Witcher 4 is more than ‘The Witcher 3 in new clothing’, promise CDPR, as over 400 devs work on Polaris

CD Projekt Red continues to strengthen the development team for The Witcher 4 – officially named Polaris – with two-thirds of the studio now working on the follow-up to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Meanwhile, the team working on Cyberpunk 2077 is down to fewer than 20 people, less than half the number working on its upcoming sequel.

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Cover image for YouTube videoCd Projekt Red prepares a new Witcher trilogy, a Cyberpunk 2077 sequel and more

CD Projekt Red recently announced seven new games, including an upcoming Witcher trilogy and a Cyberpunk 2077 sequel.

The latest insight into the priority given to each of the Polish developers’ different projects came during their FY 2023 earnings call, during which co-CEO Michał Nowakowski revealed that more than 400 developers were now focusing on the Project Polaris – aka The Witcher 4.

400 was the target team size set for mid-2024 by CD Project Red earlier this year, representing just under two-thirds of the company’s 600-person development team and a jump from to the approximately 330 developers who worked there last November. . As a result, Polaris is expected to move from its current pre-production phase to full production during the second half of the year.

A number of these additional Witcher 4 developers have left Cyberpunk 2077, after releasing its Phantom Liberty expansion and massive 2.0 update last year. There are only 17 people left on Team 2077, which Nowakowski said could “cut down a little bit” further since no other “big updates” are planned.

“Of course, we are still watching this game and things might change one day, but for now, 17 is enough,” Nowakowski said, adding: “We are finally satisfied – since last year – with the state of the game. .”

Panam is sitting at a bar in a Cyberpunk 2077 screenshot.

Image credit: Rock Paper/CD Projekt RED Shotgun

Cyberpunk 2077’s sequel, named Orion, is reportedly in the conceptual stages, with some of the top talent from the first game and Phantom Liberty overseeing the project – which envisioned some sort of multiplayer element and a move away from first-person. the last we heard. Although CD Projekt Red’s second-largest development team has been confirmed to be working on the Cyberpunk sequel, the team only includes 47 developers, almost a tenth of the next Witcher game.

After Polaris, the second project closest to completion is Project Sirius, the Witcher spinoff game led by The Molasses Flood, leading a team of 37 developers.

Unsurprisingly, CD Projekt Red refused to comment on a possible release date for The Witcher 4 – with Nowakowski responding “revealing release dates is part of the marketing plan, and it’s not something we’re willing to do here” to a question from a shareholder – but insisted that Polaris would be more ambitious and revolutionary than “The Witcher 3 in new clothes”.

“When it comes to the risks of innovative elements, creating a new game is always a creative risk, especially as we try to push new boundaries and explore new areas; it’s something we’ve never done before,” Nowakowski said.

“I guess what I’m saying is, don’t expect ‘The Witcher 3 to wear new clothes’; Of course, we’re building on the above and what we’ve learned, but we’ll be adding new gameplay elements and mechanics that you haven’t seen in our previous games. I would say that doing such things is always a risk; it is not simply a matter of repeating what has been done before.

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