The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was originally slated to hit shelves in fall 2014, before a series of delays pushed it back to an eventual release date of May 19th. That shift may have been painful for fans eager to embark on the latest adventures of the legendary Geralt of Rivia, but by all accounts the game was definitely worth the wait.
The Witcher 3 has received almost universal acclaim since its arrival last month. Wild Hunt currently boasts Metacritic ratings above 90% on all three platforms (PC, PS4, XBox One), with the Xbox One version holding the lowest rating with a still-impressive 90.62%. Of course, critical acclaim doesn’t always translate to sales — remember Bulletstorm? — but in this case, developer CD Projekt RED can safely begin distributing high fives because The Witcher 3 is doing very well on the sales front indeed.
In an open letter on the game’s official website, CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwiński thanked the fans for their support and revealed that The Witcher 3 sold four million copies in its first two weeks. Calling the situation “our dream coming true,” you can read the full letter from Marcin Iwiński below.
May 19th was a crucial date for all of us here at CD PROJEKT RED — we released The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, our open world role-playing game that we had been hard at work on for over 3 years. Since day one, you have given us tons of positive feedback and support — the sheer volume of emails we’ve gotten since launch simply congratulating us for our efforts is both epic and heartwarming, and I wish every developer comes to have such a fantastic community. In terms of media reception, we’re really humbled by the scores the game has received all around the world. With an average of 90+ on every platform, Wild Hunt is our dream coming true.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the four million gamers worldwide who bought The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in the first two weeks from launch. Four million RPG fans spending their hard-earned money on our game is a sign that we did something right, and you can be sure that we’ll harness all that positive energy and make the upcoming expansions worthy of the grand adventure that you’re telling us Wild Hunt already is! Until then, keep on enjoying Wild Hunt, do not forget to grab your weekly set of free DLCs, and stay tuned for constant updates and enhancement to the game we are continuously working on.
Dandelion once said to Geralt that the world is changing, the sun is setting, and vodka’s running out — go, play, and have fun!
All the best,
Co-founder, CD PROJEKT RED
Four million RPG fans spending their hard-earned money on our game is a sign that we did something right, and you can be sure that we’ll harness all that positive energy and make the upcoming expansions worthy of the grand adventure that you’re telling us Wild Hunt already is!
Those sales numbers are definitely impressive, but they’re not surprising given how well Witcher 3 did coming out of the gate. The latest Witcher had over 1.5 million pre-orders, and it became the best-selling video-game of the year in the U.K. as of late May. Comparing the game’s swift success to that of its predecessor makes things even more apparent: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings released in May 2011 and took around three months to sell 940,000 copies. By May 2012, it had sold 1.7 million copies, still well below what Witcher 3 managed in two short weeks.
The road hasn’t been without bumps, however. Witcher 3 faced some technical hiccups in its early days, including frame-rate issues and text-size problems. Some fans were also irate that the graphics in the finished game didn’t live up to the standard set by early gameplay trailers. Overall, though, the game is being praised as one of the best RPGs ever made. Between Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and the recently announced Fallout 4, the current generation is proving to be a great time to be an RPG fan.
There’s also quite a bit more Witcher 3 to come. Even before the game hit shelves, CD Projekt RED announced two massive upcoming expansions. “Hearts of Stone” is expected to release in October 2015, adding 10+ hours of content and sending Geralt into No Man’s Land under the employ of a mysterious figure known as the “Man of Glass.” The second, larger expansion, entitled “Blood and Wine,” is due out in 2016. It will clock in at over 20 hours of new gameplay and introduce an entirely new area called Toussaint, a locale whose “atmosphere of carefree indulgence and knightly ritual masks an ancient, bloody secret.”
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is currently available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.