Much to the no-doubt disappointment of Geralt connoisseurs, CD Projekt announced yesterday that the planned next-gen update for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which was first announced in 2020, has been delayed again. The news did not come with a replacement release window, but only said that the update had been delayed.”until further notice.”
This terminology was a little worrying in the eyes of some, myself included: “Until further notice” sounds a lot like “indefinitely overdue”, which is usually a sort of code phrase for games that are in serious trouble. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2for example it was delayed indefinitely in early 2021, a move that also halted pre-sales and the developer withdrew the project. Aside from vague assurances that the work will continue, it hasn’t been heard from since.
On an investor call today, however, CD Projekt’s senior vice president of business development, Michał Nowakowski, was keen to say that’s not the case with the much-anticipated Witcher 3 update.
“I’ve been looking at headlines that popped up here and there on the internet, and I saw one that really caught my eye, which is ‘Witcher 3 next-gen delayed indefinitely’, which looks like the game is in some kind of development hell “, Nowakowski said. “I want to say that’s not the fact. There’s been a lot of insinuations that we’re going to release, like, June next year or something. That’s not the case.
“All we’re saying is – we take the development of the game in-house. The game will be finished internally. We’re taking our time, this requires a bit of investigation – that’s all we’re saying. No one is saying the game is late [with] some monumental time lapse ahead of us. That’s the most I can say about the next generation of Witcher, but I really want to emphasize that fact.”
Later in the call, CD Projekt CEO Adam Kicinski also suggested that there isn’t much work to be done on the update. “Not many,” Kicinski said when asked how many developers it takes to complete the project, estimating the total number at around 50 people, plus an outside support team. “Taking on this project will not affect the development of our next game.”
The Witcher 3 next-gen update is in development for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series XS consoles and will come to game owners on PC as a free update. A possible new launch target was not revealed during the call, but it looks like (or at least could) be closer than initially anticipated. One thing it isn’t, unfortunately, is the Cyberpunk 2077 expansion: CD Projekt said on the same call that it won’t appear until sometime in 2023.