Polish game development company CD Projekt Group (CDP), which includes the video game studio CD Projekt Red and the digital storefront GOG.com, has beaten out the French giant Ubisoft to become Europe’s most valuable gaming company.
According to data from the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the market valuation of CD Projekt, makers of hit role-playing game The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, is now 36.5 billion Polish złoty, just over eight billion euros.
Ubisoft, known for the Assassins’s Creed and Far Cry game series, has a market valuation of 7.82 billion euros.
However, it’s important to remember that market capitalisation does not mean increased profits. CDP posted a net profit of 175 million Polish złoty (38.5 million euros) in 2019, while Ubisoft generated 416.2 million euros in revenue in the third fiscal quarter of 2019 alone.
Still, becoming the highest-valued maker of video games in Europe is an incredible result for a company that began by selling retro PC games on the Good Old Games (GOG) platform, and whose previous two Witcher games failed to set the mainstream gaming world on fire.
GOG is still delivering for CD Projekt, as the platform now sells not only old games but indie titles as well as some blockbuster mainstream games.
However, most of CD Projekt’s success lies in the massive popularity of The Witcher franchise.
Before the game was even released in 2015, it already had 1.5 million pre-orders and sold a total of four million copies in the first two weeks of release.
The Witcher III has met with overwhelmingly positive criticism, earning a score of 93 (out of 100) on Metacritic based on 32 professional reviews. It also holds a 9.4 (out of 10) audience score on the same website.
Sales, as well as the mainstream popularity, were boosted in December of 2019 when Netflix debuted its TV show based on the fantasy setting by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Sales of the game rose by a staggering 554 per cent in December 2019 compared to the same month the previous year.
By December of 2019, The Witcher III and its two expansion packs had sold a combined total of 28 million copies worldwide.
The company is now working on its newest release, Cyberpunk 2077, a game based on the pen and paper role player game setting of the same name. The game is set to be released in September on current and next generation game consoles and PC and is expected to further boost the company’s performance on the stock market.
In addition to now being the most valuable gaming company in Europe, CDP also become the most valuable company in its native Poland in April after PKO Bank Polski’s shares dropped as much as 36 per cent due to the coronavirus crisis.
CD Projekt’s success is another indicator that emerging Europe is becoming a strong presence in the gaming industry worldwide, particularly Poland. The country is now the world’s fourth largest exporter of video games, consoles and game devices, behind only China, Hong Kong and Japan.
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