DLC can be a bit of a dirty word in the games industry. While fans are definitely pleased that they have the option to get extra content from games post-launch, there is a belief among some that certain studios hold back content to sell at a later date. Whether or not that is the case, paid DLC has become something of a necessity for many AAA titles. Studios like Capcom have recently begun to experiment with DLC systems, but others, like CD Projekt Red, have been as straightforward as it gets.
The Witcher 3 is a massively successful RPG with over 100 hours of content, so few would likely criticize CD Projekt Red for having left anything out. Still, the studio has been diligently releasing extra free content since The Witcher 3‘s release – but, unfortunately, it can’t keep going on forever.
With this week’s final drop, The Witcher 3‘s free DLC campaign has come to a close on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. CD Projekt Red promised to support The Witcher 3 with free content ranging from cosmetic changes to brand new side quests that can add an hour or two of content to the game. In total, the studio delivered 16 weeks worth of free add-ons and the response has been very positive.
Perhaps the most well-received aspect of CD Projekt Red’s approach to deliver free DLC is that they provided a lot of variety within their post-launch content. While some of the purely cosmetic changes to character costumes might not have been ground-breaking, they offered players a change of scenario for their second or third playthroughs. The quest add-ons in particular, though, show that CD Projekt Red was always committed to making high-quality content that rivaled other franchise’s paid DLC.
Although CD Projekt Red planned to release 16 add-ons from the beginning, that hasn’t stopped them from taking fan feedback into account either. When Witcher 3 players expressed an interest in starting a second playthrough while keeping all of their hard-earned recipes, experience, and equipment, CD Projekt Red listened. The studio might have initially suggested that such a feature was a possibility far down the line, but they surprised fans everywhere when they announced last week that the final DLC was the inclusion of a New Game+ mode after all.
Now that The Witcher 3‘s free DLC run is officially over, fans can next look forward to the game’s first expansion, Hearts of Stone, which is expected to release sometime in October. Speculation suggests that the expansion will see the return of Shani, a popular character from the first Witcher game, while also adding 10 hours of extra gameplay. All signs point to CD Projekt Red being determined to offer gamers a good return on their money when they buy DLC, and that should have fans of The Witcher 3 hyped for the coming months.
Did you enjoy The Witcher 3‘s free DLC? Do you think more studio’s should adopt CD Projekt Red’s approach to post-launch support? Let us know in the comments.
The Witcher 3 is available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.