Gaming rumors are meant to be taken with a grain of salt; however, some rumors, as unbelievable as they may be, are admittedly fun to think about. For instance, games media recently debunked the rumor of EA buying Witcher developer CD Projekt RED. The proposition was highly unlikely to begin with, but something about the supposed deal is appealing—like seeing a crossover between the Marvel and DC universes. That’s why I decided to speculate how six publishers would affect CD Projekt RED if they were to purchase the company.
Sony or Microsoft
Regardless of who would purchase CD Projekt RED’s endeavors, I don’t think either publisher would ruin CD Projekt. Both publishers would probably increase its budget while perhaps expecting a few nods towards their respective first-party titles. Sony would push for re-masters of the previous Witcher games, and Microsoft might tie in an online component to the franchise.
Square Enix acquired Eidos software in 2009, but they tend to let the Western developers do their own thing; it felt no need to bring inject its own brand of JRPG flair to the likes of Tomb Raider , and I’m certain they would take as similar approach to the Polish developer. However, although CD Projekt would seemingly still retain a degree of creative control, they would have a much higher budget, and with that higher budget they would need to meet Square Enix’s outrageous standards—expect more glossy cutscenes. While CD Projekt has claimed that The Witcher 3 is a success, selling 4 million copies in its first two weeks alone, Square Enix could still scoff at its sales numbers, and then we’d be stuck in limbo, waiting to hear if the company will ever produce another game, similar to the situation with Sleeping Dogs .
If Konami acquires CD Projekt RED, then everything would go to shit. Never mind that I’m not sure if the Japanese publisher would even be interested in the company; we’ve received conflicting reports as to whether or not Konami is abandoning console games apart from PES . But if it were, then chances are CD Projekt’s team would be subjected to Orwellian monitoring, which would cripple its creativity. Worse is that eventually Konami would most likely fish out CD Projekt’s franchises to other developers, each one somehow diluting the RPG experience until it’s a shell of its former self like Silent Hill . Then Konami would hype everyone up with a new trailer for a Pachinko machine. But should this unrealistic situation come true, then don’t fret; the developers will eventually branch off and then kickstart a spiritual successor!
Ubisoft’s game is all about quantity. If a game can turn into a franchise, then by god they’re going to annualize it. During its futile attempt to force The Witcher or Cyberpunk franchises to usurp Call of Duty ’s position as spiritual king of gaming sales, Ubisoft will tack on all of its unnecessary baubles to the games, such as Uplay. Also, Ubisoft would not object to releasing an unfinished project, which they would promise to fix in upcoming patches (all right, this isn’t actually so different from CD Projekt, especially with its first two Witcher games).
While it’s true we got the inspiration for this article from the rumored buy-out planned by EA, we still think it’s interesting to include it in the list. First of all, as hated as EA is, I think CD Projekt RED could be in worse hands like Konami’s or Ubisoft’s. BioWare, for instance, hasn’t seen a too noticeable drop in quality since EA acquired it (although the ending for Mass Effect 3 continues to be notorious), and it hasn’t been forced to annualize its games. That said, like Ubisoft, EA will enforce its own bells and whistles onto CD Projekt’s games—mainly unnecessary online components.
The worst case scenario would be if CD Projekt Red is ever put in a position where its only means of survial is being acquired; however, if such a situation were ever to come to fruition, then hopefully Bethesda foots the bill. Bethesda is a wonderful publisher that values quality over quantity; it wouldn’t rush Cyberpunk 2077 , nor will it be announced too early, as indicated with Fallout 4 . In addition, the publisher is rather open-minded. Bethesda allowed id Software to completely alter the direction of DOOM 4 , which was the right decision. Unless they attempt to infuse The Elder Scrolls ’ stiff character models and animations into Cyberpunk , then I can see this marriage working out.