Surprise: We're getting an all new Witcher game this week. Obviously, it's not The Witcher 4, which CD Projekt Red confirmed earlier this year (though not by that name). It's actually a deckbuilding roguelike based on the card game Gwent.
As reported by IGN, Gwent: Rogue Mage, originally codenamed Project Golden Nekker, will be released on July 7. Billed as a 'singleplayer expansion' for CDPR's multiplayer Gwent, it's nonetheless being released as a standalone adventure. It'll cost $10 for the base game, with a premium edition available for $20 that comes with in-game skins, cosmetics, and card packs for the multiplayer version.
Speaking to IGN, Rogue Mage director Vladimir Tortsov says this release came from them "noticing that years after The Witcher 3's release, there are a significant number of players who want a more PvE experience from Gwent."
"While Gwent multiplayer is a fantastic game for those who are looking for a great PvP multiplayer experience, we perfectly understand that many Witcher players loved the original mini-game of Gwent for totally different reasons," Tortsov said. "With Rogue Mage we aim to give this audience a reason to play modern-day Gwent in the format they prefer."
Though its imminent release is a surprise to me, what isn't is that Rogue Mage is a roguelike deckbuilder. Come on, with all the success we've seen in that genre in recent years, this format seems like an obvious choice for The Witcher's card series. Build a deck and see how far you can go with a sprinkle of story.
Tortsov says to experience everything the game has to offer will take about 30 hours. It's also a prequel game, set hundreds of years before Geralt's adventures, albeit Tortsov stresses that the focus was on gameplay over narrative—"We do not treat this expansion as an official addition to The Witcher lore". I guess we'll get to find out how good the final product is in a matter of hours.