CD Projekt won’t abandon the Witcher universe

Life's a Witch(er)

The Witcher creators are too busy making Cyberpunk 2077 and playing 200-card pick-up in Gwent to be working on a fourth game in the series, according to a translated interview with the developer’s president, Adam Kiciński. They’ve always said that the Witcher himself is retired as a character, following the Witcher 3’s last expansion. But Kiciński has taken a chance to remind us that this doesn’t mean they won’t return to the world in some form in the future. If they were to abandon that universe, he says, fans and investors would “not forgive us”.

Of course, new games in the same world could mean anything – more Gwent expansions, visual novels, a monster-hunting match-three game for smartphones. It doesn’t mean you should hold out for a third-person RPG with more billowing trees and idiot horses, even if that too is a possibility. It just means that, despite sending Geralt of Rivia to the old folk’s home, CD Projekt Red aren’t putting their most successful series in a big box and locking it away in the spare room.

This all comes from a video interview with Polish investment website Strefa Inwestorow which has been translated into a bulleted list by a resetera.com forum member (thanks, Cornbread78). The original video could just be two geography teachers talking about amethysts for all I know. But we can’t afford to hire another Polish translator, especially after what happened to the last one. So we’re going to give Cornbread the benefit of the doubt today.

Kiciński also repeated the boast that upcoming sci-fi RPG Cyberpunk 2077 would be “bigger in scope” than the Witcher 3 (but didn’t say how) and skirted around the question of multiplayer. We know CD Projekt have been researching “seamless multiplayer” but don’t know what the exact craic is with that. He also said that new features would be coming to the card game Gwent early next year. We knew that one. Basically today has been a big game of “What Do We Know?” in the RPS office.

33 Comments

  1. Kefren says:

    If they released a paid DLC that made Witcher 3 work nicely in first-person, that would be enough for me for a long time! I don’t care if the combat has to be simplified (the combat was the least interesting bit for me) or if third person is used for that, but I hated always staring at Geralt’s back, and not being able to look at things up close. In the end that put me off buying the expansions, but if there was a proper FPS mode I’d buy them to continue the adventure that way.

    (I realise there are mods but I have had real hassles with mods recently, and would rather pay for the simplicity and reliability.)

    • tbs says:

      Heart of Stone might be one of the best stories in the game outside of the main quest. Actually, it may be better. You should really consider purchasing it.

      • TheDandyGiraffe says:

        Oh yes, HoS is definitely the best part of the game; also full of nuance (for instance, the whole area where the plot takes place is modelled on a completely different part of Eastern Europe, the so-called former Polish Eastern Borderlands, and it really shows in things like clothing, nature, architecture etc.). If you’re familiar with this part of the world, it’s really a joy. And if you’re not, the story’s still excellent.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I know tastes vary on this subject, but I still think there is an objective reason to design this type of melee-focused game in 3rd person view. It’s about situational awareness for close range combat.

      First person view works fine for games where you’re mostly shooting stuff at a distance like CoD or new-Wolfenstein, because most of your targets are in your forward vision cone. Melee-focused games like the Witcher series have Geralt fighting most things at very close range, and often surrounded by enemies. You need to see what’s behind you. In 1st person view you can’t see anything in the rear 260 degrees or so (depending on your FOV setting), without constantly spinning around.

      Anyway, view preferences aside, I highly recommend Heart of Stone and Blood and Wine if you enjoyed Witcher 3 enough to finish the main story. I liked Blood and Wine better because it gave Geralt a proper send-off, but both DLCs are very good.

  2. Jenuall says:

    Good to see that the games press is still going to some form of NeoGAF to get all of their news information. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  3. Someoldguy says:

    I’d love to see more Witcher, but it’s hard to see how they can do that effectively if they’re going to retire Geralt as the PC. All the known witchers are established NPC colleagues of his, so to shift focus on to one of them just for the sake of it makes little sense. Step even further away from Geralt’s world and you’re having to create a new roster of NPCs almost completely from scratch and risk losing the magic that makes the whole game work so well. It’s doable, but it’s a huge gamble. That would be two in a row given that’s exactly what they’re doing with Cyberpunk 2077.

