'Not the other way around'
Chatting with GamesIndustry International about GOG.com and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt RED studio head Adam Badowski has shared his thoughts on the importance of independence, balancing creativity with financial realities, and why the company isn't jumping headfirst into free-to-play gaming. There's something about the company I could never put my finger on; maybe this is it.
"We have always aimed for ambitious projects," he said. "I believe that if you want to succeed, creative vision has to inform business policy and not the other way around -- that's crucial for us. Sometimes business will decide a company's creative policy, that's very bad for a studio.
"Financial and business concerns shouldn't decide which path we take or the creative aims of the company. For example right now we are not dealing in the free-to-play market and this is why -- the market is far from perfect yet, I think there's something strange and awkward in this business model. So we're not getting involved in it, even if everyone is excited by how much money can be made using this model. Maybe we'll change our minds in that regard, but not yet."
Further on, Badowski talks about how "Independence is a crucial part of a our strategy. That means we need to be independent in both ways. First, financially and secondly creatively -- they're both crucial for us. So as a company we're listed publicly on the Warsaw stock exchange, which gave us financial independence and creatively we own all our IP so we're free to invest in our own business with total creative freedom. This gives us a fresh eye in the studio, so it's very important to us. Maybe we could get extra money or experience, but it wouldn't make us happy."
CD Projekt: "Independence is a crucial part of a our strategy" [GamesIndustry International]