In less than a month, developer CDProject Red will release their highly anticipated The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It has been in the making for years, and already back in early 2013 this statement from studio manager Adam Badowski confirmed that it would be the last in the franchise:
"Technology has progressed to where we can finally tell the story the way we want, with the visuals we want, in the world we imagined. This will be the ultimate fantasy RPG experience, and while we're hardly out of stories to tell, we believe it's time for us to look to new worlds and new horizons to keep pushing the boundaries of what we can create."
In a recent interview with IGN, Senior Writer Jakub Szamałek elaborates on the decision:
"I think good stories must have an ending. You cannot extend them indefinitely, and we felt that Geralt has had such an amazing adventure, and his saga is already so long and complex that this seemed like a good point to think about an appropriate finale for the story."
This is a refreshing new perspective compared to what we are used to see from the majority of the gaming industry, where anything slightly successful is being milked for what it is worth. Sequel after sequel is pumped out until what made the game a success to begin with, is nothing but a faint memory. Both Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed are franchises that come to mind as fitting the description very well, as they are drifting further away from the original concept every year and turning into massive mass produced money making machines.
However, even if Geralt of Rivia most definitely will be hanging up his sword for good, the large, complex world created around him is not necessarily going to be left behind. "The Witcher universe is a very big place with a lot of NPCs, a lot of characters, a lot of places we haven’t shown yet. So, we might return to it at some point…but we think that this is a good place to let Geralt enjoy his retirement and try something new." Szamałek said. According to IGN, CDProjekt Red wasn't very eager to give more details on this, "it really does seem like they're ready to let go for the time being."
Since it has been known for quite some time that the Polish developer has been working on a new RPG next to The Witcher, it is reasonable to assume that is their next focal point. Cyberpunk 2077 is a role-playing game set in a "dark future" where advanced technologies have become "both the salvation and the curse of humanity." The game is said to have a nonlinear story designed for "mature" players and include sandbox elements. In strong contrast to The Witcher, Cyberpunk is set in the near future, in the metropolis of Night City. There are not a lot of details to be found on the title yet, but the trailer released early in 2013 gives a little insight as to where they are heading:
But for now the developers have all hands on deck to make sure The Witcher 3 and the two big DLC's are ready for release, and even if there is no guarantee for anything in gaming, it is safe enough to assume that it will sell in bucket loads. As it is so highly anticipated by a lot of people, it makes the decision to end the franchise that much more impressive. It will be released on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on the 19th of May, we will have to wait until then to find out if the decision to end Geralt's journey is one that will make us cry or make us express a sigh of relief.
Would you like to see more of Geralt in future games, or do you agree with the developer's decision?