CD Projekt Red says the next Witcher game is 'not just repeating what was done before' as the dev team ramps up to over 400

The Witcher: A New Saga
(Image credit: CD Projekt)

There are currently 627 developers working at CD Projekt Red, and as the studio revealed during its financial year 2023 earnings conference, 403 of them are now dedicated to work on Project Polaris, which is to say, The Witcher 4. (Thanks, RPS.) Meanwhile, the skeleton crew left to work on Cyberpunk 2077 updates has shrunk to 17, while its sequel, codenamed Project Orion, has a team of 47 and is presumably still in the early stages.

Answering shareholder questions after the conference, joint CEO of CD Projekt Red Michał Nowakowski patiently explained that, no, he would not be able to reveal the release date of the next Witcher game in a conference call. "Revealing the release date is basically part of the marketing plan and that's not something we're willing to do here," he said.

Nowakowski did, however, talk about the risks CD Projekt Red was taking by innovating in certain areas of the upcoming game. "Making [a] new game is always a creative risk," he said, "especially since we're trying to push new boundaries and explore new fields, do something we haven't actually done before." Though he called it "a pretty broad paintbrush stroke" he did attempt to explain what that meant. "Basically, I guess what I'm saying is you should not be expecting just a Witcher 3 in new clothing. I mean, of course we're building on the shoulders of what was done before and on the learnings of what was done before, but we will be adding new things, new elements, new gameplay elements, new mechanics that you have not seen in our previous games so far."

The next Witcher game is currently in its pre-production phase, but CD Projekt Red is planning to go into full production in the second half of 2024.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.