CD Projekt has shot down a persistent rumor that it is in talks with Sony about an acquisition deal, saying unequivocally that no such negotiations are taking place.
Talk of a possible CD Projekt takeover has been kicking around for years: Way back in 2015, for instance, Electronic Arts was reportedly looking to buy the studio—a rumor that CD Projekt quickly shot down. A year later it happened again after CD Projekt made some behind-the-scenes moves as "insurance" against a hypothetical hostile takeover.
Speculation about a possible buyout flared up again in 2022 following the announcement of an ambitious multi-year development plan and the stepdown of longtime joint CEO Marcin Iwiński, although analysts said there was nothing about the studio's actions that pointed specifically toward an impending takeover.
The most recent claim is that Sony is preparing to add CD Projekt to its lineup, a rumor that surfaced in March and has persisted since then despite no real evidence to support it. The most recent boost to that story happened over the weekend, when Destiny 2 leaker Liz (via IconEra) posted on their Discord server that "PlayStation plans on buying CD Projekt Red."
These things are usually left to blow over unremarked, but in this case—perhaps because the story has dragged on for so long—the studio opted to shoot it down outright. "Re: The latest rumor," CD Projekt Red PR rep Ola Sondej said on Twitter. "Yah, we're not in such talks with Sony."
Re: the latest rumor. https://t.co/zsaaGjI5zfMay 29, 2023
CD Projekt repeated that position later in the day, during the Q&A portion of its quarterly investors call.
"Nothing has changed," CEO Adam Kiciński said. "I can repeat what we've been saying throughout the year, CD Projekt is not for sale. We want to remain independent. We have, I believe, an excellent strategy—not easy to execute, for sure—but it's very exciting to follow our own path."
Corporate acquisitions are often driven by the relentless pursuit of profit or strategic goals, which was at least part of the theory behind the rumors in this case—that Sony is looking for a counterpunch to Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision-Blizzard. I don't think that really holds up to scrutiny: As good (and successful) as CD Projekt's games are, singleplayer RPGs simply do not have the presence and value of a game series like Call of Duty (there have been 16 mainline Call of Duty games since the release of the first Witcher videogame in 2007) and the money-printing MMO World of Warcraft.
Regardless of those considerations, it's fair to say that CD Projekt doesn't need a savior. The company reported today that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has now surpassed 50 million copies sold, and it's now gearing up to start promoting the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 expansion Phantom Liberty, which will get its first real airing at the Summer Game Fest on June 8