The title of the "most valuable European gaming company" has long been held by massive France-based studio Ubisoft. However, according to an official report by Video Game Chronicle, that honor has now been claimed by Polish developer CD Projekt. As of this past Monday, the company's market capitalization was equivalent to $8.13 billion, with Ubisoft lagging slightly behind at $8.12 billion.
Additionally, financial news source Bloomberg reports that the developer's stock represents the most significant success seen in European markets over the past decade. In recent years, CD Projekt's share has increased in value by a record-breaking 21,000 percent.
This accomplishment is especially impressive given that CD Projekt has much fewer titles under its belt than Ubisoft. Although some of its success comes from the company's ownership of the PC-based distribution platform GOG, the primary cause is almost certainly its gaming department, CD Projekt RED, developers of the increasingly popular Witcher series.
The series, which is inspired by the books of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski and stars professional monster slayer and noted bath enthusiast Geralt of Rivia, began with the release of The Witcher in 2007, but officially became a breakout hit following 2011's The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings and the even more beloved Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015. The latter won numerous awards, including several Game of the Year awards, and continues to sell well to this day.
The 2019 release of a Netflix series based on the franchise, starring actor Henry Cavill in the title role, attracted even more new players, with CD Projekt reporting that more people were playing Wild Hunt in early 2020 than had been immediately following its initial release. This almost certainly contributed to the company's sharp, sudden increase in market value - it hovered around the 6.8 billion markers at the end of 2019 before skyrocketing to its current impressive total.
Even more impressively, the company's surpassing of Ubisoft happened despite the delayed release of the highly anticipated futuristic sci-fi RPG Cyberpunk 2077. Initially slated for a spring release, it was pushed back to September 17 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. It remains to be seen whether CD Projekt's value will rise even higher following Cyberpunk's release, but it seems likely.
This report of CD Projekt's success comes only a few days after the 5th anniversary of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which initially released on May 19, 2015. There's no better way to celebrate this milestone for the beloved title!