Two 'vast' expansions for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt announced for 2015 and 2016

CD Projekt RED have just announced that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will pick up two massive expansions to compliment the already massive base game.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is reported to be larger than Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and carries 200+ hours of content for completionists. For those who find themselves wanting even more, late 2015 and early 2016 will see the release of Heart of Stone and Blood and Wine respectively, each adding playtime in the double digits for what CD Projekt RED hope will challenge the tiny DLCs offered by some of their competitors.

CD Projekt RED co-founder Marcin Iwiński praised the future content packs and outlined his hopes that Heart of Stone and Blood and Wine would offer better value for gamers.

"With the development of Wild Hunt coming to an end, the team has embarked on the creation of two new really big adventures set in The Witcher universe. 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 press release describes the expansions in this way:

"Hearts of Stone will take Geralt on an all-new, 10-hour-plus adventure into the wilds of No Man's Land and the nooks and alleys of Oxenfurt, where he'll try to complete a contract from the mysterious Man of Glass. Caught in a thick tangle of deceit, Geralt will need all his cunning and strength to solve the mystery and emerge unscathed."

"Blood and Wine, a 20-hour-plus tale that will introduce the all-new in-game region of Toussaint, will take Geralt to a land untainted by war, where an atmosphere of carefree indulgence and knightly ritual masks an ancient, bloody secret."

Fans may recall that CD Projekt RED have previously announced The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt would pick up 16 separate DLCs for free, and may be confused why the prolific Polish developer has opted to offer a paid Expansion Pass as well.

Iwiński urges sceptical fans to wait for reviews before jumping in:

"While we're offering the Expansion Pass now, we want to make one thing clear: don't buy it if you have any doubts. Wait for reviews or play The Witcher and see if you like it first. As always, it's your call."

CD Projekt RED's commitment to take back the meaning of 'expansion' from certain other companies lacklustre efforts (looking at you Destiny) will likely win the loyalty of many fans. As an existing fan, I know I'm all in!

Hearts of Stone will debut October 2015 while Blood and Wine is slated for Q1 2016. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be available for Xbox One, PC, and PS4 on May 19th, 2015.

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • This is the game I look forward to most this year. Can't wait.
  • Whatever as long as Triss is nude like 400% more with the expansions. Meeeeoooow.
  • Hi sir, meet your right hand. You typically need it to use your mouse while gaming, but I assume you use it differently yes? Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • I've learned to mouse with my left hand. ;-)
  • 'The Witcher 3 and both expansions will be available on May 19th 2015' haha maybe wanna fix that?
  • Good shout! Cheers.
  • I love when games announce expansions before the game is released..
  • Whats wrong with that though? As long as they don't announce them for day one of the game (or really close to it), I see no problem with announcing that they will be supporting the game for the forseeable future.
  • Just know most games withhold content on the disc to sell it in the future as DLC. Destiny is a great example of this..
  • This expansion won't be available until October 2015, 5 months after launch. Big enough gap for ye? :p haha
  • I'd like to see the statistic that shows it's most games. Yeah Destiny did this, but Destiny isn't most games.
  • That's why its an example. Im not writing a 2 page essay like qhendricks to explain to you like he did to me haha. Games nowadays are half baked. Still good but half baked.
  • See, that's a grand assumption you're making with little actual presented evidence. Yes, Destiny did it. What else? I don't think that most people that make your very argument know how software (and by that process, game) development actually works. Developers usually have a go-live, cut-off, or other termed date in which they have to be done with the core product - in this case, the main Witcher 3 game. After that, it's all one happy delay of bug fixes, quality improvements, performance tuning, and publishers prepping the game to "go gold" for printing the actual copies of the game and getting all the marketing tidbits squared away. The publishers are almost never in the same mindset as developers, and the two usually don't have the perfect coordination. One thing to keep in mind is that it's not as cut/dry as just saying "well put more of the developers on bug fixes" or "well dedicate those resources to the DLC so they can be in the main game". Most of the time, it's not a case of content being withheld. Quite the opposite actually. The publisher wants the main game to go gold. The developers are usually in split teams according to assigned area or specialty or whatever. In the case of the Witcher, they likely have developers whose sole job is to build new "enhancements" - aka, DLC, which they obviously start on as soon as their time allows, regardless of whether a game has even been released yet. 
  • I wonder how much detail I can customize my main character, not just in terms of items and skills, but also in choices and personality.
  • You can't customise Geralt at all, it's very much his story.
  • Not true, you can shape his story through choices. For example, the second act of Witcher 2 can be totally different, depending on who you side with.
  • I was referring to not being able to change his gender/look etc, like in Skyrim, presumed that's what he meant! My bad.
  • Well he did say in terms of choices and personality. Buy aside from that, and hairstyles and skills, nope.
  • I'm aware this Geralt guy is the only character I can play with. But what if I want to play like a pacifist for example, or simply ignore the main quest and just explore the world and see what treasures or wonders it hides and not care about anyone else? That's what i loved about the elder scroll, how much freedom they give you in how you approach the game and story.
  • Geralt gets to play with Triss.
  • It's a bit complicated, since in this one he'll also get to play with Yennefer.
  • I'm gonna wait for this to go on sale before getting it, simply because the developer said that he'd rather play it in on a low end PC than the Xbox One... So why should I give them any more money than they deserve...
  • So, you're saying the developer shouldn't have a preference of how he wants to play his own game?
  • That's a really vain reason to not buy a game. One developer saying that rocks your boat a little too much? Hopefully you realize that a game development team consists of hundreds of people usually.
  • It's probably because a low end PC nowadays could outshine the Xbox One, sad but true.
  • Can't wait to play it!  Sadly I will probably be too busy to dive in until next winter.  It is annoying how life gets in the way of 'life' sometimes!  
  • Ehh, I think I've ultimately decided to pass on this game, though the sheer lack of games in the late-spring/summer might change that. They first rail on others for paid DLC, saying theirs is free, then they announce paid DLC and defend it as, "don't like it, don't buy it." I don't doubt they're going to offer a lot of content, but ripping the competition, then following suit, in a way, is hypocritical. Plus, their crap about picking a low-end PC over an Xbox One solely for resolution (ignoring graphical quality) was stupid. Pile that onto the fact I've not played the first two games, and I'm starting to just prefer to skip this title.
  • I'd be hesitant to recommend it without playing the others. Witcher 2 followed on so directly from the first I couldn't really get into it without playing 1, I imagine it'd be a similar scenario.
  • Seriously? I felt like 2 kinda had nothing to do with the first, save some minor references.
  • Eh? The events of Witcher 1 lead directly into the beginning of Witcher 2, whose on the throne etc, and why Geralt is pally-pally with a King. I felt like I had no idea what was going on until I played Witcher 1 haha, maybe its just me.
  • Been waiting for this game for like forever. Will be purchasing day 1 and taking off work the next 2 days to enjoy my love. Sad they took out all the brothel sex lol
  • That's great, but lets release the game before discussing expansions already.