The Witcher 3 Preloading Started, Unlock Times Detailed

Only another week to wait, ladies.

Update: information regarding our upcoming review has been added below.

Release dates are a little blurry when you’re facing a hefty download, so what you may want to know about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] is: can I preload it? And: if so, when? Also: when does that unlock? You inquisitive little thing, you. Developers CD Projekt RED have cleared up the questions I forced into your mouth by prying your jaws open with my hands, my knee pressed into your chest, and shouting them down your throat.

The Witcher 3 preloads are now live on GOG and Steam, and will start on Origin on Thursday. As for when it’ll unlock, I’ll tell you.

Preloads will unlock on May 19th at 1am CET, and here’s a list from RED on what that means in other time zones:

May 18th, 4.00 pm PT (Los Angeles)
May 18th, 7.00 pm ET (New York)
May 19th, 00.00 am BT (London)
May 19th, 2.00 am UT (Moscow)
May 19th, 8.00 am JT (Tokyo)

Steam does preloading in its usual way, while GOG can preload either through the website with downloads split into 4GB chunks (24.5GB in all) or the new beta GOG Galaxy client.

Until the game does come out, though, it’s being cracked down on. Folks who livestreamed through Twitch a leaked version wound up banned. But mercy me, I can’t think of a game I’m more keen to get out and start exploring in; even as someone who does watch a fair bit of Twitch and whatnot, I certainly don’t want to have that spoiled.

We’ll have a review for you as close to the release date as possible. You may have noticed that reviews for the PS4 version of the game are landing all over the internet right now. Unfortunately PC code isn’t available yet due to ongoing work on a day-one patch. As soon as we have access to the game, we’ll lock somebody inside and won’t let them out until they have definitive words of judgement to share with the world.


  1. gunny1993 says:

    Mother of god, and so the great battle of our time begins

    • Blindbraille says:

      So this story is all a lie. Idk if they were trying to just get clicks or what but the Witcher 3 DOES NOT drop early. It releases at midnight just like it always was going toRhThis article, like this magazine, is complete garbage.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    Oh, man, I need to get out of here before I am forced to ask another question.

    • Harlander says:

      If you don’t ask questions you’ll have them rammed into your mouth, and if you ask the wrong question you’ll have your teeth knocked out. Hopefully the obvious link between those two procedures won’t be explored.

      It’s a tough life being an RPS reader.

  3. Henas says:

    So if my calculations are correct it unlocks at 9am on the 19th in Australia. Just when we’re at work. Unless, of course, the dreaded man flu strikes and I’m forced to take the day off.

    • Blindbraille says:

      Well your calculations don’t mean anything. This game isn’t releasing early. I knew it was all a lie.

  4. Laurentius says:

    I see this game crumbling under CDPR overblown PR and expectations set so high. There is no way this company can pull this through ( taking account of thier super junky production of previous games).

    • Curry the Great says:

      Wasn’t the Witcher 2 a big success? You and me might not like it, but PR sells games. Many mediocre and bad games become profitable because of generated hype. Call of Duty blows more than half it’s budget on PR, and that game is damn profitable. Why shouldn’t a kind-of indie developer do the same?

      • Laurentius says:

        Sure it was as to a degree was Witcher 1 but it won’t change the fact that production was messy, budgets shortages, deadline problems, scripts rewritting, lawsuits issues etc. And given this new flop with retailers and GreenMan Gaming it seems that CDPR is not sorted enough company to enter AAA league. It worked twice to deliver good and succesful games out of a mess of a production but with this game aiming so high I don’t think it’s possible to do this a third time.

        • Curry the Great says:

          In my experience it has been going better and better. I thought the Witcher 1 was terrible, just like you said, and never salvaged. The terrible translation did the game in for me. The Witcher 2 was a lot of fun and I was really happy how they got their act together. I hope and think that they will have their act properly together for Witcher 3.

        • Farsi Murdle says:

          Well Gamespot just gave it 10 out of 10, so they’re off to a good start.

          • Curry the Great says:

            Or they have learnt from AAA games to pay tribute to the Doritos pope.

          • italianprick says:

            Except that is extremely rare to Gamespot to give a 10. They have only done that 9 times before.

          • subedii says:

            They must be paying off EVERYONE then judging by the early barrage of review scores.

            Man, whatever happened to ethics in games journalism?

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          It’s worth pointing out that their budget is easily increasing almost exponentially from one episode to the next.

          Especially after the second, that had a higher degree of mainstream recognition, with the money from sales joining the pool of their own service, GOG, that got more and more momentum.

          Now they also have extra external support due to the console world and, while i absolutely don’t have any proof to back this claim, i’m pretty sure there’s no other way to explain their early claims of console’s technical superiority.

          But really, if they had X dollars for TW1 and 3X for TW2, now i’m pretty sure they have 15X for TW3.

    • akstro says:

      I was so close to preordering this but thank fuck I didnt cause the console land is complaining about dogshit framerate and still no PC code spells launch trouble.

      • lordcooper says:

        Bad framerates on incredibly outdated hardware? Colour me shocked.

        • akstro says:

          Their minimum requirement is a 7870 which is quivalent to my R9 270x which is on par with PS4’s GPU. So yes, I’m concerned that I might not even get the game to run at 30 fps.
          As for calling current gen consoles “incredibly outdated hardware”, thats what they have made and its up to the developers to make sure they get the game to run on them because that is how this industry has always worked…

          • Assirra says:

            You can only except so much magic from a developer, especially when it is on new systems.
            Also note that you cannot change PS4 settings as far as i know where in the PC version you can mess around with it to make it run better.

          • Cronstintein says:

            30 fps is par for the course as far as consoles are concerned. Not sure why you’d expect a graphically intense loadscreen-free open world to be an exception.

