In one of this month's more unexpected reveals, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt will be getting its own fully-fledged modding tools. They'll arrive sometime in 2024, according to the game's official Twitter account.
This is wild (hunt) for a couple of reasons. First off, The Witcher 3 isn't exactly a new game—it's eight years old, in fact. I know, I don't like that either. It's had a big next-gen facelift recently, sure, but it's pretty late in the game to provide full modding support.
Second, the game already has a pretty active modding community. We even have a list of the best mods for it. It's not like there haven't been fully-fledged quest mods, too, like this one that ties up Blood and Wine. You can even, as my fellow PC Gamer writer Joshua Wolens points out, take Geralt snowboarding. What more could you want?
To be fair, a still-active modding community may be what's motivating this move in the first place. Just because questline mods are theoretically possible, doesn't mean they aren't a major pain in the butt to put together. Proper tools will blow that door wide open, and keep people interested in the game besides.
All this to say, Witcher fans could get their own Forgotten City equivalents in the future—mods so ambitious they could go on to become their own games. Stuff like Fallout 4's The Fen's Sheriff Department or Skyrim's Warden of the Coast. Hell, we could even get an unofficial remake of the other Witcher games considering Skyblivion's a thing.
That'll of course depend on how useful the tools themselves are, but if you give modders an inch, they'll mod a mile. They'll then populate that mile with professional-grade, gorgeously-written storylines—or they'll just slap Thomas the Tank Engine in the middle of it and call it a day, again. Either way, I'm very excited for both outcomes.
This isn't the first time CD Projekt Red's added modding support to a game a good while after its release, either. REDmod was released for Cyberpunk: 2077 last year, around two years after the game came out. Whether this kind of support will be standard going forward remains to be seen—but considering the success Bethesda's enjoyed from mod support, it's a win-win for everybody if it becomes CD Projekt Red's new normal.