New Witcher Game in Development
Note: Details about the upcoming game are scarce, so I've provided confirmed knowledge and filled in the blanks with popular theories and speculation.
Here's what we know, alongside my two cents.
Update 3/23: CD Projekt Red has officially said that the medallion belongs to School of the Lynx!
Robert Malinowski (CD Projekt Red, Global Communication Director) stated:
"Ok, some mysteries should not be so mysterious. I can confirm that the medallion is, in fact, shaped after a lynx."
- The game has (likely) been in development since 2019-2020. CD Projekt Red had signed an updated agreement with The Witcher's creator, Andrzej Sapkowski, in Dec 2019 and has teased over the past few years that the studio isn't finished with the Witcher universe.
- In terms of the development timeline for the game, CDPR are keeping details close to the vest. The studio has seemingly learned from prior rocky, delayed launches (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077) that it's better to take your time and announce when everything is in order. CDPR is no stranger to bad press, with multiple investigations and allegations of crushing crunch and hostile work conditions cropping up over the past few years. We'll have to watch as development unfolds to see if similar behavior arises again, especially with such a high-profile IP being worked on. My hope is that CDPR takes their time with this and makes it a worthy follow-up to The Witcher 3.
- CDPR will develop this game using Unreal 5 instead of their personalized REDengine. CD Projekt Red has confirmed that it will not be EGS (Epic Games Store) exclusive, so I expect it will be available on multiple PC storefronts and major console platforms.
- The newest Witcher installment will not continue Geralt's story. Multiple reps at CDPR have emphasized that Geralt's story was told and finished in the trilogy series. However, hints of him cameoing in the newest Witcher world installment haven't gone unquashed, so I suspect our silver-haired hero will make an appearance. (He has to, right?)
The medallion pictured in CDPR's official announcement has caused a lot of online buzz, with diehard Witcher fans analyzing what exactly this new medallion is. Geralt is famously part of the School of the Wolf, whose amulet is different than the picture. The two closest matches to it that currently exist are School of the Cat and School of the Lynx. That said, the amulet that CDPR shared in their update doesn't match any of the existing canon amulets. (Here's a link to an image courtesy GameRant that compares the CDPR press amulet to other Witcher amulets.)
While CDPR has been known to take liberties with the visuals and lore of The Witcher, it seems unlikely they'd develop an entirely new Witcher School just for the games.
- If it is School of the Cat, this could point to Ciri being the protagonist of the game. Ciri's Cat medallion that she wears in The Witcher 3 was from a bounty hunter hired to kill her. Geralt and Yennefer would almost certainly make appearances in the game if Ciri is the lead.
- CDPR could potentially be looking to introduce School of the Lynx into the game world, which was introduced in the books shortly after the School of the Wolf was destroyed. However, that theory is a bit shaky as the actual lore around it is hazy and unfinished. That said, this could give CDPR the clean canvas they're looking for to start a new story with, and also give them ample opportunity to introduce Geralt somehow since he, Lambert, and Eskel were all involved in the School of the Lynx being founded.
What are your theories about the game? Are you excited about the changes that CDPR has made to development?