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Will there be a Witcher 4? Here's what we know

The Witcher 4 - Ciri sits at a table while people threaten her from behind
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Will there be a Witcher 4? Maybe, but it’s not coming anytime soon—and while it seems likely that developer CD Projekt Red will eventually make another Witcher game, it probably won't have a "4" in the title.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the greatest RPGs of all time, so an eventual sequel would be highly anticipated. So much, in fact, that there’s no shortage of rumors about a theoretical fourth Witcher game, and CD Projekt has commented on the possibility a few times. We’ve gathered everything we know for sure about the next Witcher game so you can manage your expectations accordingly.

CD Projekt Red's newest big RPG, Cyberpunk 2077 has been out now for some time and it seems like it might be occupying the studio's attention for awhile yet. The rocky launch was plagued with bugs, leading CDPR to work through a 2021 roadmap for fixes. The company is also still planning a multiplayer mode for Cyberpunk 2077. All that's to say, work on the theoretical Witcher 4 may not happen for years yet.

CDPR acquires Molasses Flood to work on something

Geralt and a mage stand in front of a ruined castle

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Back in March 2019, CD Projekt Red said that its plans to release another triple-A RPG in 2021, besides Cyberpunk 2077, remained unchanged. However, there's been no word of it since then. 

Then, we get the news in October 2021 of CD Projekt acquiring studio Molasses Flood (responsible for Flame in the Flood) to work "in close cooperation" with developer CD Projekt Red on an "ambitious project" based on one of CDPR's existing properties. They also confirmed they won't be working on Cyberpunk 2077, and since there are only two choices with CDPR, that leaves The Witcher.

The big question, of course, is what the new game could be. If it’s a brand new Witcher game, then it’s a well-kept secret. 

CD Projekt signed a new deal with Witcher creator Andrzej Sapkowski in 2019

CD Projekt famously got the rights to make Witcher games for a flat up-front fee, which novelist Andrzej Sapkowski wasn't thrilled about after the games became enormously popular. Since 2018 the two parties have been negotiating a new deal, and in December 2019 they finally reached it. The new agreement "solidifies and reinforces the company’s relationship with Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski—author of The Witcher saga."

The most interesting quote, however, is this one: "The agreement confers new rights upon the Company and reaffirms its existing title to 'The Witcher' intellectual property in developing video games, graphic novels, board games and merchandise."

That doesn't spell out that new videogames are on the way, but it's a sure sign that CD Projekt has a long-term interest in The Witcher.

CD Projekt Red hasn't said anything concrete about a new Witcher game yet

More from the Witcher world

The Witcher 3 - Geralt artwork

(Image credit: CD PRojekt RED)

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CD Projekt Red has been somewhat vague about the future of The Witcher game series, but it’s at least clear that the studio needs to take a break from that world. In a 2017 investor call, CDPR co-founder and CEO Marcin Iwinski said that the studio is not abandoning The Witcher forever, but it’s not the current focus. "For the past ten years the team has been working on swords and castles and medieval Slavic monsters. So I think it’s time for some guns, androids, and some ammo."

That’s fair. After three massive RPGs in the same universe and the same character, you naturally want to do something new. Cyberpunk 2077 is in many ways The Witcher's opposite, so it fits the bill. He also reiterated that the studio values The Witcher highly. "We like this world a lot. We invested 15 years of our lives in it and a lot of money. So, we’ll think about [another 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."

So, yes, CDPR loves The Witcher and knows that players would get excited about another sequel. After all, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sold over 20 million copies. But it’s working on other stuff, so it might be a long time before we see a full-fledged return to the fantasy world.

Gwent spin-off Thronebreaker, released in late 2018, had disappointing sales, and the competitive Gwent card game never really broke out of Hearthstone's shadow. But it does continue to be supported, so a small part of CD Projekt Red is still embedded in the Witcher universe, even if another big game isn't in development.

A knight is thrown from his horse

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Geralt won’t return as protagonist, but he could cameo

Since before the release of The Witcher 3, CDPR has been open about the fact that Geralt wouldn’t return as the protagonist of whatever comes next in the franchise. "With the third installment, we should wrap it up and conclude a lot of threads," Iwiński told Polygon in 2013. "We are not killing the world and walking away from it, but we will definitely want to make this game the finale in a big way."

In the same interview, executive producer John Mamais hinted that Geralt could return with a smaller role or as a cameo. "We might even include Geralt in later games potentially," Mamais said. "We just need to talk about it and figure out what we're going to do next." Geralt is a very flexible character. His long lifetime (he's over 90 in The Witcher 3) means that he could pop up in stories told long before or after the events of CDPR’s trilogy.

It probably won’t be called The Witcher 4

Whatever form the next big Witcher game takes, it probably won’t have a 4 on it. CDPR co-founder Marcin Iwinski has made it clear that the studio sees the first three games as a standalone trilogy. "The Witcher was designed as a trilogy and a trilogy cannot have a fourth part, can it?" he said in a 2017 investor call.

The clarification might sound trivial, but it’s more about setting the right expectations for what comes next. Not only will a theoretical next Witcher not star Geralt, but it might be different in more fundamental ways than we’re assuming. It could take place on a different continent, be in a very different time, or maybe not even be about a witcher. The game could step away from witchers themselves and explore sorceresses or vampires. It’s a rich world to draw inspiration from. I’m partial to the diverse, wandering lifestyle of Witchers, but I’m also open to something different.

When does Ciri get her own game?

Don't click the link if you haven't finished The Witcher 3.

C'mon, CD Projekt. You set it up. Time to give Ciri her due.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Ciri poses in front of a burning forest at night

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)
Morgan Park

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.