In brief: CD Projekt Red (RED 2.0) confirmed that a Cyberpunk 2077 is definitely on the table. However, it might be a little while as it looks like the priority for the studio is a new Witcher trilogy. The Polish developer has already stated it plans to run simultaneous teams on both IPs. So we might see a shuffle in the launch order of its upcoming games.
In 2021, CD Projekt Red restructured its studios to enable it to work on multiple titles simultaneously. It dubbed the plan "RED 2.0" and promised that it would have teams working in tandem on its two biggest franchises --- the long-established Witcher and the newly launched Cyberpunk 2077 worlds.
At the time, the announcement seemed implausible, considering CDPR was still reeling from the less-than-warm reviews the bug-riddled Cyberpunk 2077 launch earned. Many felt that talk of a sequel in March 2021 was a bit early since players were still waiting for the debut title to get fixed.
Like it or not, a recent strategy update confirms that RED 2.0 is alive and well. The presentation says CDPR already has a second Cyberpunk 2077 game codenamed Project Orion in early development. Also, as promised, the studio has the next Witcher --- wait, make that five Witcher games in the pipe.
In total, CDPR has six "Projects" under various stages of direct or indirect development that should produce eight games:
- Phantom Liberty --- Upcoming CP2077 expansion
- Project Orion --- Cyberpunk 2077 sequel
- Project Polaris --- a new Witcher trilogy
- Project Hadar --- an unknown new IP
- Project Sirius --- Witcher game developed by The Molasses Flood
- Project Canis Majoris --- Witcher RPG by an unnamed third-party studio
Details were scarce for these titles, and timelines were equally vague. The studio pegged Project Polaris to release three games over six years. It already has 160 team members working on it and will likely add more once the 350 Phantom Liberty developers launch their expansion. Orion appears to be in the very early development stage and might not have a whole team formed yet. The strategy makes sense --- get the CP2077 expansion out, launch a new Witcher game, then think about getting a CP2077 sequel into players' hands.
The third parties developing Sirius and Canis Majoris might likely see releases before anything CDRP is directly working on (aside from Phantom Liberty), but that's my speculation. I don't think RED 2.0 wants a repeat of the CP2077 launch, so it'll likely take its sweet time getting anything out the door.
As rough as Cyberpunk 2077's December 2020 launch was, there is no denying its success. At launch, the game already had 8 million preorders. It's unknown how many customers took up CDPR's refund offer for the shoddy launch, but by the end of 2020, it had racked up more than 10 million in digital sales (a record) and 3 million discs. As of September 2022, the total number of units sold was over 20 million worldwide.
If that's not enough to justify a sequel, someone call EA and let its Star Wars Battlefront team know. That game has a lifetime total of 14 million in sales, with its grind-heavy sequel only bringing in 9 million.