Polish developer CD Projekt Red has announced two DLC expansions for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which will add a combined 30+ hours to the massive upcoming role-playing game’s already impressive 200+ hours of content.
Hearts of Stone, slated to arrive in October, will take Geralt on a 10-hour-plus adventure into the dangerous wilderness of No Man’s Land and the winding alleys of Oxenfurt. Intrigue abounds as he tries to solve the mystery of a contract from the Man of Glass.
Blood and Wine, set for the first quarter of 2016, will add a whole new region of Toussaint to the game. This 20-hour-plus adventure will bring Geralt into “a land untainted by war, where an atmosphere of carefree indulgence and knightly ritual masks an ancient, bloody secret.”
Both expansions can be purchased together for $25 as part of the Expansion Pass, and will be available on all three platforms. In a refreshing contrast to the current industry standard of pre-release and Season Pass hype, the developer cautions fans to wait until they are absolutely sure before purchasing.
“While we’re offering the Expansion Pass now, we want to make one thing clear: don’t buy it if you have any doubts,” explained studio co-founder Marcin Iwiński. “Wait for reviews or play The Witcher and see if you like it first. As always, it’s your call.”
Senior designer Damien Monnier estimated on Twitter that the base game will offer over 200 hours of content, encompassing all side-quests and optional activities. That’s an impressive 300-percent increase over The Witcher 2‘s 50 or so hours. Apparently the main storyline alone in Wild Hunt will take 50 hours to complete, with 150 hours of optional adventures to keep Geralt occupied for the foreseeable future.
The developer has been remarkably generous in its approach to downloadable content for The Witcher 3. Where many contemporary developers will charge for both additional story content and cosmetic upgrades or new items, CD Projekt Red will offer 16 free DLC to everyone after launch, encompassing minor additions like bonus quests, armor sets, and more hairstyles for Geralt. The paid DLC, meanwhile, will add more gameplay than many standalone games offer in the first place. The announcement harkens back to an earlier era’s ethos of large, disk-based expansions, like Tales of the Sword Coast for Baldur’s Gate or Diablo II’s Lord of Destruction.
“We remember the time when add-on disks truly expanded games by delivering meaningful content. As gamers, we’d like to bring that back. We’ve said in the past that if we ever decide to release paid content, it will be vast in size and represent real value for the money. Both our expansions offer more hours of gameplay than quite a few standalone games out there.”
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt arrives on May 19 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows.