In its quest to save Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red spent over $85 million on Phantom Liberty

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077's first and only DLC, Phantom Liberty, cost CD Projekt Red at least $85 million in development and marketing expenses. 

CDPR shared the cost of Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty's development in a presentation to investors earlier today, October 5. The exact breakdown comes to zł275 million on "direct production expenditures" and another zł95 million on "marketing campaign costs." Converted to USD, that's about $62.8 million and $21.7 million respectively, or roughly $84.5 million total. 

This is marked as "preliminary data" and CDPR says it's still finalizing the expenses from its latest quarter, but this "initial estimate" still demonstrates the cost of modern AAA game development.

For reference, Game Developer previously reported that Cyberpunk 2077 cost $174 million to develop, which is just over double Phantom Liberty's cost. Put another way, the DLC, which is obviously far shorter than the base game, was nearly half as expensive as the entire RPG itself. 

In its presentation, CDPR explains that "at its peak," Phantom Liberty had 360 developers working simultaneously. In total, looking at everyone who contributed across disciplines and supporting teams, some 3,600 people "engaged in the project." 

Chief financial officer Piotr Nielubowicz confirmed Phantom liberty sold three million copies in its first week, with 68% coming from PC, 20% from PS5, and 13% from Xbox Series X. "I believe that, just like it was in the case of The Witcher, the main game and the expansion will become long sellers for many years to come," Nielubowicz said. 

One Phantom Liberty lead says CDPR never considered abandoning the game, and that it was "all culminating" in the big 2.0 update released for free alongside the DLC. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.