Nearly six years after the release of the Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, CD Projekt RED revealed that they are ready to return to the fantasy RPG series. In an announcement on their website, the Polish developer explained that they were working on a new Witcher game and are using a new engine.
The next Witcher game is codenamed ‘Polaris’ and will be the beginning of a new trilogy of games. However, whether or not we’ll be playing as Geralt, Ciri, or someone new has yet to be revealed. The setting and time period of the next Witcher game/trilogy are also unknown.
- A new saga announced for The Witcher
- The Witcher 4? New saga story
- Do we know anything about the new Witcher release date?
- What platforms is the new Witcher on?
- A new engine
- More Witcher games: Project Canis Majoris & Sirius
CD Projekt RED surprised fans on March 21 when they announced that a new Witcher game was in development. The team made the announcement on their social media and official website. “We’re happy to announce that the next installment in The Witcher series of video games is currently in development, kicking off a new saga for the franchise,” they wrote.
It was also recently announced that Sebastian Kalemba – the animation director for Cyberpunk 2077 – has been appointed as the game director for The Witcher 4.
Career news: I’m directing the new Witcher Saga. Since joining @CDPROJEKTRED I believe nothing is impossible and raising the bar, telling emotional stories & creating worlds is what we’re here for. I’m proud to be part of CDPR and work with such a talented and passionate team.— Sebastian Kalemba (@Skalemba) November 3, 2022
Kalemba tweeted out about the news and expressed how excited he is to be getting to help develop this new story.
“I believe nothing is impossible and raising the bar, telling emotional stories & creating worlds is what we’re here for. I’m proud to be part of CDPR and work with such a talented and passionate team.”
The developer also revealed that the new title would not be on their own REDengine and would instead be developed on Unreal Engine 5. According to a press release, the decision to change the game engine was a part of a “multi-year” partnership the studio has made with Epic Games.
“This is an exciting moment as we’re moving from REDengine to Unreal Engine 5, beginning a multi-year strategic partnership with Epic Games,” the blog post read. “It covers not only licensing but technical development of Unreal Engine 5, as well as potential future versions of Unreal Engine, where relevant. We’ll closely collaborate with Epic Games’ developers with the primary goal being to help tailor the engine for open-world experiences.”
Following its surprise announcement, fans have been speculating what the game’s story could be about. Given that the studio put a heavy emphasis on it being a “new saga,” it seems unlikely that it will be The Witcher 4. With the Wild Hunt largely serving as the end of Geralt of Rivia’s trilogy, many theorized that the next game could star Ciri as the protagonist.
This wouldn’t be too far-fetched as the developer has discussed continuing the series with her in the past. In a 2020 interview with VG247, lead CD Projekt RED writer Jakub Szamalek teased a future game starring the ashen-haired Witcher. “I regret we didn’t get to explore Ciri’s past a bit more, but maybe it’s something we’ll get to get back to in the future,” he said, before asking the interviewer if he would like a game led by Ciri.
Another major hint is the promotional image itself which features the School of the Lynx medallion covered in snow instead of Geralt’s iconic Witcher medallion, which had become the logo for the original trilogy. The developers have now confirmed that the medallion is indeed a lynx, which implies the School of the Lynx will factor into the story somewhat.
While exciting, this is also surprising, as the School of the Lynx technically originated in unofficial Witcher stories, rather than something either CD Projekt RED or author Andrzej Sapkowski came up with.
In a September 2022 earnings call, the developers revealed that the next Witcher game will be the start of a “new Witcher saga.” This implies that there could be more than one new game, even a potential trilogy set in the Witcher universe.
Although CD Projekt RED is finally ready to announce that they are working on the next Witcher game, the studio clarified in a press release that there is currently no release date or window for the upcoming title.
“At this point, no further details regarding the game — such as a development time frame or release date — are available. Beyond this initial confirmation of a new saga in The Witcher franchise, we have no further details at this time,” an excerpt from their blog post read.
With Cyberpunk 2077 having only been released in late 2020 and its next-gen expansion still being in the works, it’s unclear when we can expect the new game to hit stores. Given their past release cycles, players could be waiting quite a while.
With details being scarce, it’s impossible to know definitively what platforms the next Witcher trilogy will be on. Unless it ends up being a next-gen-only title, it’s more than likely to land on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC at the very least.
Speaking of platforms, the official Witcher Twitter account confirmed that the game would not be exclusive to the Epic Games Store despite its Unreal Engine 5 deal. “We are not planning on making the game exclusive to one storefront,” the social media post wrote in response to a fan.
We are not planning on making the game exclusive to one storefront.— The Witcher (@witchergame) March 21, 2022
Perhaps the most interesting tidbit from the announcement was that the new Witcher is being made from the ground up on Unreal Engine 5. Not only that, the developer stressed that they will be working closely with Epic Games to make sure the engine is optimized for their open-world release.
This will likely come as a relief to many fans of the developer as Cyberpunk 2077’s debut was filled with so many bugs that Sony pulled it from its PlayStation store for months.
So, if nothing else, it appears that the studio is working hard to make sure the next Witcher game delivers right out of the gate. Given the high bar that 2015’s Wild Hunt set for the industry, this sounds like a return to form for the critically acclaimed franchise.
CD Projekt Red has revealed that two other Witcher games are in development and are separate from the Polaris Trilogy. The first of these is called Canis Majoris and will be ‘a full-fledged Witcher game, developed by an external studio headed by experienced developers who have worked on past Witcher games’.
The next is codenamed Sirius and will also be set in The Witcher universe and created with support from CDPR. This Witcher entry will offer multiplayer gameplay on top of a single-player experience including a campaign with quests and a story.
However, the announcement means that there is now a total of 5 Witcher games in development, including the Polaris trilogy and projects Canis Majoris and Sirius.
So, that’s everything we know so far about the next Witcher game. For more on the biggest upcoming releases, check out our pages on some of the most-anticipated games that have been announced: