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The original Witcher RPG is being remade ‘from the ground up’

No platforms or release date yet, but it sounds big and ambitious

Key art for the The Witcher Remake; the game’s title is presented over a black screen against billowing flames and embers Image: CD Projekt Red/CD Projekt
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The Witcher, CD Projekt’s debut work from 2007, which also inaugurated a best-selling, critically acclaimed RPG trilogy, will be remade “from the ground up” in Unreal Engine 5, the publisher announced on Wednesday.

The Witcher Remake is being made in Unreal Engine 5 at Fool’s Theory, a Poland-based studio that has supported triple-A RPG development since its founding in 2015. Fool’s Theory’s developers also worked on 2011’s The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and 2015’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt; CD Projekt Red, the the trilogy’s original developer, will be “providing full creative supervision,” the publisher added.

CD Projekt’s statement confirmed that The Witcher Remake is the project codenamed “Canis Majoris” that was revealed at the beginning of October. The publisher has also scheduled three more all-new sequels for The Witcher, beginning with one code-named “Polaris.” No release window has been given for Polaris, but CD Projekt said the three sequels, which will also be developed in Unreal 5, will launch over a six-year span.

The Witcher “was the first game we made, ever, and it was a big moment for us then,” Adam Badowski, CD Projekt Red’s head of studio, said in a statement. “Going back to this place and remaking the game for the next generation of gamers to experience, it feels just as big, if not bigger.”

The Witcher is an adaptation of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s series of fantasy novels by the same name, published between 1990 and 1999. The franchise has grown from a cult following in Central and Eastern Europe into something of a national treasure for Poland, particularly after the mainstream exposure granted by the three video games, also developed by a Polish studio. (When President Obama visited the country in 2011, Polish officials presented him with a copy of the first game.) Netflix also premiered The Witcher TV series, starring Henry Cavill as protagonist Geralt of Rivia, in 2019, and has renewed it for a third season airing next summer.

“I am very happy that my professional path has crossed again with fellow developers, from the time of working together on The Witcher 2 and The Witcher 3. Especially when it’s a remake of a project that is so close to our hearts,” Fool’s Theory chief executive Jakub Rokosz said Wednesday. “Our goal is to give players another great game from the iconic Witcher series.”

The first game was developed using BioWare’s Aurora engine, and launched 15 years ago today on PC, in fact. The Witcher never launched on consoles, either in its original release or 2008’s Enhanced Edition. Wednesday’s statement did not specify what platforms would be getting The Witcher Remake, nor any launch date or window.

CD Projekt Red launched the sequel in 2011 (and an Enhanced Edition of that in 2012) for PC and Xbox 360, using the studio’s proprietary REDengine. The most recent game in the series, 2015’s Wild Hunt, also uses REDengine. It launched on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, with a version for Nintendo Switch following in 2019. A version for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X is expected by the end of this year.

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