Cyberpunk 2077 was no flop, but it surely actually disrupted CD Projekt’s ahead momentum, inflicting it to postpone Cyberpunk DLC in favor of fixes, and hurting its share worth. However the previous yr of Cyberpunk launch atonement shouldn’t be a part of a long-term scaling again, we discovered final week. If something, CD Projekt’s ambition has multiplied: The corporate says it will make a Cyberpunk 2077 sequel, launch three new Witcher RPGs over the course of simply six years, make a brand new sport set in a brand new world, and extra.
On the identical time, joint CEO Marcin Iwiński stated he’d be stepping down and taking a brand new position on the CD Projekt supervisory board. These bulletins inevitably led to hypothesis that CD Projekt could be an acquisition goal. The speculation goes that its super-ambitious roadmap is both an try to draw massive buyers, or a option to deter a takeover by growing its share worth.
It appears like something is feasible with all the sport studio procuring massive firms like Microsoft have been doing, however business analyst Rhys Elliott, who works for gaming analysis agency Newzoo (opens in new tab), would not suppose CD Projekt’s daring roadmap justifies any speedy conclusions about its present or future possession.
“Expansive roadmaps should not a particular signal of an organization anticipating an acquisition, and we’d not need to speculate about the opportunity of CD Projekt getting acquired,” Elliott instructed PC Gamer.
In keeping with Elliott, it is common for mid-sized builders to have bold inside roadmaps for the aim of forecasting income and setting deadlines. What is not typical is telling the world about these roadmaps, as CD Projekt has. Elliott thinks the corporate observed that its standing was enhancing—notably after the success of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners on Netflix—and wished to grab the second.
“If [CD Projekt] revealed this roadmap earlier than fixing the state of Cyberpunk 2077, there would have been an outcry from the general public and buyers, additional growing detrimental sentiment across the firm,” Elliot says. “Now that public sentiment across the firm is changing into extra optimistic, CD Projekt is hoping to leverage that sentiment and construct off it to fully flip the detrimental narrative. The inventory market additionally responded positively to the bulletins.”
The CD Projekt share worth has risen by about 28% over the previous month. Elliott thinks buyers particularly appreciated the announcement of a non-licensed sport—one CD Projekt will totally personal, in contrast to the Cyberpunk and Witcher video games—in addition to the information from earlier this yr that CD Projekt is switching to Unreal Engine 5.
“The corporate needs all to realize it has discovered from its errors, is doubling down on its most profitable methods, and has many initiatives within the pipeline,” says Elliott. “That is music to the ears of buyers.”
One other analyst, David Cole of DFC Intelligence (opens in new tab), had the same outlook.
“From my perspective, it looks as if the announcement was made to offer present and potential buyers confidence that there are various thrilling issues within the works,” stated Cole.
However may any of these potential buyers be eyeing a controlling curiosity within the firm? Elliott does notice that Tencent and Savvy Video games Group have each stated they need to make massive acquisitions in Europe.
Savvy Video games Group, which is funded by Saudi Arabia, particularly stated it was taken with spending $13 billion on a “main sport writer.” CD Projekt would not value $13 billion, though the fund could possibly be planning a number of acquisitions. It is not too laborious to think about CD Projekt below the Xbox banner as a substitute, or experiencing the embrace of Embracer, or changing into a Sony studio, however none of those situations are even rumors we’re listening to. Actually, all we have heard on the subject just lately is the opposite joint CEO, Adam Kiciński, saying in a 2021 interview (opens in new tab): “We have now been repeating for years that we plan to stay impartial and don’t plan to grow to be half of a bigger entity.” (Machine translated from Polish by Google.)
We did not see Microsoft’s Bethesda or Activision Blizzard acquisitions coming, so we’re not ruling something out, however the analysts do not suppose a bunch of sport bulletins is sufficient to go on. Past that, the one hypothesis gasoline is CD Projekt’s depressed share worth (it is up within the brief time period, however has dropped since 2020) and the truth that numerous gaming firms have been acquired just lately.
Presently, CD Projekt’s largest single shareholder is Marcin Iwiński, the outgoing co-CEO, who owns 12.78% of the corporate. Adam Kiciński, the opposite CEO, owns 4.02%. The opposite main particular person house owners are Michał Kiciński and Piotr Nielubowicz. The remainder of the shares, 66.04%, are publicly traded.