    Of course if ‘punk sells millions they’ll be able to take that gamble, but would have to weigh it against making more punk games. If punk performed poorly, would they have the resources to invest in a huge new Witcher project? If it was somewhere in the middle, with punk giving them enough to get by on but not enough to make a follow up a no brainer, they might feel that they had to pick a safer course and resurrect Geralt and his companions as a known selling point.

    Whatever happens, I do hope they get on and start planning some more Witchery goodness once some resources are freed up from punk and their other untitled RPG. I know creative people want to be doing creative things rather than just iterations of the same material, but I’d really like to be playing some Elder Scrolls 6, some 5e D&D games and eagerly anticipating the release of Witcher 4 by the end of 2020. Some of us just aren’t wired up for playing multiplayer gun games.

    • Kasjer says:

      Well, main story of Witcher 3 does have some loose ends. Then, they can make witcher-Ciri ending a canon and build a game around her adventures (this would also be much more interesting, as she is not mutated but posess powerful magic). Or they can make a game about a bunch of Elf rebels in the woods. Or about a witcher from another school. Or a mage. Lot of possibilities, really.

      I would gladly play a game where you control much less powerful character than Geralt.

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        Mungrul says:

        I think a game where you play Vernon Roche leading the Blue Stripes in guerilla warfare attempts to reclaim Temeria could be pretty damn cool. I always wished he’d had more of a presence in Witcher 3, as he was one of my favourite characters from the second game.

    • playzintraffic says:

      I don’t think they necessarily have to retire Geralt as PC. Ciri would be the obvious choice to replace him if they did. But Geralt’s not dead or anything.

      I would really enjoy if they made a jaunt into the realms further north or east, like Kovir and Poviss. Like TES, there’s just so much world building that’s already been done, they can really just throw a dart on a map and have a decent place to go to anywhere it lands.

      Also, I’m likewise super pissed that TESO was and continues to be basically used as an excuse not to make TES6. MMOs can be good and all, but the MMO-ization of practically every major RPG franchise after WoW’s run of success was a huge insult to RPG fans.

    • ShyGamer says:

      I would love to see another game with a lot of the same mechanics as Witcher 3 (combat wise at least) but, since Geralt has retired, I can really only think of maybe three options that might sell pretty well. The first would be making the main character of a 4th game be Ciri, as quite a few people seem to be wanting that. The second idea I’ve been tossing around in my head is playing as either Vesemer in some kind of prequel type game, or playing as Eskel or Lambert. The third and probably my favorite would be making a game set in the witcher universe, but massively expanded. In the third game you get to see White Orchard, Novigrad/Velen, the palace in Vizima, and the Skellige isles (plus lovely Toussaint if you have blood and wine), but I would love to see a game with an even larger world, some of the same places as in the third game but also adding in the areas from the first and second games, and even more places. The Witcher universe is pretty large, and you hear quite a bit about places like Zerrikania but never see them, I think adding those into a 4th witcher game would be amazing. Instead of playing as one of the wolf school witchers, perhaps make it more open ended, let you create your own witcher and choose which school they belong to, set it in the Witcher universe but give the player a lot more freedom. Make the world full of even more contracts and side quests and such, and have the player kind of forge their own story. A game set in the Witcher univerese doesn’t have to actually involve Geralt or any of the other usual characters, it’s an amazing universe all on it’s own and just being able to explore it as some random unknown witcher, taking on contracts and just living the usual day to day life of a witcher could be rather intriguing and fun.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Ciri is the obvious choice, and it would preserve the extended family relationship with the other NPC’s. Geralt could even make a guest appearance.

      The main problem with Ciri as lead character is that she’s a super-powered demigod by the ending of Witcher 3. Not much room for RPG leveling progression there. It could work as a prequel though. We don’t know, from the games anyway, what she was doing before the events of Witcher 3. Lots of room for story-telling there. And they could bring back characters like Vesemir as a companion/trainer.

    • jonahcutter says:

      I’d love to play as a beginning Witcher of my own design that wanders around taking contracts,fighting monsters and getting into all manner of sidequest shenanigans helping out the local populaces. No need for an overarching, save-the-world storyline.

      • ShyGamer says:

        Yeah, no need for some big storyline about saving the world or something, just let us hunt tons of monsters, take contracts and lots of side quests!

