Last May, the Polish video game developer CD Projekt RED released The Witcher 3, a third person, open-world medieval fantasy game, that won over the critics, receiving several Game of the Year awards, on its way to shipping over 10 million copies worldwide. CD Projekt followed it up with two highly-rated expansion packs.
Even though the game has been out well over a year, CD Projekt is still improving it. When the game was originally released, I sunk a lot of hours into it, before Fallout IV and Battlefront came out later in the year. Lately, I've been back at it, wanting to finish the game and both expansion packs before Ubisoft's Watch Dogs 2 comes out in November. When I booted it up a couple of days ago, I was surprised to see that the interface had been redone, even though the game has been out for so long.
The whole map/crafting/bestiary/inventory/etc., menus have been redone. Little improvements have been made as well. For instance, when you pick up a letter or a note now, you just have to down-click the right controller stick to read it, and it shows you a list of all the notes you haven't read yet. I had several unread letters. Once I read them, several new quests popped up.
I wish every game developer was like CD Projekt. Start with a fantastic game, and then keep improving it. You don't need all two or three hundred employees constantly working on it, but have a few stay with it for awhile. Not only will the gamers appreciate it, they'll be much more apt to buy your next game.
Within Witcher 3 is a card game called Gwent. I never got into Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone, but as I made my way through the Witcher 3 world, I found myself falling in love with Gwent. I wasn't the only one. CD Projekt found that there were many Witcher 3 players that ignored the whole game except for traveling around from town to town to find other Gwent players. It's a seriously addictive game within a game.
At E3 this summer, CD Projekt formally announced that an updated version of Gwent was coming out for the PC and consoles. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they bring it to the phones and tablets as well. This is a very smart move by the developer, and will bring in steady revenue while they develop their next large game.
I'm glad that CD Projekt is doing things right. Winning many top awards wasn't enough for the company. They just keeping on delivering. There're a lot of great gaming companies out there, each with its own strategy. I think most of them could learn a thing or two from CD Projekt RED.