The Witcher Remake will be open-world after all — and that’s a huge change

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
(Image credit: CD PROJEKT RED)

A few weeks ago, CD Projekt Red announced The Witcher Remake, which aims to recreate the first Witcher game from the ground up. We had a lot of questions about the game, including whether it would maintain the original’s “large-but-disconnected levels” structure. The answer, it seems, is “no.” A recent CD Projekt Red document has confirmed that The Witcher Remake will be an open-world experience, which raises questions about what else the game might change.

Information comes from the CD Projekt Group Q3 2022 Earnings report. The document is what it sounds like, outlining the company’s financials for the past quarter, and explaining how it intends to allocate resources in the near future. The Witcher Remake info is on the fifth slide.

The slide in question has “The Witcher Remake” text superimposed against a fiery background, then explains that the game’s internal codename is “Canis Majoris.” Just below that, the slide states that the game will be a “story-driven, single-player open-world RPG — a modern reimagining of 2007’s The Witcher.”

While it’s not a ton of information to go on, there are a few key terms present. “Open-world” is the big one, since it represents a huge change from The Witcher (2007). The original game had large levels to explore, but it wasn’t open-world. Each level had distinct boundaries, and loading screens between cities and wilderness areas. Furthermore, once you left an area at the end of a chapter, you usually couldn’t come back again.

The other phrase to note is “modern reimagining.” We had wondered previously whether The Witcher Remake would be a shot-for-shot recreation of the original game, but CD Projekt Red seems to have another direction in mind. Given the upcoming game’s open-world structure, we have to assume that a lot of other gameplay mechanics will change, too, from quest design to equipment acquisition.

(Players may not remember this, but the first Witcher game had only a handful of swords and armor pieces; each upgrade was a huge deal. With an open-world structure, it may make sense to go with smaller, more piecemeal upgrades, as in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.)

The earnings report doesn’t give us any additional information about The Witcher Remake, so we’ll have to wait for a larger presentation within the next year or two. If you do want more Witcher action in the near future, though, the PS5/Xbox Series X version of The Witcher 3 will be out as a free upgrade on December 14.

Next: The Witcher Remake will be open-world, which is both good and bad.

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.