The Witcher 4 development update gives us hope for Gwent on PS5

A new The Witcher 4 development update features Gwent in a minor way, making us much more concerned about CD Projekt's awesome card game.

The Witcher 4 development update gives us hope for Gwent on PS5
Kes Eylers-Stephenson

Opinion by Kes Eylers-Stephenson

Published

It's one of those simple facts of life. If you've played and platinumed The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt trophies then you've fallen in love with Gwent. You know it, I know it, and — with The Witcher 4 development update featuring Gwent — everyone knows that when the game lands and we have to compare it with its best PS4 games-ranking predecessor, all we'll be thinking about is Gwent.

Kes

The Witcher 4 development update has a small Gwent detail

During the latest CD Projekt earning call presentation for Q3 2023, we got some insight into how the Polish company is changing its focus after wrapping Cyberpunk 2077 with the PS5's Phantom Liberty expansion. From the graphs, embedded below, we can see that Project Polaris (The Witcher 4's codename amongst the upcoming The Witcher games) is now taking up 50% of developer CD Projekt Red's workforce.

The Witcher 4 staffThe Witcher 4 staff

Of these developers, 35% are labeled as being "in transition" having been working on redeeming Cyberpunk 2077. Yes, yes, that's all deeply important and interesting, but we are looking at the green sliver of developers who were working on 'Gwent-related projects." The team size has been reduced by a small margin and appears to have been added to The Witcher 4 workforce pile.

Now, there is a perfectly understandable reason why the Gwent team might be a little smaller right now. After the PC version of the trading card game received its Rogue Mage spin-off on July 7, 2023, CD Projekt Red also announced that support would be winding down and balance updates would be left in the hands of the community. Naturally, developers may have been moved onto another project from there.
We're really hoping, though, that this signals that developers with really specific development knowledge of Gwent are now happily working on a version of the game for The Witcher 4. I mean, in The Witcher 3 it became a favorite pastime. You play cheeky NPCs to win cards, you trade with merchants and pub owners to try and gather unique cards, you go looking for Gwent cards in every chest, and you enter Gwent tournaments at the Passiflora... it's a lifestyle.

But that loyalty doesn't stem from the collectible aspect, it comes from Gwent being a really, really fun trading card game. In fact, in The Witcher 3, the battlefield-like version you play with your melee fighters, mid-range attackers, and ranged cowards was basically a blueprint for the complexity that came in the full TGC version. With two plains of action instead, the developers added many more diverse special cards and abilities, more factions than the five in the base game, more heroes to play with, and so on and so forth.

In fact, if you really want a good taste of it, try and get those single-player Thronebreaker The Witcher Tales trophies. It's a Gwent spin-off on PS4 with a rather incredible story that plays out using Gwent cards and a version of the game that sits between the The Witcher 3 and the Gwent TGC.

The Witcher 3The Witcher 3

The point is, though, that I'm really hoping that years and years of incredible development on Gwent is put to good use in The Witcher 4. It can be used as an obsessive mini-game, yes, but it clearly has loads more gameplay-related potential to offer beyond what we got in the first version of it. Whatever The Witcher 4 looks like, I genuinely pray that we get an immense version of Gwent that combines the addictiveness of The Witcher 3's version, the complexity of the TGC, and the narrative potential of Thronebreaker.

Again, Thronebreaker is so underplayed on PS4 so please check it out! What do you think of Gwent generally? Are you hoping for a good bit of Gwent action in The Witcher 4? Let us know in the comments below and I'll see you there!
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and Sony news. He writes about PS5 games like LEGO Horizon Adventures, Assassin’s Creed Shadows, Kingdom Come Deliverance II, Concord, and Death Stranding 2 using experience from years of PlayStation gaming. He also covers PS Plus news, as well as his favorite games — The Witcher 3, God of War, and The Last of Us — before an evening swim.
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