Witcher 4's research phase has just concluded, suggesting development phase is only just beginning

Fans eagerly awaiting the next video game installment of the Witcher Saga may have a bit of a wait on their hands, judging from what Cd Projekt CEO Adam Kiciński told investors during a May 26 presentation.

According to Kiciński: "We are very eager to revisit the universe which has shaped our history to such an extent. We have recently concluded the research phase for the first game in the new Witcher saga, which means that from now on further development expenditures will be capitalized on our balance sheet."

The takeaway from this is that the game's development progress is somewhere between the research phase and the pre-production phase. Likely the next Witcher game (which was announced back on March 21 of this year) has not yet entered pre-production at the time of this writing, with much of CD Projekt Red's efforts currently focused on the next-gen update for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt as well as a major expansion pack for Cyberpunk 2077.

Unfortunately what all of this means is that the next Witcher video game is a long ways off (emphasis on long). Given the time, resources and effort that goes into creating a modern AAA game, it is likely that the next Witcher title will arrive much closer to the end of the current console generation than to the beginning of it.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt video game on Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt video game on Xbox One and Xbox Series X.

And it is interesting to note that Kiciński referred to the project not as The Witcher 4 but as "the first game in the new Witcher saga." Does this potentially hint at a reset for the series? One of the most popular internet theories going around is that Geralt's adopted daughter Ciri will become the new franchise protagonist. It will be interesting to see what new new direction the series ultimately does or does not take. We already know that the next Witcher game will be made with Unreal Engine 5, at any rate.

At least we will have the next-gen edition of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sometime later this year (hopefully) to tide us over while we wait to see what CD Projekt Red has in store for us with the series.

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