Polish CD Projekt indefinitely postpones the release of the next generation of Witcher 3

A bird flies past the CD Projekt logo at its headquarters in Warsaw, Poland January 21, 2020. Picture taken January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

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April 14 (Reuters) – Polish video game maker CD Projekt (CDR.WA) has internally taken over and indefinitely postponed the release of its hit game “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” for next-gen consoles, sending its shares up 4% on Thursday.

The release, which was originally slated to launch late last year and was later delayed to the second quarter of 2022, has been outsourced to Saber Interactive, part of Sweden’s Embracer Group (EMBRACb.ST).

“We are currently assessing the extent of the work to be carried out and therefore have to postpone the second quarter release until further notice,” the Polish company said on Twitter on Wednesday evening.

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CD Projekt did not give a reason for the move. In a written response to Reuters on Thursday, he said he did not comment on rumors and speculation, underscoring his earlier statement.

Russian media reported earlier that CD Projekt had stopped cooperating with the Saber team in St. Petersburg, which was responsible for the next-gen version.

Embracer was not immediately available for comment.

CD Projekt announced last month that it would halt sales of its games in Russia and Belarus in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Its shares were down 3% at 0722 GMT.

Jefferies analyst Ken Rumph wrote in a note that while the financial impact of the delay may be small, given that it was a free upgrade for existing game owners, a second delay and accommodation were a surprise.

“The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” premiered in 2015 to critical acclaim and helped the Polish studio gain worldwide recognition. It has sold more than 30 million copies, CD Projekt said last year.

Since then, CD Projekt has had a tough time following the difficult rollout of its second franchise, “Cyberpunk 2077”, at the end of 2020.

In a bid to restore investor confidence, CD Projekt has been scrambling to transform its studio so it can start producing big-budget games on the side from 2022.

It released the Cyberpunk version for next-gen consoles in February. Read more

The company is due to release its annual results later Thursday.

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Reporting by Anna Pruchnicka, additional reporting by Supantha Mukherjee Editing by Tomasz Janowski

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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