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“400 people” will start bringing The Witcher 4 to life this year

The Witcher 4 production is set to ramp up this year, with CD Projekt RED looking to shift its devpower away from Cyberpunk 2077 on PS5 and Xbox.

The Witcher 4 production phase: Geralt, a main with long silver hair wearing chainmail

CD Projekt co-CEO Adam Badowski has revealed that the studio is looking to put more of its eggs into The Witcher basket and enter the next phase of Project Polaris’ production this year. Polaris encompasses a whole new Witcher trilogy for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and the next console generation too, no doubt, and it all kicks off with The Witcher 4.

Speaking to Reuters, Badowski says that CD Projekt’s RED studio would “like to have around 400 people working on the project [The Witcher 4] by the middle of the year.” The studio previously announced that all three games in the new Witcher trilogy would be released in a “six-year publishing window,” so it makes sense that it is looking to get all hands on deck to begin delivering on that promise. In October 2022, then-CEO Adam Kiciński told investors that the first installment in the successor to one of the best RPG games trilogies was over three years away, indicating a release window sometime around 2026/2027.

The next step in The Witcher franchise was announced back in March 2022. At the time, CDPR announced that it would be shifting from its proprietary REDengine to Unreal Engine 5, following in the steps of studios like BioWare, GSC Game World, and Respawn Entertainment, who have all made the jump to Epic’s framework in recent times. With a foundation being laid by The Witcher 4, development time for the final two games should be significantly quicker.

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CDPR has had quite the rollercoaster ride since the conclusion to the original Witcher trilogy arrived back in 2015. After a bug-riddled Cyberpunk 2077 launched to a chorus of reports surrounding crunch culture at the studio, CDPR resolved to rectify its myriad issues.

Multiple patches and a solid DLC later, Cyberpunk 2077 is now far closer to the original vision – it even picked up an award for ‘Best Ongoing’ game at The Game Awards 2023. If you’re wondering when the sequel to Cyberpunk will arrive, you’re going to be waiting a while yet. According to Badowski, Project Orion is still in the conceptual phase, with the studio planning to attribute 80 devs to it by the end of the year.

While there’s still a ways to go for Cyberpunk fans, Witcher fans can start licking their chops in anticipation of CDPR’s next grand adventure – we know we are. While it’s unclear if we’re in for more of Geralt’s hmm-ing, The Witcher 4 is one of the most hotly anticipated new PS5 games and new Xbox games of the current generation.

If you’re looking to get in on the latest from upcoming games, check out why the Indiana Jones game isn’t as linear as it first seems. Alternatively, check out this writer’s thoughts on why those bemoaning Hellblade’s $50 price tag are in the wrong.