but going forward CD Projekt will shift to annual roadmaps to be more “agile.”
For 2021 for example, CD Projekt’s roadmap includes next-gen update, free DLC, and patches and updates for Cyberpunk 2077. On the Witcher side of things, there are plans for a next-gen update, more Gwent development, and The Witcher: Monster Slayer AR game. In 2022 CD Projekt will begin parallel AAA game development.
All this is to say CD Projekt felt the marketing for Cyberpunk 2077 backfired and many of its changes announced today are direct responses to that campaign. Shorter marketing cycles versus long ones, and more focus on confirmed, polished gameplay across all platforms verse concepts and ideas that could ultimately be cut.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor.