The Witcher 4: Geralt's gone for good, it's definitely coming and everything else we know so far

TheWitcher4isobviouslyafewyearsoff,whatwithallofCDProjektRed'sfocuscurrentlybeingonCyberpunk2077rightnow.But,itsoundslikeitwon'tbetoofarbehindtheupcomingcyberneticadventure.Orthat'satleastwhatCDProjektRedissuggestinganyway,viatheirofficialforummoderatorDonataPopławska.Sheconfirmedthat“asfarasthestrategyoftheCDProjektCapitalGroupfor2016-2021isconcerned,itsplanstoreleasethesecondAAAgameby2021remainunchanged.WearecurrentlyfocusingontheproductionandpromotionofCyberpunk2077,sowedonotwanttocommentonfurtherprojects."(Youcanviewthetranslationhere.)ThatsmellslikeTheWitcher4tome,andsometimebefore2021.

Well,well,well.WhatelsedoweknowthatCDProjektRedisworkingon?AnewWitchergame?SpecificallyTheWitcher4?Ohhellyes.CDProjektRedCEOAdamKicińskihasalreadybasicallyconfirmedthattherewillbeanotherWitchergame,itjustwon'tbecalledTheWitcher4,soit'slookinglikelythenextgameisbutafewyearsaway.

"Thefirstthree'Witchers'werebydefinitionatrilogy,sowesimplycouldnotnamethenextgame'TheWitcher4'.Thisdoesnotmean,ofcourse,thatwewillleavetheworldofTheWitcher,"saidKicińskiinaninterviewwithBankier.

"TheWitcherisoneoftwofranchisesonwhichtobuildthefutureactivitiesofthecompany,"headds."Today,unfortunately,Icannotrevealanythingmore."

WithTheWitcher3,developerCDProjektRedcreatedaglorious,hugeandutterlyexplorablefantasyworldthattoldtalesplayerswillbetalkingaboutforyearstocome-includingtalkofunicornsex.IttooktheWitcherseriestoaheightofsuccessithadneverseenbefore,makingit'sscarred,white-hairedheroGeraltabitofastar.Heck,he'sevengettingaWitcherNetflixseries.

WealllovethewayCDProjektReddealswithDLCtoo.ForWitcher3(oneofthebestRPGgamesofalltime),itgaveus16freedownloadablecontentpackageswiththe10-hourexpansion,HeartsofStoneinOctober2015andthenthebeefiersecondexpansion,BloodandWine,inMay2016.OnceyoulockyourselfintoTheWitcher3’sworld,itisincrediblyeasytojuststaythere.Becauseofallthat,somemaysaythatTheWitcher4isinevitable.Butisit?

Well,puttingyourmoneyonagamethathasn’tyetbeenannouncedisalwaysariskybusiness,butwithCDProjektRedmakingseriousmoneyfromsellingover25millioncopiesofTheWitcher3,there’sdefinitelyagoodreasonforthestudiotomakeanother.Heck,thegamewonover250GameoftheYearAwardsin2015alone…Butashelffullofawardsdoesn’tguaranteewe’lleverseeasequel,orevenaspin-off:justlookattheHalf-Life2/3saga.

Untilwehaveconcrete,insurmountableproofofthegame,we’reroundingupalltheonlinegossipanddevchatsurroundingthepossibilityofTheWitcher4happening.

Whatthedevsaresaying

WhileDeveloperCDProjektRedhasn’tconfirmedthattherewilleverbeaWitcher4,itcertainlyhasn’tbeenruledoutcompletely.TheteamwasparticularlyvocalaroundthelaunchoftheBloodandWineexpansioninthefirsthalfof2016.

InaninterviewwithEurogamerinMay2016,CDProjektRedco-founder,MarcinIwinski,saidtheteam“didn’thaveanythingplanned”whenitcametothenextWitchergame.

“Aswesaidbefore,neversaynever[but]rightnowit’sreallyBloodandWine.Thisistheend.BloodandWineis[the]closingandtherewon’tbeanyWitcheranytimesoon-ifthereeverwillbeone.”

ButbackinDecember2015,CDProjektRedCEO,AdamKicinskiseemedmoredefinitethatthisisaseriesthedeveloperwouldbereluctanttoleavebehind.

“It’stooearlytotalkaboutit,butit’snotlikewe’reforgettingaboutthisbrand.Itwouldn’tbefairtowardsthefans,”saidKicinskitoPolishTVstationTVN24BiS.“We’veworkedwithinthisuniverseforoveradozenyearsnowandIdon’tthinkit’sgoingtobetheendofit.”

ButfastforwardtoMarch2017andCDProjektRed’sinvestorcallwasmuchmoreilluminatingonthetopicofTheWitcher4-oratleastanotherWitchergame.

