(Reuters) - CD Projekt is stepping up its efforts in the mobile games market with its free-to-play "The Witcher: Monster Slayer", which premiered on Wednesday, as the Polish company seeks to tap into a fast-growing sector.
The Pokemon-style game is based on the Witcher medieval fantasy series, where players hunt foul creatures in experience story-driven quests. It was developed by CD Projekt's studio Spokko and marks the group's debut in augmented-reality technology.
Mobile games are the fastest-growing segment in gaming, boosted by demand during the pandemic when many other forms of entertainment were shut down.
Global consumer spending on mobile games rose 17.9% to $44.7 billion in the first half of 2021, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.
CD Projekt, which took a hit last year with the troubled release of its flagship "Cyberpunk 2077" game, is mostly known for its high-budget productions and has so far only dipped its toes into mobile games.
In Monster Slayer, players "will engage with location-based gameplay and advanced augmented reality features to track down and hunt bloodthirsty monsters lurking nearby," CD Projekt said while announcing the game's debut.
The game has had so far over 50,000 downloads on Google Play store and has a 3.9 score out of 5 based on 1,067 reviews.
While analysts have said that the financial potential of the game remains uncertain but it could be supportive to the Witcher and Cyberpunk franchises if it proves a hit.
Maciej Kietlinski from Noble Securities estimated the game's revenue at several dozen million zlotys annually but said CD Projekt's main focus would remain on higher budget AAA games.
"It seems that the mobile game will only slightly supplement the company's main operating activity," he said.
(Reporting by Anna Pruchnicka; Editing by Keith Weir)