CD Projekt RED may have announced they'll release great gobs of DLC for free with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site], but they never said anything about expansions. In case you're bad at reading subtext: they're totally making expansions you'll need to pay for, they announced today.
Two big, hefty expansions (that we know of) are in the works, one clocking in at around ten hours of new play and the second at twenty. Ayup, I certainly can't begrudge them charging for bigguns. The two will be available together in an 'Expansion Pass' costing £19.99.
Expect new quests, items, enemies, and all that. The first expansion, Hearts of Stone, is due this October. It'll see Geralt larking about in No Man's Land and the city of Oxenfurt for about ten hours. Due in 2016 before the end of April, Blood and Wine will add the new region of Toussaint where, RED say, "an atmosphere of carefree indulgence and knightly ritual masks an ancient, bloody secret." Ooh! I do like bloody secrets.
Here are some words from RED co-founder Marcin Iwiński:
"We remember the time when add-on disks truly expanded games by delivering meaningful content. As gamers, we'd like to bring that back. We've said in the past that if we ever decide to release paid content, it will be vast in size and represent real value for the money. Both our expansions offer more hours of gameplay than quite a few standalone games out there."
That's certainly true. And the free DLC they've announced so far is stuff that some Brand X RPGs would charge for: a new quest, costumes, and a range of beards. Given how splendid The Witcher 3 looks so far, I'll be happy to have more excuses to make my fickle self return months after launch and then again.