            Assassin’s creed for instance, is 30fps locked on consoles. Hopefully this game ports much better onto pc hardware.

          • Unclepauly says:

            Do not forget that the consoles CPU’s are dogshit slow.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Off course we have to make do, that doesn’t cancel the bitterness.

            In all honesty, the current gen doesn’t feel as hot as the previous gen was back when it was released. Times have changed and i’m pretty sure Sony/MS didn’t want to invest as much, and risk as much, as they did with PS3/360.

            I remember reading something among the lines that the previous gen consoles were sold at a loss, while the new ones were mostly meant as a low risk thing that had to turn a profit immediately, rather than recouping with software later on. Back there you didn’t have a massive mobile/facebook/P2P system to contend with, and trends were different. A dedicated console made more sense back then, and encouraged a bigger financial speculation.

            Whatever is the truth it’s undeniable that the new consoles are probably going to age even faster, as they released with a midspec PC configuration, while the older 360 had a GPU with unified shaders that on PC land wasn’t even invented before the 8800 stepped in, and 3 cores @3ghz weren’t bad either.

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      You’re smoking crack. The Witcher 2 had better production values at release than most AAA PC games can hope for, and by the time the Director’s Cut came out it was one of the most polished and impressively made games in the history of its genre and medium.

      • statistx says:

        What people forget when they start to shout “Sell out!” “Paid Reviews!” “AAA PR BS!!!!” is that CD Project Red has a history of very tolerant free enhancements of their previous games.

        I still saw some patches for Witcher 1 popping up at least last year and they gave me the directors cut for both games for free (which add more than just armor or small quests and add a ton of new content), as I was allready owning the original Versions, not to mention discounts for customers who bought their last games.

        They are not one of the bad guys

    • cHeal says:

      LOL all over Laurentius’ face!

      9.3/10, 9.8/10, 10/10. This is the real deal and apparently better than the trash being pushed out by established AAA studios.

      haters gonna hate..

  5. frightlever says:

    Alice, you’re sure pushing the violent imagery lately, particularly involving teeth and mouths. Are you getting on-going dental work? I preferred the good old days when every other article included a drinking anecdote.

  6. frogulox says:

    “..I forced into your mouth by prying your jaws open with my hands, my knee pressed into your chest, and shouting them down your throat.”


    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      I am pretty sure this is NOT a case of “WWJD?”.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        I’m pretty sure it is What John Would Do, as he is a terrible healer. It’s probably his cure for a head ache or something.

        • Sian says:

          What, something like, “I cast thee out, spirit of cranial pain!”

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Yeah, that’s not how you do C(D)PR, it won’t help in an emergency situation.

  7. Mr_Blastman says:

    Filthy scumbags. It is one thing to pirate and stream a game after release, but before? Have they no shame?

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Nope, they profit out the hard work of others, while all they have to do is to make bad jokes, possibly with a webcam frame on some corner of the video, that might or might not be well received by those who prefer to watch people play games rather than do that themselves.

  8. IEatCereal says:

    Its illegal but not piracy since most of those people would have gotten their copies from retailers before hand. And by most people I mean mostly (perhaps only) console users who are “lucky” enough to have gotten a game sooner than release due to stores/individuals not being concerned about legal action. Truthfully if you’ve got a pc and you bought it digitally/ got the files illegally T_T you still can’t play right now

  9. NyuuPingu says:

    Hey europeans: There is still a witcher 3 contest going, win the game + a gaming PC here:

    link to

  10. DanMan says:

    I don’t know. I don’t really want to risk some sort of decryption process that might take longer than downloading the whole thing. Not to mention the need for twice the storage presumably.

    • Cronstintein says:

      You’d need a pretty terrible cpu if decrypting is slower than downloading 30gigs. Or maybe some sweet google fiber action. In the US, at least, download times are generally going to be muuuuch longer.

  11. Biggus_Dikkus says:

    …and their forums down again

  12. El_MUERkO says:

    I’ve got the retail version on pre-order, just hoping they don’t require a multi-gigabyte launch day patch :/

  13. racccoon says:

    Yes thank you very much :)

  14. kalniel says:

    “May 19th, 00.00 am BT (London)” – What timezone is BT?

  15. Perkelnik says:

    I have a question regarding GoG Galaxy client (I have never used it before). Does it download installer or the game files? I just want to know if I will need additional HDD space for installing the game.

    • Cinek says:

      Galaxy downloads game files. If you want an installer – you can download it from the website.

  16. Cinek says:

    GOG preloads… please, let it be a permanent thing. I’d love to see more games on gog with preloading!

  17. Cantisque says:

    So, you can download the game now, but can’t play it until an authentication server says you can?

    Would this not be considered DRM?

  18. mageakos says:

    hey just got my version to pre load.. i had about 5gb downloaded and needed to restart my pc for some updates.. after i did, the game wouldn’t continue download through gog galaxy.. said installation failed due to insufficient space.. so i have to download again from the start.

    i ‘d like to note that i had some 40gb available on my main SSD which the game would download and after first installation try it reserver the 26g so i guess after restarted 14gb wouldnt be enough and thus the error.. but the game was already installing on my pc.. anyway this time i have switched to download the files on my secondary which is 2tb and has plenty space.. so if i restart next time will it continue or do i have to leave pc on to download all of it?

  19. Darth Jimmi says:

    When’s the unlock time for consoles?

  20. Blindbraille says:

    So AWESOME reporting. And by awesome I mean you’re completely wrong about the release times. I’m in Buffalo NY and it’s 7:30pm may 18. Guess what? No Witcher 3 here, so I’m glad you’re all terrible at posting correct information. Not wonder I’ve never heard of this site,if the rest of your content is as bad as this story the wtf would aanyone look to you for?