CD Projekt Red announced that Witcher fans can look forward to spending another 30 hours with Geralt of Rivia after The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt releases in May. Two expansions are coming along sometime after release: Hearts of Stone is the first, followed by Blood and Wine.
Hearts of Stone will, according to the press release, “take Geralt on an all-new, 10-hour-plus adventure into the wilds of No Man’s Land and the nooks and alleys of Oxenfurt, where he’ll try to complete a contract from the mysterious Man of Glass.”
No Man’s Land and Oxenfurt are part of the main game, so in this case it looks like this is primarily new quest content and, presumably, some new dungeons to explore or something like that.
Blood and Wine, on the other hand? “…A 20-hour-plus tale that will introduce the all-new in-game region of Toussaint, will take Geralt to a land untainted by war, where an atmosphere of carefree indulgence and knightly ritual masks an ancient, bloody secret.”
Toussaint is far, far south of the area the main game takes place in, so it wouldn’t be pinned on as more contiguous map space, but rather something we’d travel to and from with a loading screen. But it’s a very different feel from the gritty, war-torn world of the northern nations the other Witcher games have taken place in.
From the beginning, CD Projekt Red’s CEO Marcin Iwinski has made it clear that he’s not interested in paid DLC. If they were going to ask for more money, it wouldn’t be for new clothes and weapons. They’ve demonstrated this with the 16 pieces of free downloadable content that will be available to all players who want them. Instead, Iwinski remembers fondly what many PC gamers do: game expansions.
“We remember the time when add-on disks truly expanded games by delivering meaningful content. As gamers, we’d like to bring that back,” Iwinski said in the press release.
As such, the two expansions will be available with an Expansion Pass for $24.99 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well as all the PC platforms the game will launch on – their own GOG.com, EA’s Origin service, and of course Steam. Hearts of Stone is set to release in this fall in October, while Blood and Wine is aiming for the first quarter of 2016, ensuring that players have a reason to keep The Witcher 3 installed or, at least, on the shelf.
With the game in the final polishing stages, this is a much better time to announce expansions like this. With many recent games, we’ve started getting word of new content before we’ve even seen a meaningful preview. The DLC seems to be part of the sales plan, rather than something the team decided to create after the fact.
While we’ll have to wait a bit longer to get a look at the new expansions, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is just a month and a half away, set to release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 19.