Witcher dev eschews “hit-and-run” money making

Wednesday, 17 July 2013 23:33 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Banking on short-term gains may be profitable, but CD Projekt RED co-founder Marcin Iwinski believes sticking to core values pays off in the end.

“For a lot of companies, from a short-term business perspective, the famous hit-and-run strategy, there are still a lot of people applying this,” Iwinski told Gamasutra.

“We are really deliberately choosing what we want to do, and we will do it for as long as we are happy with the effect.”

As an example of the kinds of things CD Projekt does which aren’t about reaping a quick profit, Iwinski pointed to the significantly improved Enhanced Editions of both The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, which it released for free.

“They appreciate it. Then they tell their friends we are doing a good job and we respect them. And ultimately it will result in a sale,” he added.

“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 noted that this wouldn’t be possible if CD Projekt weren’t independent, and that its capacity to be reactive and put the experience of its consumers ahead of short-term profit helps is one of its strongest suits.

“You, first of all, have to have your values, which is crucial, and I believe we have them. And second you have to have the guts to say, ‘Hey, we’re not going to do that,'” he said.

“If you look at the companies that succeed, they really follow their values and are honest with the gamer. And I think that this will become even stronger and ever more important, because the way to the gamer is direct, so there is no place for a lie anymore.

“If you lie, you are a joke on social networks in seconds. The liars from back in the day, their fate is pretty grim right now. We can see it all around. There is a statement from Company A. People say, ‘Hey, it’s not like that.’ And the whole internet goes crazy.”