Last Year Was The Witcher 3's Best For Sales Since Launch

Last Year Was The Witcher 3's Best For Sales Since Launch

The PC and Switch were big drivers of the nearly five-year-old game's success.

With about five months to go between now and the delayed launch of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt is looking back on how it performed in 2019 without a major new title to tout. It turns out, they did fine without one—The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt did so well last year, in fact, that it was far and away its best year since it launched in 2015.

That statistic comes from a new Management Board Report, released alongside CD Projekt's 2019 financials today. Released in May of 2015, The Witcher 3's launch year is still its best year in terms of copies sold when you tally up PC, PS4, and Xbox One, but 2019 is a not-too-distant second. On the PC, The Witcher 3 actually outdid 2015's numbers last year—it looks like a thin margin on a chart, but it would've been impressive for a four-year-old triple-A title to even get close to some of its launch figures after so long, let alone to surpass them.

The Witcher 3's long tail of success and massive bump in 2019 was surely influenced, in no small part, by the "high acclaim and excellent viewership numbers" of Netflix's Witcher adaptation. In February, an NPD report indicated that The Witcher 3's sales in December of 2019 (the same month the Netflix show debuted) leapt up 554 percent year-over-year. A new statement underscores the magnitude of that bump: "the fourth quarter of 2019 was the best final period of the year" in CD Projekt's history.

Of note is also the fact that CD Projekt now stands to make more from a significant chunk of its PC sales on The Witcher 3, sale prices or not. Just over a month ago, The Witcher 3 became one of the few games to cross Steam's $50 million sales threshold, meaning all future copies sold on the platform will be for an 80/20 revenue split, up from 75/25 after $10 million in sales.

The recent Witcher 3 Switch port also did tremendously well, bolstering the company's last quarter. It sold 11 percent of the over 6 million copies sold of the game in 2019, outdoing the units sold on Xbox One that year by a fraction.

It's wild that Wild Hunt continues to sell so well. | CD Projekt Red

This is great news for CD Projekt, which has used the intervening years to focus mainly on Cyberpunk 2077. That's shaping up to be a game that, while positioned to be a huge success when it launches in September, seems designed with a long Witcher 3-like trajectory planned. Its planned multiplayer component doesn't seem like it'll launch until 2022, and CD Projekt Red has committed to a free next-gen upgrade for Xbox One owners "when available"—plans for 2077's long life, of course, will hinge on whether it lives up to fan expectations when it's released.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson

Reporter

Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

In other news

Will COVID-19 Mark a Permanent Sea Change for Gaming?

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Executives and industry figures take a deep breath before the next wave of new announcements to speculate on what the pandemic leaves in its wake.

Love Saints Row: The Third's Kayne Moment? Thank the Unsung Heroes of Game Dev

It was an idea so good Volition clearly had to do it.

PS4 Days of Play Sale Returns With Death Stranding, Dreams, and Nioh 2 Savings

It'll basically lead right up to the release of The Last of Us Part 2.

Iron Man VR Is Getting a New PSVR Bundle and a Free Demo

If you've already got Sony's VR solution, you can suit up real soon.

Need help?

Apex Legends Vaults - Where to Find the Vaults and How to Open Them

Need to know how to find a Vault Key in Apex Legends to open one of the three vaults? We've got you covered.

Gears 5 Collectibles - How to Find All Collectible Locations

Here's our guide to the Gears 5 collectible locations, including Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, and Act 4 collectibles.

Devil May Cry 5 Devil Breakers - Devil Breaker Arm Abilities in Devil May Cry 5

Here's our complete breakdown of every Devil Breaker arm ability for Nero in Devil May Cry 5.

Sekiro Tips - How to Beat Every Boss and Survive in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice

This is our complete beginner's guide to surviving Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, including a list of essential tips and tricks.