Unlike the troubled launch of Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 4 will not relegate console versions as an afterthought, as disclosed by a senior CD Projekt Red executive. This revelation was made as part of a broader reflection on how the tumultuous release of Cyberpunk 2077 is shaping CDPR’s future endeavors.
Not much information has been divulged about the fourth mainline installment in The Witcher series since CD Projekt Red confirmed its development in 2022. From the limited details shared by the studio in the subsequent year, it is known that The Witcher 4 is codenamed Polaris and will not include a number in its title. Furthermore, it is slated for release prior to the forthcoming remake of the original 2007 game, The Witcher.
While the development of The Witcher 4 remains shrouded in secrecy, Colin Walder, CDPR’s Management and Audio Engineering Director, has shed light on a significant aspect of the project. During his recent appearance at the ninth Inven Game Conference in Pangyo, South Korea, Walder revealed that CD Projekt Red has adopted a much more inclusive approach to platform development for project Polaris.
To be more specific, the studio is already conducting demonstrations and internal performance assessments on consoles, as confirmed by the official. Walder acknowledged that console testing was a practice CDPR only began during the later stages of Cyberpunk 2077’s development, with less than desirable outcomes, to put it mildly.
Consequently, The Witcher 4 is expected to provide much better console performance at launch compared to Cyberpunk 2077. This is of paramount importance, given that the upcoming title might turn out to be another cross-generation release for CD Projekt Red. As a reminder, the technical problems that plagued Cyberpunk 2077 at launch were primarily associated with the game’s PS4 and Xbox One versions, both of which struggled to maintain a stable frame rate, among other issues. Fixing the fiasco proved to be a costly endeavor for CD Projekt Red, with the company recently disclosing that rectifying Cyberpunk 2077 set them back over $126 million.
While it’s worth noting that Cyberpunk 2077 managed to break even on pre-orders alone, selling 8 million units prior to its release and surpassing 25 million sales by October 2023, the disastrous launch was undoubtedly a costly mistake. Nevertheless, the studio has been forthright about the fact that rebuilding its relationship with the fanbase in the wake of Cyberpunk 2077’s release will be a lengthy process. Preventing the repetition of similar errors in the future is an inherent part of this ongoing endeavor, as suggested by Walder during his recent appearance in South Korea.