Ever since the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt graced our PCs and consoles, fans have been wondering if there would be another Witcher game.
The short answer is yes – but it won't feature Geralt as the lead, which means things may be different this time around. Developers CD Projekt RED has clearly stated that Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was the conclusion of his story, which is wrapped up so beautifully at the end of the base game and final DLC, Blood and Wine.
Another Witcher game is an inevitability now, and we say this with confidence because CD Projekt RED has spoken a bit about the future of the series.
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Whatever this Witcher game ends up being, it probably wouldn't be called The Witcher 4, but we won't know otherwise until more details surface. As expected, this hasn't stopped people (including us) getting excited and speculating about what it could look like.
Don't expect anything too soon, though, as developer CD Projekt Red is working hard on Cyberpunk 2077 – the next big entry from the studio slated for release on December 10 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia (as well as PS5 and Xbox Series X at a later date).
However, the president of Projekt Red, Adam Kiciński has said this year that there's a "relatively clear concept" for the next Witcher game and that full production would begin "immediately" after Cyberpunk 2077 releases.
Below, we're going to list everything we currently know about the next Witcher game – and when we think it might land.
The Witcher 4 release date: probably not soon
There's plenty to be excited about, with the president of CD Projekt RED all but confirming that another Witcher game is planned.
To add even more hype to this, in 2019 the forums of CD Projekt RED saw the confirmation by a moderator Donata Popławska that the company is still planning on releasing another AAA game by 2021.
Earlier rumours indicate that this release would be an RPG title. But, while this fits the bill, that doesn't give a whole lot of time for it to be the next Witcher game, considering how long Cyberpunk has been the focus.
His forum post reads: “As far as the strategy of the CD Projekt Capital Group for 2016-2021 is concerned, its plans to release the second AAA game by 2021 remain unchanged. We are currently focusing on the production and promotion of Cyberpunk 2077, so we do not want to comment on further projects."
It's more likely that a Witcher game is a few more years down the line, possibly 2023 if not later.
The Witcher 4 news and rumors
The case for The Witcher 4
Importantly, the success of the Witcher 3 really put Projekt RED on the map. Prior to this, the previous Witcher games (and the studio as a whole) never had the same impact or reception that it had from the success of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
It would make the most sense for the devs to capitalise on the Witcher's popularity, especially given the positive reception to the Witcher TV show as well. But again, it doesn't seem likely we'll be seeing it any time soon, considering as well how Cyberpunk faced multiple delays through this year.
President of CD Projekt RED Kiciński said in an interview: "The first three 'Witchers' were by definition a trilogy, so we simply could not name the next game 'The Witcher 4'. This does not mean, of course, that we will leave the world of The Witcher."
When you throw in that the author of the Witcher books, Andrzej Sapkowski has made amends with CD Projekt RED after a dispute and signed a new deal with the company to "further solidify their relationship", there's plenty to be excited about while nothing has been confirmed officially.
In an interview with Bankier, Kiciński discussed the future of the Witcher games: "The Witcher is one of two franchises on which to build the future activities of the company... Today, unfortunately, I can not reveal anything more."
Clearly, it is something on the studio's radar at the moment and once Cyberpunk finishes up, we can probably begin to look forward to a new Witcher game.
It's something of a turnaround, though. In 2016, with the release of the final DLC for the Witcher 3, CD Projekt Red co-founder, Marcin Iwinski, said in an interview with Eurogamer the Witcher team “didn’t have anything planned” in regards to a new game in that world.
“As we said before, never say never... right now it’s really Blood and Wine. This is the end. Blood and Wine is [the] closing and there won’t be any Witcher any time soon – if there ever will be one.”
It's thought that this discourse was actually around Geralt's story, as opposed to seeing a brand new Witcher game.
The team at CD Projekt RED had put in over 10 years of time and resources into the Witcher games, culminating in the release of the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in May 2015. So it stands to reason we wouldn't be hearing about another Witcher title so soon after it shipped.
Where does Cyberpunk 2077 fall into this?
At the moment, Projekt Red is in the run-up to the launch of Cyberpunk 2077, which is another huge game that has been years in the making.
It stands to reason that the company isn't going to be focusing on anything else until Cyberpunk is finally out in the wild. Consider as well, Cyberpunk will have a similar DLC release style to the Witcher 3, with waves of free downloadable content and paid expansions, so the company's focus will remain on Cyberpunk for long after it releases.
Who would be the main character?
For those of us who have played the Witcher 3 through the very end, DLC included, we know how things go.
While there are roughly 40 or so different endings to the main game and its branching stories, the overall narrative of Geralt and Ciri does come to a nice conclusion, with the exact outcome depending on player choices throughout the game. The Blood & Wine DLC, especially, ties things up in a nice bow.
Either way, Geralt's long, arduous and majestic adventure comes to an end one way or another, and CD Projekt Red is keen to keep it like that.
“I think good stories must have an ending,” said Jakub Szamałek, Senior Writer, in an interview back in 2015 with IGN. “You cannot extend them indefinitely, and we felt that Geralt has had such an amazing adventure, and his saga is already so long and complex that this seemed like a good point to think about an appropriate finale for the story.”
As well, all the way back in 2013, executive producer John Mamais said that this journey was the last one for Geralt.
"We are not killing the world and walking away from it, but we will definitely want to make this game the finale in a big way," said Mamias. "We might even include Geralt in later games potentially. We just need to talk about it and figure out what we're going to do next."
Since Geralt wouldn't be the main protagonist, we think the Witcher 4 would be an excellent time to let the women of the Witcher series shine.
Ciri would make an excellent candidate but, given her story is told at length already, and the rich lore of the entire franchise thanks to the books, there's so much room to create a completely new and unique adventure in the Witcher world.
Perhaps an adventure that lets you create your own character would suit the world more, or maybe a fixed protagonist as in the first three Witcher games. Either way, we'd love to see a fresh perspective on what a Witcher could be.
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