Witcher 4 Release Date: Will There Ever Be A Witcher 4?

So, Will There Be a Witcher 4?

With the recent news surrounding the The Witcher Netflix series, gaming communities have started asking themselves if we will ever see a return to Temeria in the 4th installment of The Witcher series. CD Projekt Red was silent about all things Witcher at E3 this year, instead focusing on their open world sci-fi RPG Cyberpunk 2077, but that does not necessarily mean that they have hung up their silver swords for good. After the critically acclaimed masterpiece and financial juggernaut that was The Wicher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt Red would have an easy sell with another game in the franchise. After all, who doesn’t love massive fantasy worlds, full of monsters, knights, cheeky sorceresses and more quests than an adventure journal can keep track of?

The Witcher series of games, based on the Polish novels of the same name by Andrzej Sapowski, sees you take on the role of grizzled protagonist and professional monster-slayer Geralt of Rivia. Geralt is a member of a group of beings known as witchers, a caste of genetically mutated monster slayers-for-hire. Throughout the series, Geralt finds himself wrapped up in political conspiracies, regicidal plots,, romantic flings with sorceresses, and old fashion, bad-ass monster killing. The series is noted for its focus on intricate and detailed story; the script for The Witcher 3 alone has over 450,000 words, compared to the average novel’s word count of 80,000-100,000!

Although there is no solid information on the highly anticipated 4th title, that does not stop us from reasoning from the previous games in the series. With that in mind, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and retrospect on the success and evolution of the Witcher series through time.

The Witcher

The first game in the series was released in 2007, back when CD Projekt Red was still a relatively unknown player in the business. The game open with an amnesic Geralt, who has forgotten most details from his life, stumbling through the woods near the witcher fortress, Kaer Morhen.. What follows is his struggles against the Salamandra, a secret organization who has stolen the ingredients necessary for performing the ritual that gives witchers their enhanced powers. As the story progresses, it is revealed that the Salamandra were in actuality backed by the militant religious and political organization The Order of the Flaming Rose. Eventually Geralt is successful in killing the mastermind behind the theft, yet the ritual materials are lost. Along the way, many important characters are introduced such as the bard Dandelion, the sorceress Triss Merigold, and the ruler of Temeria King Foltest.

The story of The Witcher takes place over a prologue, 5 chapters, and an epilogue. Depending on the player’s choices in each chapter, the events of the story will differ drastically, with entire regions and characters being replaced others. The Witcher also introduced the unique game mechanic of using potions and other alchemical substances to enhance Geralt’s witcher abilities. In addition, it is the game that set the series precedent for Geralt’s...proclivity with the ladies. In the game, there are 26 romance cards to collect, each gained after Geralt has an er… ‘encounter’ with some female NPC. Good thing witchers are sterile and resistant to most disease.

The games was a critical and commercial success whichsolidified the reputation of CD Projekt Red in the industry, thus setting the stage for the next release in the series….

Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings

The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings was released in 2011, and was met with much fanfare and hurrah. The second game in the series picks up right were the last one left off. Geralt is accused of assassinating King Foltest and embarks on a quest to prove his innocence. Eventually, it is revealed that the actual assassin, a witcher named Letho of Gulet, was hired by the neighboring Nilfgaardian empire to kill the king of Temeria, weakening the country and allowing for invasion. At the very end, Geralt proves his innocence, finally recovers his lost memories, and Nilfgaard invades Temeria

The game also includes the branching story structure from the first game. Depending on the players choices, different events will occur and different characters will survive or die. Many of these events are even carried over into the next game of the franchise. The game is recognized for refining the combat from the first series, and presenting a more open-world structure. And yes, Geralt is able to seduce a number of ladies in this entry too.

The game was a critical success and sold well; by September 2014 the series had sold a combined 8 million units. The game even got a shout out from president Obama, who received a copy from then-Polish prime minister Donald Tusk. When asked about the game, Obama said “I confess, I am not very good at video games, but I’ve been told that it is a great example of Poland’s place in the new global economy.” Well said president Obama.

Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Following up on the success of 2011’s Assassin of Kings came 2015’s Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and boy howdy, was it worth the wait. The game saw a full blown transition to an open-world structure and was absolutely bursting with content at launch. Add in two reasonably priced DLCs loaded with story and gameplay and its no wonder that this game is always included on lists of the greatest games of all time.

Witcher 3 follows Geralt who, after regaining his memories, sets out to find his ward and adoptive daughter Ciri. Throughout, Geralt is followed by the otherworldly Wild Hunt, a band of ghostly horsemen who also wish to find Ciri for their own nefarious purposes. In addition, Nilfgaard has invaded Temeria and turned the region into a desolate war zone. Eventually, Geralt finds Ciri and confronts the leader of the Wild Hunt. The game features 36 different ending game states, each sensitive to particular conditions that must be met. The endings range from the ‘worst’ where Ciri dies and Geralt’s fate is left unknown, tothe ‘best’ where Ciri chooses to becomes a witcher and live on the path while Geralt finally retires in peace.

Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was a ridiculous critical and commercial success which essentially made CD Projekt Red legends in the gaming community. It spawned the greatest video game-based card game of all time, Gwent (sorry Hearthstone), and turned Geralt of Rivia into a household name. The game also got 2 DLC expansion, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine, each adding about 15 and 30 hours of content, respectively.

Witcher 4: What the Devs Are Saying

Although the devs have hinted that there may eventually be another entry in the series, so far there is no information on the title, and it is likely there won’t be for some time. However, one thing we know for sure: Geralt's story is over. If you’ve played the Witcher 3 to the end, then you know that the game closes the series in a pretty final manner. Despite the number of endings, Geralt’s story is firmly rounded off in all of them.

When asked in 2015 about the possibility of continuing Geralt’s story further, senior writer Jakub Szamalek said “I think good stories must have an ending. You cannot extend them indefinitely,and we felt that Geralt had such an amazing adventure, and his saga is already so long and complex that this seemed like a good point to think of an appropriate finale for the story.”

Of course, that does not mean that the devs are going to step away from the massive world that the have created. “We like this world a lot.” said Marcin Iwinski, at CD Projekt Red’s March 2017 investor call. “We invested 15 years of our lives in it and a lot of money. So we’ll think about [making a new Witcher game] at some point. But please consider us as rational people, we sometimes have weird ideas but overall our thinking is very rational. We have full rights to The Witcher games. They are ours. We have invested enormous funds into promoting it, and it’s a very strong brand.”

CD Projekt Red does seem to be currently developing an RPG that is not Cyberpunk2077, but no further information is available on the title at this time.

So it looks like if we ever get another Witcher game, its going to be a while from now, and it will not feature Geralt as the main character. Of course, the series has a colorful cast of side character and NPCs that could take up the mantle of main character, but so far there do not seem to be any tangible plans for the series.

What We Are Saying

I would be lying if I said I didn’t want a Witcher 4. The game is a genuine masterpiece, and rightfully deserves a sequel. But I also understand that the last entry in the series tied everything up with a neat bow. No doubt the world is large enough to be the setting for another game int the series; perhaps one where you create your own witcher and choose which witcher school you want to train at. Each school could even have a different fighting style, or different tools and magic. There are a lot of stories that could be told about witchers other than Geralt.

Of course for now, this is all just wishful thinking. Maybe we will see the return of the Witcher series on the next console generation; we can only wait and see.

In the meantime though, plenty of great RPGs are slated for release in 2019, such as FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3 from Square Enix, and Bioware’s Anthem. Looks like 2019 will give us plenty to chew on as we wait for the next Witcher.

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From the colorful world of the Mushroom Kingdom to the dark and threatening land of Lordran, Alex is an lifetime expert in rescuing princesses from castles and fighting ancient evils.
Gamer Since: 1996
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Super Mario Odyssey, Cuphead, Hollow Knight
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