Something to look forward to: For all the great titles released last year, some people, this writer included, still argue that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt remains the greatest game ever made. For those who can't wait for its sequel, the good news is that CD Projekt's co-CEO has confirmed it will enter its production phase in 2024. What comes as potentially less welcome news is that the company has formed a team to see how AI can be used in its development.

After Adam Kicinski stepped down as CD Projekt's CEO at the end of 2023, leaving the position he held since 2010, chief creative officer Badowski and commercial officer Michal Nowakowski became co-CEOs.

In an interview with Reuters, Badowski said that the next Witcher game, revealed in October 2022 to be codenamed Polaris, will enter its production phase this year. The co-CEO hopes to have 400 people working on it by the summer as more company employees move from Cyberpunk 2077 duties to The Witcher 4.

It seems there are few companies on Earth, even those in North Korea, who aren't using AI in their products right now. Badowski said CD Projekt has formed a team to see how the technology can be applied to the Witcher 4, though he suggests it will be used to improve processes rather than create something players could notice, like generated assets. He also insisted it won't lead to job losses, which is hard to believe.

"We think that AI is something that can help improve certain processes in game production, but not replace people," Badowski said.

The executive also addressed the horror that was the Cyberpunk 2077 launch. The Witcher 4 will no doubt generate as much hype as the Keanu Reeves-starring blockbuster, and Badowski wants to make sure it avoids the problems Cyberpunk 2077 had when it arrived. He believes the company has learned the lessons of the past and now has better control of the production process.

"We believe that in the future we'll avoid a premiere like the one we faced with Cyberpunk 2077", Badowski said.

Speaking of Cyberpunk 2077, those eagerly looking forward to its sequel, codenamed Orion, are going to have a long wait. Badowski said the game is still in the conceptual phase, though CD Projekt expects to have around 80 people working on it by the end of the year. His co-CEO Nowakowski said there could be multiplayer elements in the game, but would not elaborate.