The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Getting Free Next-Gen Upgrade

CD Projekt RED has announced that their best selling title, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, will be coming out on next-generation consoles, as well as getting an update to reflect “visual and technical improvements” on PC. And those who already own the game will be getting these updates completely free.

The next-gen version will be the Complete Edition of the game, with all DLC, including the “Hearts of Stone” and “Blood and Wine” expansions.  For those who have yet to take up the steel and silver blades, it’s a good deal, providing hundreds of hours of content, which is well worth the price. For the more than 20 million people who’ve already bought the game, it’s yet another indication that CD Projekt RED wants to make their fans happy. Several games have already committed to making free next-gen updates available, though some (like Control) are not.

Initially released in May 2015, The Witcher III has been CD Projekt RED’s best selling game ever, contributing to roughly half the lifetime sales of the Witcher franchise, which passed 50 million cumulative sales in May 2020.  One of the more recent sources of growth for the game was the October 2019 release on Nintendo Switch. It has been such a successful title on the Switch that, as the company noted in their semi-annual report, the “excellent sales” on the platform helped to drive the company’s revenues up 70% from the previous year.

Having a good transition strategy between console generations has historically been a smart move for companies who execute it well. The example of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series, particularly Grand Theft Auto V, stands out as the pre-eminent (and most profitable) demonstration. It would seem CD Projekt RED has taken those lessons to heart and are making sure they keep their existing fans while creating opportunities to make new ones.

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