  4. Chiselphane says:

    A game following a witcher from a school other than Wolf would be pretty cool and allow them to use different mechanics. Even Letho would work if they set it far back enough to not interfere with plot choices in 2&3.

  5. durrbluh says:

    As much as hardcore Witcher fans might disagree, I don’t really mind if they move into a Cyberpunk focus for a while, but I want them to maintain the standard of overall quality they achieved by the third Witcher. Storytelling, graphics, world design, character development… hopefully that can be maintained by the studio regardless of what they’re doing.

    That said, I hope they’re not wasting much in the way of resources on Gwent, as one of the first mods I installed was NoTimeForGwent.

    • Horg says:

      ”one of the first mods I installed was NoTimeForGwent.”

      You take that back or i’m revoking your Witcher license.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Agreed, the franchise doesn’t have to be milked to the last drop of interest as sad as the parting is. (see Mass Effect)
      As long as they can deliver something new of equal quality I’m in and keep my warm memories of the Witcher world.

  6. mvar says:

    hopefully they abandon any plans for multiplayer and focus on perfecting the single-player experience like in W3!

  7. muminap says:

    Wait a minute… so what exactly has happened to your last Polish translator ?!?

  8. PancreaticDefect says:

    I imagine the first new(ish) Witcher based project we’ll see released will be a mobile version of Gwent. As far as full-fledged games go, a new one set during the chaos following the Conjunction of the Spheres would be great. You could play as a one of the first children successfully mutated into a Witcher. The tutorial level would be you playing as one of the selected children as they train leading up to the Trial of the Grasses. It would allow the devs to add a “Create-a-Witcher” character creation system to the game. Choose your Witcher school, play as the kid for the tutorial, create your adult character after the trial, then its off to hunt some monsters. It would allow them to create a completely different game world than the one everyone is used to. Hunt new monsters that have since gone extinct, experience a society that used to embrace Witchers (for the most part) for their service instead of persecuting them, watch as humans try to learn how to use their newfound magic and blow themselves up….theres a lot of potential.

  9. wackazoa says:

    “The original video could just be two geography teachers talking about amethysts for all I know”

    Close…. it was 2 political science teachers discussing the rise of the proletariat and its effects on the bourgeoisie.

  10. indigochill says:

    Definitely hoping for more singleplayer story-driven games in that setting. I don’t even care much if it’s open-world. Witcher 3’s an awesome achievement, but Witcher 2 was good too and I’d be happy with more linearish games like that especially if it meant they could be made more frequently.

    Heck, at this point I’d take a Witcher Telltale game.

  11. racccoon says:

    SO so hopeful for Cyberpunk 2077. :)

  12. Pliqu3011 says:

    A prequel about Vesemir, maybe involving the witcher massacre at Kaer Morhen might be interesting. Could take place across Kaedwen and Aedirn. (don’t know if that would make any narrative sense, haven’t read the books)

  13. LagTheKiller says:

    “Strefa inwestorów” ó reads as short u. Its an anachronism and there is no diffrence between “u” and “ó”. Only in grammar, albeit in net speak is often shunned in favor of simply “o” (probably because at the start of widespread hendheld phones era providers charged more for the SMS if it contains native Polish letters. Which is weird because they did have its own ASCII code).

  14. masterdk78 says:

    I would love to pay for more dlc on witcher 3. Etc would love to visit ofiri, or getting sorceress to help setup the guild they want to build.

    In blood & whine i was sadden to see your friends did not come to have a party at your house. maybe they could add a “throw party” when you talk to B.B ? :D

    so many optiens left to explore in witcher 3, 2 dlc is just not much…

    regarding witcher 4.
    be carefull, we do remember what happen to halo & mass effect andromeda. people dont talk new stories easy

    • oliseo says:

      Mass Effect Andromena was ruined by design by committee and identity politics.

      Hopefully the hypocritical Social Justice Warrior scene in Poland isn’t as much as a nuisance as it is in the States.

  15. oliseo says:

    The code easily do a story on how the Witchers came to be in the first place. That would be an interesting story if done right, and provide the background to all the Witcher lore, including things that had long been forgotten.

    Or perhaps just after the Witchers had came to be and how, as a character, your role is to ensure the survival of the Witchers from being wiped out immediately.

    Or, you could play as a very young Vesimer.

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