What just happened? CD Projekt Red has finally started to shed light on one of the projects it announced earlier this month – a remake of the first Witcher game. The company hasn't offered many details on the title yet, but revisiting its first game makes sense for multiple reasons.
This week, CD Projekt Red confirmed it's overseeing a remake of the original 2007 Witcher game. Polish studio Fool's Theory is developing the project from the ground up on Unreal Engine 5 with CDPR staff involvement. The title is still in early development, so fans won't see it for a while, and CDPR isn't ready to share more details on it yet.
The cult hit that started the now-popular game franchise which then led to one of Netflix's biggest hits might be one of the best examples of a game that needs a remake.
For starters, it's the only Witcher title still exclusive to the PC after earlier plans for a console port fell through. Console users who jumped into the series with the much more popular Witcher 3 will have a chance to investigate its predecessor for the first time.
The 15-year-old RPG also clearly shows its age. Even in 2007, the Witcher didn't have the best graphics around (the infamous processor-melting Crysis came out that year), though it did impressive things with the graphics engine BioWare designed for Neverwinter Nights. An Unreal Engine 5 remake should offer a transformational increase in visual detail while possibly getting CDPR comfortable with the technology it plans to use for future projects.
The Witcher was the game that transformed CDPR from a Polish localization house into a world-famous game studio. Despite being rough around the edges in its graphics, pacing, and user interface, The Witcher had enough endearing qualities to make it a success. The game's atmosphere, characters, and morally gray nonlinear storyline helped it stand out from other RPGs, eventually spawning two sequels along with the new trilogy CDPR has in development.
The remake was previously called "Canis Majoris" – one of five Witcher games CDPR wants to release in the coming years. The others are a game from The Molasses Flood, codenamed "Project Sirius," and the three games CDPR is making internally. The company is also planning a sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 currently called "Project Orion" and a new intellectual property codenamed "Hadar."
Though Canis Majoris won't appear for a while, we may see it sooner than the other projects. CD Projekt also still plans to release the next-gen upgrade for the Witcher 3 this year, free for those who already own the game.