Back in March 2022, CD Projekt announced that a new Witcher game was in development, which we eventually came to know as Project Polaris. We immediately called it The Witcher 4—it's the one coming after The Witcher 3, so it just made sense—but CD Projekt made a point of saying it had not announced "a game called The Witcher 4."
"It was our initial confirmation of a new saga in The Witcher franchise," global PR director Radek Grabowski tweeted at the time. "Right now, we are not discussing any specifics in terms or story, characters, mechanics, or plot details."
But that was then and this is now, and now CD Projekt has—for the first time, as far as I know—referred to Polaris as The Witcher 4. The statement came during the company's year-end financial call, in response to a question about CD Projekt's move to Unreal Engine 5.
"We are preparing things on the pipeline sides and toolset sides," CD Projekt CEO Adam Kiciński said. "Some developers are still learning the technology, and at the same time there are teams working together with Epic on all those aspects that are needed for our open-world, story-driven RPGs. And definitely for the first project, Polaris, it will maybe not slow down, but it won't accelerate the process.
"But for the next project, we assume that it should smooth the production. That was one of the reasons behind the strategy, that we want to release three big Witcher games within six years, starting from the release of Polaris, which is Witcher 4."
This was actually brought to my attention by a colleague at GamesRadar, who wanted to double-check with me that Kiciński was in fact saying "Witcher 4," and not, maybe, "Witcher, but more" in a Polish accent. To both our ears, there's no question: He said "Witcher 4."
You can hear it for yourself in this time-stamped YouTube link.
To be clear, this isn't big news about a fourth Witcher game. We've known about that for a year now, and despite CD Projekt's protests we've been calling it Witcher 4 all along. Even so, I feel like this is a noteworthy moment: CD Projekt's head honcho himself finally throwing in the towel and calling it "The Witcher 4," just like everyone else.
The new game may not be Witcher 4 when it finally launches. It's still in the early stages of development, and a full and proper title has not been formally announced. It could end up as The Witcher: Infinite, or The Witchers, or Witcher: Novigrad City, or something equally fanciful and unlikely. And in fact, CD Projekt described Kiciński's statement as "a slip of the tongue" in an email sent to PC Gamer.
"Polaris will be the first game in a new Witcher saga," a CD Projekt rep said. "The saga will consist of three games. The official name of this project is Polaris."
That's fair enough from an internal development standpoint. Nothing has changed, on paper at least, and Polaris it remains for now. But we all heard it, and frankly it was nice that someone at CD Projekt finally said it out loud: The Witcher 4 is coming.