CD Projekt Sees Rockstar as Game Development Role Models

Niko Bellic is pretty much a Witcher if you think about it.

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A recent insightful article from gamesindustry.biz gives us a rare look into the minds behind The Witcher series – CD Projekt.

Mostly, it outlines the journey that the studio had on its way to the success it sees today. A statement that highlighted this progress the most was pointing out that The Witcher 3 managed to sell four million copies in two weeks, compared to the eight years it took Witcher 1 and 2 to reach six million.

An old infographic once released by CD Projekt in the months before Witcher 3‘s release helps support the mindset this article says the developers have. Upward thinking, with exponential growth.

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“Fundamentally, it’s the obsession and focus on quality… If you get 8s, you don’t get the sales success or commercial success you get if you do 9s. The average Metacritic for The Witcher 3 is 93, and the user reception is over 9. It’s amazing.” says CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwiński.

When it came to the topic of financial independence, Marcin hits on a key point. “We would have sacrificed part of our independence, then we’d need all these stupid discussions about why this needs to be part of the game and why that shouldn’t.” he says. “We want to deliver our vision in terms of the creativity and the development, but also in terms of how we release the game; how we price it, what kind of value is in the additional content, how many language versions we ship around the world, how we talk directly to gamers in these markets. That’s part of our value.”

When it comes to the final product, both CD Projekt and Rockstar certainly make it worth the wait. They see this one opportunity to show gamers around the world something truly fantastic and powerful.

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The idea of similarities between Grand Theft Auto and The Witcher is definitely worth exploring. Beyond the vast and populated open worlds, they both manage to tell compelling and intensely charged stories within them.

If we were to compare Niko Bellic of Grand Theft Auto IV, with Geralt of The Witcher series, I think these characters capture the same common essence and spirit that makes their adventures riveting.

They’re both flawed and act like humans do. Geralt goes around the continent slaying monsters and bounty hunting, grabbing any spare coin he can to get by until the next job.  Niko slays rival gangs, thugs, and bad men. Accepting that crime is a necessity of his survival, but also the evils that lurk in the criminal underworld.

They’re both men of nature. Geralt was raised to be in tune with himself and the beasts/creatures that he battles. Supernaturally enhanced senses make the Wilderness and his instincts a deadly weapon. Niko was a product of the Balkans, molded by an era of political turmoil and war. He robbed and killed people because that was the only sense of normalcy he had, striving to maintain dominance in the concrete jungle of Liberty City.

After spending dozens of hours combing the open world of The Witcher 3, you manage to finally find Ciri at what seems like the farthest edges of reality. Under that furrowed brow, Geralt shows his passion and love for finally reuniting what he considered family. While one is reunited with loved ones, Grand Theft Auto IV‘s endings have them taken away from Niko Bellic. Depending on what you choose, he loses his flesh and blood cousin Roman, or his lover and soulmate Kate McReary. The normally cynical and emotionally unmovable Niko Bellic goes after the killer in a fit of blind rage and fury that was built up inside for all those years of crime life.

What I’m trying to say is – if these two series had a crossover, the entire universe would melt from the amount of energy it would contain.

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