CD Projekt RED confirmed development on the next instalment in The Witcher games series in 2022, revealing some new information on the as yet untitled game. We got to see some new art, a bit of a slogan to further fuel speculation, as well as the announcement of an engine change for the studio. Following this, the game was codenamed ‘Polaris’ and is said to be the start of a new trilogy.
We’ve been hearing rumblings of ‘The Witcher 4’ for a couple of years now, with CD Projekt RED slowly drip-feeding new information via investor calls and throwaway comments in interviews. There isn’t too much to go off of yet, we don’t even know what the game will be called, after all. Since the recent reveal has given us official confirmation of the next entry into The Witcher series however, we can start piecing together what we’ve heard so far, and use that to make some predictions as to what might be on the cards.
To make sure you’re up to date with the latest on The Witcher 4, or whatever it may end being called, this everything we know guide will collect all of the official info released by CD Projekt RED. We’ll also take a look at some of the earlier comments made by the studio, and theorize as to what the game might include when it releases.
‘The Witcher 4’ release date, and possible release window
CD Projekt RED announced the next Witcher game in a blog post, but no information was given regarding a possible release date. A press release accompanying the announcement had this to say:
‘At this point, no further details regarding the game — such as a development time frame or release date — are available.’
Back in May of 2022, we also received news that The Witcher 4 had moved into pre-production phase. This is the latest milestone on how the game is progressing.
The Witcher 4 new saga story and setting
Alongside the teaser image you can see above, little was revealed in terms of The Witcher 4’s setting. We did get a small tagline to the title, reading: ‘A New Saga Begins.’ This likely means that we are looking at a brand new story moving forward. The first three The Witcher games were very much marketed as a trilogy, so its possible that this ‘New Saga’ could be the start of something completely new.
Whether this involves a new protagonist, timeline and setting remains to be seen, but we’re expecting things to be less related to the first three games as we may have first expected. Given the lack of information to the contrary, we’re still calling this The Witcher 4, even if the next entry is unlikely to follow on from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt directly.
A series of announcement followed the initial teaser image, wherein CD Projekt RED detailed several games that were in development. One was codenamed ‘Polaris’, and was described as the next mainline entry into the series. This is what we’re calling The Witcher 4 for now, and it seems as though it will be the first in a brand new trilogy.
Polaris is a codename for the next installment in The Witcher series of games, which we recently announced was in pre-production. It is the beginning of a new saga: we aim to release two more Witcher games after Polaris, creating a new AAA RPG trilogy. pic.twitter.com/898Ez6Yk79
— CD PROJEKT RED (@CDPROJEKTRED) October 4, 2022
Will it be an Epic Games Store exclusive?
After the press release announcing the new Witcher game went live, many fans were worried that The Witcher 4 could end up being an Epic Games Store exclusive. This is because it is being developed on Unreal Engine 5 (more on that later), in collaboration with Epic Games devs, in order to ‘help tailor the engine for open-world experiences.’ Worry not however, as the official Witcher Twitter account seems to have confirmed that The Witcher 4 will not be exclusive to any one storefront.
The Witcher 4 will be developed using Unreal Engine 5
Both Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher series were developed on an in-house game engine called RED Engine. Starting with The Witcher 4, CD Projekt RED will switch to Unreal Engine 5, collaborating with Epic Games. Cyberpunk development will still be handled using the RED Engine, including upcoming expansions and updates. The move to Unreal Engine 5 is an interesting one, though we won’t quite know the technical implications until we hear more about the game.
So what does the Witcher medallion teaser image mean?
Now that the dust has settled on the announcement of the next Witcher game, let’s take a look at that teaser image. One thing’s for certain, that’s a Witcher school medallion. Geralt famously carried the wolf variant of this, while Ciri had one that represented the school of the cat. This new medallion does look feline, but the ears look like that of a lynx. The only problem with this theory is that there is already a lynx school in The Witcher, but it’s only in fan-fiction.
Since the reveal, many have been running with this lynx theory, and a particular tweet from CD Projekt RED Global Community Director Marcin Momot seems to confirm the suspicions. They responded to a tweet with a GIF of a confirming nod, seemingly adding weight to the lynx theories. We’ll have to wait and see whether this is indeed where the next Witcher game takes the series.
Could The Witcher 4 feature more Gwent?
Now we’re getting into the real questions. Anyone who played The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will know the card game Gwent. It was so good that it even spawned a standalone game, and is definitely one of the most iconic aspects of the series. There’s been no official word on whether or not we will see Gwent return as part of the next Witcher game, but there is some promising news. Jason Slama was revealed as the new game’s director, and perhaps only the die-hard fans among you will know that they previously headed up the standalone Gwent title. While this isn’t exactly a confirmation, it’s a good sign that we may see Gwent, or something similar in The Witcher 4.
We’ll likely hear more on The Witcher 4 in the coming months. As new information is released, this page will be updated. In the meantime, be sure to check out our article on Henry Cavill’s hopes for season 3 of The Witcher tv series.