The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Interview

New Game Network was able to corner CD Projekt RED's Damien Monnier during last weekend's Game Developers Conference for a lengthy interview about the impending release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the series' positive reception over the years, how the RPG titles challenge us from both a difficulty standpoint and with serious storytelling, and more. We also catch a few tidbits about Cyberpunk 2077, though it's not much:

NGN: As you wrap up Geralt's story and close the book on The Witcher, how do you feel?

Monnier: It's definitely an accomplishment. I work with some guys who have been in the company since the first one. They're really sad about it, but they're also quite happy. I know a few people are pleased to not be doing swords and armors anymore. They want to change a bit, they're a bit envious of our Cyberpunk team. They want to be doing guns and stuff.

We got to keep some guys for the DLC of course because we have the free DLC which is coming out. It's coming out the day after release actually, so we need to get cracking on it soon. So we still have a lot of stuff to do for the game because we still want to support it. We don't just want to be like, "that's it" and move on. We still have a few people who have quite a few swords left to make.


NGN: The Witcher is not a particularly unique fantasy world with its elves and dwarves, but something about it seems to capture players' imaginations and make it greater than the sum of its parts. Why do you think that is?

Monnier: I think it's the maturity. There are elves and dwarves, but I think they are there to show differences and reflect on issues that everybody is familiar with - like racism. Problems that we struggle with, and I think people can relate to it because it's not just elves jumping around and shooting arrows, it's elves complaining because the dwarves are being racists and dwarves think elves are being racists. And it's not just about racism, there's a lot of stuff like that - sexism as well.

Especially after things like Game of Thrones came out, there is a demographic out there which is ready to enjoy a more clever or smarter medium; whether it's a TV show or a game. That's why I think [audiences] dig it, because it's still the fantasy genre, there's still kick ass swords and you get to kill sh*t, but at the same time they want to be taken seriously. They want a quest that makes them think, not just fetch ten dead squirrels.

That's what I dig about [The Witcher 3]. The example I gave you about the quest, I like that the quest really grabbed me and I genuinely wanted to know what it was. I wanted to know the story behind it. I felt for this guy. I don't want to spoil the story, but it was a very human thing. It was really cool and really well written. I think our story team and our quest team are solid.