Perhaps having learnt the lessons of what happened with Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red has told investors that they can’t guarantee the ray-traced, next-gen versions of The Witcher — and that long-awaited Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen upgrade — won’t be delayed.
The news came as part of the Polish studio’s second quarter results, where they revealed that the combined sales of Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher (while the latter was declining) had resulted in a stronger first half of the year than 2020.
But investors naturally pressed the board on how the next-gen upgrades were going, particularly since both those things are liable to sell like hotcakes, bugs or otherwise. According to a transcript of the call, Michał Nowakowski, CD Projekt’s SVP of business development, said while they were hoping for The Witcher‘s ray-traced update and the next-gen Cyberpunk patch to drop later this year, they wouldn’t guarantee it:
At the same time, keeping in mind the lessons we have learned during the past year and take into account the fact that this project still remains in development. We can’t say with full certainty that the production schedule will not change of course, and with the Witcher 3, the situation is slightly different in a way that this has been tackled by the external team mainly, which is Saber Interactive, the company we have worked before on Switch and also the updates in the past. And, as with Cyberpunk 2077, our goal is to release that game still in late 2021. However, similarly, development processes ongoing, and we cannot be absolutely certain that the release schedule will not change, but for the time being, we definitely are aiming with both titles for the late 2021.
Saber Interactive’s work getting The Witcher 3 to run on the Switch was remarkably impressive, so I’m fairly confident it’ll be a quality upgrade whenever it does arrive. Saber also worked on the excellent Halo and Halo 2 PC ports, and they’re developing the Crysis 2 and 3 remasters on all platforms for Crytek as well. CD Projekt didn’t add any detail around the news that some Witcher modders had been drafted into service to help with the next-gen upgrade, but to be fair, investors were far more concerned with Cyberpunk 2077 and a reduction in the company’s provisions for settlements with distributors.
There’s still plenty of incentive for Saber to hit that late 2021 target though, especially since it’ll coincide with the second season of The Witcher on Netflix. Even though the series itself was a bit up and down, The Witcher remains one of the biggest shows in Netflix’s history — so if we can get a bit of ray-tracing goodness on PC and consoles for Christmas, that’ll tie the year up nicely.