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John Riccitiello and Bobby Kotick are probably out on a $10 million dollar yacht laughing while reading the interview with CD Projekt RED's lead animator Tomasz Zawada, who has reiterated what the company has been saying all year long: Put your fans first and you won't have to worry about profits.
Riccitiello and Kotick, the head honchos at EA and Activision, respectively, have been on a teetering mountaintop where the sustained idea of “profits” are dwindling faster than Mitt Romney's relevance after losing the 2012 presidential elections. Both companies are riding on the fumes of the mainstream AAA industry, and many investors are recognizing that those sort of practices just aren't practical for the long-haul.
Zawada states that the very sustainability that is being called into question at both EA and Activision is something they no longer have to worry about at CD Projekt RED. Speaking with FMV Magazine, Zawada stated that...
When companies put profit before fans, they create something that’s an empty shell. You look at it from the outside, and it looks visually awesome and everything is polished, but when you look further into it there’s something lacking inside.
That “empty shell” he's talking about are games like Syndicate, Bodycount, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Prototype 2, Operation Flashpoint and Need for Speed: The Run to name a few. Big budget games that are all flash with very little panache.
Zawada went on to talk about how a company establishes profit out of putting fans first, saying...
“If fans love the company, then you’re building a connection with people – and that’s exactly the kind of company I want to work for.”
Valve is another company that fits this maxim; giving to the fans and reaping all sorts of massive profits in return. Mojang is another company who breached the fan-first territory, and Bohemia Interactive seems to moving toward a similar philosophy after a community was formed on the celeriac emergence of DayZ.
CD Projekt RED is currently riding their community momentum with several high-profile titles in the works for next-gen consoles and PC, namely Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3. You can check out the full interview with Zawada over at FMV Magazine.