“TheWitcherwasdesignedasatrilogyandatrilogycannothaveafourthpart,canit?”saidMarcinIwinski.“Welikethisworldalot.Weinvested15yearsofourlivesinitandalotofmoney.So,we’llthinkabout[makinganewWitchergame]atsomepoint.Butpleaseconsiderusasrationalpeople,wesometimeshaveweirdideasbutoverallourthinkingisveryrational.WehavefullrightstoTheWitchergames.Theyareours.Wehaveinvestedenormousfundsintopromotingit,andit’saverystrongbrand.”

IwinskiwentontosaythatTheWitcherseries“deservessomerest”,oratleasttheteamneedsachange.“ForthepasttenyearstheteamhasbeenworkingonswordsandcastlesandmedievalSlavicmonsters.SoIthinkit’stimeforsomeguns,androids,andsomeammo.”

TheteamiscurrentlyworkingonCyberpunk2077,whichisdueoutsometimeafter2017.ButCDProjektRedisalsoworkingonanothergamescheduledforreleasesometimebetween2017and2021.That’smysteriouslydescribedasaAAARPGtitle,butaccordingtoIwinski,althoughWitcherfitsthatdescriptionperfectly,youprobablyshouldn’tgetyourhopesup.

“Weareapubliclytradedcompanysowecannotcommentonthat[game]butIcanassureyouwearenotworkingonanotherWitcher,”hesaid.Okthen.

Whatthegamesaresaying

***Warning,majorspoilersforTheWitcher3lieahead***

IfyouplayTheWitcher3throughtoconclusionthenyou’llknowthatitdoesroundofftheseriesinquiteaclosedmanner.Thebasegamehasover40differentendingvariations,butwhateverhappensit’sverymuchtheendofGeralt’sstory.

WhetheryougetoneofthegoodendingsorthebadonewhereCirisnuffsit,Geralt’sstoryseeshimridingoffintothesunset,eitherdestinedtoroamthelandasaWitcheruntilhislastdays,retiringtoKovirwithTrissorgoingoffwithYennefertoaplaceawayfromthepoliticsandthenoise.

“Ithinkgoodstoriesmusthaveanending,”saidJakubSzamałek,SeniorWriter,inaninterviewbackin2015withIGN.“Youcannotextendthemindefinitely,andwefeltthatGeralthashadsuchanamazingadventure,andhissagaisalreadysolongandcomplexthatthisseemedlikeagoodpointtothinkaboutanappropriatefinaleforthestory.”

WhateverendingyougetGeraltisfacingtherestofhisdaysinretirement.InTheWitcher3,he’salreadyanolderman,sothere’snowayhecouldbethefaceofapotentialWitcher4.He’sjustnotgotthestamina.Andofcourse,thesamecanbesaidforCiri,mostlybecauseifyouloseherattheendofTheWitcher3,it’snotgoingtomakemuchsensecontinuitywiseforthosegamerstohaveherastheprotagonistforthenextgame.

That'ssomethingthatthedevelopershavebackeduptoo.SpeakingtoPolygonduringatechdemobackin2013,executiveproducerJohnMamaissaidthatTheWitcher3wasGeralt'slaststory,butthatwouldn'tstophimfromacameoortwointhefuture.

"Wearenotkillingtheworldandwalkingawayfromit,butwewilldefinitelywanttomakethisgamethefinaleinabigway,"saidMamias."WemightevenincludeGeraltinlatergamespotentially.Wejustneedtotalkaboutitandfigureoutwhatwe'regoingtodonext."

Ofcourse,theserieshasplentyofsidecharacters,NPCsandotherfacesthatcouldtakeupthemantleofWitcherhero,butitseemslikethere’snocleardirectionforthenextgametogoinfromtheendingofTheWitcher3anditsexpansions.

Whatwe’resaying

I’dbelyingifIsaidIdidn’twantTheWitcher4toexistoneday.Likemillionsofothersoutthere,Ithinkit’samasterpieceofgamingthatabsolutelydeservesasequel.However,havingplayedTheWitcher3anditsexpansions,Icanseethatthereisanendtotheseries-atleastinitscurrentform.

IfweweretoseeTheWitcher4landonourPCorconsolesinthenextfewyears/decade,there’sdefinitelyscopetohaveafreshfaceleadusthere.Nodoubtwe’llbeplayingasanotherWitcher,althoughitcouldbethatpartofTheWitcher4ishavingtogothroughtheTrialoftheGrasses,theincrediblypainfultestthatyoungapprenticeshavetosurvivethroughinordertobecomeaWitcher.It’showtheygettheirsignaturecat-likeeyes,andotherenhancedskills.

Itwouldcertainlybealotofnewgroundtocover,especiallyseeingthatnewWitchertryingtocarveanameforthemselvesinthoseearlyyears-particularlyintheshadowofGeraltandCiri.

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