Poland's CD Projekt to start marketing campaign for Phantom Liberty in June

FILE PHOTO: A bird flies in front of the Cd Projekt logo at its headquarters in Warsaw, Poland January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

GDANSK (Reuters) -Poland's biggest game developer CD Projekt said on Thursday it will start a marketing campaign for the highly-anticipated first and only expansion to Cyberpunk 2077 under title Phantom Liberty in June.

The launch will be "the biggest event for us this year," board member Michał Nowakowski said, but "do not expect a campaign that is going to be comparable to the launch of a completely new AAA-game.".

Phantom Liberty is the last game produced on company's own RED engine, with CD Projekt switching to external Unreal Engine 5 for its upcoming projects.

The game developer posted a 66% leap in full-year net profit to 347.1 million zlotys ($81 million) on Thursday, boosted by higher sales of flagship titles "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" and "Cyberpunk 2077".

Despite the lack of fresh releases, the 2022 results were CD Projekt's second best ever, after 2020 when it released the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077.

CD Projekt has sold over 20 million copies of Cyberpunk 2077, with Wither trilogy sales exceeding 65 million copies.

The results were hit by 33.4 million zloty write-down on project Sirius, a new game in the Witcher franchise, which was announced during strategy update in October.

CD Projekt said last Monday that the reason for the write-down is the result of the evaluation of the scope and commercial potential of the project in its original formula and is currently working on defining a new framework for the project.

"It was a tough decision to make, but we also believe that it was the right one. Our intention was to cut costs early and give ourselves time for reassessment. We don't want to carry on with projects that we're not aligned with", Kicinski said during a conference call on Thursday.

Adam Kicinski also said that he does not see any risk of write-downs on project Polaris.

"I don't see any write-down risk (...) but (...) projects like Polaris or Orion, (...) are our flagship, internal productions and the very core of everything what we do" he said.

"It is hard to imagine that we would decide to not carry on with these developments"

($1 = 4.2848 zlotys)

(Reporting by Adrianna Ebert and Patrycja Zaras;Editing by David Goodman, Richard Chang and David Gregorio)

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