CD Projekt: Back From The Dead

Sep. 30, 2022 3:00 AM ETCD Projekt S.A. (OTGLF), OTGLYNFLX2 Comments

Summary

  • Cyberpunk 2077 has experienced a major resurgence over the past week with the release of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
  • CD Projekt appears to have learned from its mistakes and continues to expand upon its compelling Cyberpunk 2077 universe.
  • CD Projekt still has much to prove in order to fully gain back the trust of the gaming public.
Futuristic Cyberpunk Night City Scene

EduardHarkonen/iStock via Getty Images

CD Projekt (OTCPK:OTGLF) (OTCPK:OTGLY) continues to be one of the most fascinating stories in the gaming industry over the past few years. The company went from arguably the most respected video game developer to one of the most ridiculed overnight. To say that the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 destroyed CD Projekt's reputation would not be an exaggeration.

One needs to look no further than CD Projekt's valuation to fully grasp the company's fall from grace. At the height of Cyberpunk 2077's pre-release frenzy, CD Projekt's valuation stood at nearly ~$20 billion. It has since plummeted to ~$2.16 billion, making the drop one of the most dramatic in the history of the industry. Despite the doom and gloom that still surrounds CD Projekt, there are many good signs that are pointing to a potential turnaround.

CD Projekt has seen its valuation plummet after its Cyberpunk 2077 launch.

Chart
Data by YCharts

Player Interest Resurgence

The recent release of the Netflix (NFLX) animated series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, which takes place in CD Projekt's Cyberpunk 2077 universe, has given new life to the Cyberpunk 2077 franchise. The series, which was created under the supervision of CD Projekt by Studio Trigger, has been incredibly well received by both critics and audiences alike. In fact, the series has a rotten tomatoes critic and audience rating of 100% and 96%, respectively, which is basically unheard of especially for loose video game adaptations.

In the wake of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners' release, Cyberpunk has seen its Steam concurrent player count rise to roughly ~140k players, which is the game's highest concurrent player count since its launch two years ago. The renewed interest is clearly a sign that players still crave Cyberpunk 2077 content despite the issues plaguing the game.

Cyberpunk 2077 has seen an unprecedented player resurgence with the release of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.

Cyberpunk 2077 concurrent player count

steamdb

Incredibly Compelling Universe

The recent player resurgent is an indication that the Cyberpunk 2077 universe is still in high demand. While there are many criticisms that can be rightfully lobbed at Cyberpunk 2077, most agree that the world design in Cyberpunk 2077 is absolutely stunning. The detail and design put into Cyberpunk 2077's environment and setting is unparalleled even among other triple A games.

The top-notch world-design and scenery of Cyberpunk 2077 should easily entice players back into the world upon further expansions and/or the release of media adaptations like Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. At the end of the day, Cyberpunk 2077 is still a great game when issues surrounding bugs and glitches are resolved. The recent player resurgence proves that Cyberpunk 2077's pull is still massive.

One of the main criticism of Cyberpunk 2077 upon launch was that the storyline was too short and that the game just felt empty. There was just not enough going on both in terms of events and AI to make the city feel alive. However, Cyberpunk can easily improve upon this with future expansions, especially given that the underlying fundamentals of the universe are still strong.

The setting of Cyberpunk 2077 is visually stunning.

Night City

Cyberpunk 2077

Large Challenges Remain

While Cyberpunk 2077 is clearly in a midst of a turnaround, it has only been possible due to the millions of dollars spent on fixing the game. In fact, the entire company has still largely been focused on Cyberpunk 2077, much to the detriment of its other major franchise Witcher. CD Projekt reportedly budgeted $316 million for Cyberpunk 2077, which is a figure that could increase dramatically with future expansions.

CD Projekt still has a ways to go in order to restore its reputation, which likely entails hundreds of millions of dollars more spent on Cyberpunk 2077. However, there does appear to be evidence that CD Projekt's efforts are paying off on the sales front, as the company just sold 20 million copies of Cyberpunk 2077.

Conclusion

CD Projekt is headed in the right direction despite its many missteps. Although the company's Q2 financials still painted a gloomy picture, with a quarterly revenue (ZL162m) that fell ~41% YoY, the worst is likely over. Moreover, CD Projekt has already shown that it is willing to learn from its mistakes, evident in the company's growing emphasis on quality assurance and conservative timeline. This is more than can be said about many other triple A video game developers. CD Projekt's current valuation of ~$2.16 billion offers investors a good entry point into some of the gaming industry's most popular franchises.

This article was written by

AWS Certified Solutions Architect, AWS Certified SysOps Admin, AWS Certified Cloud PractitionerTop ~5% performer on Tipranks among all analysts and experts. https://www.tipranks.com/bloggers/simple-investment-ideas.

Disclosure: I/we have no stock, option or similar derivative position in any of the companies mentioned, and no plans to initiate any such positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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