In the same way that Final Fantasy VIII brought us Triple Triad and Blizzard brought us Hearthstone, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will introduce us to Gwent, a two-player fantasy card battle game. Not much is known about the mechanics of Gwent, other than it will be balanced for competition, has four different factions and features over 150 different cards.
In addition to the in-game, digital version of Gwent, those who purchase the Xbox One Collector's Edition of The Witcher 3 will get two decks of the card game, allowing you to play it in real life with a friend. Those who order the Collector's Edition for other platforms, however, get no equivalent offering, and many fans were understandably upset. So many fans were upset, in fact, that CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwiński released the following statement:
Here at CD Projekt Red, we always put gamers first. Our PC versions are released DRM-free, we bend over backwards to give you the most beefed up editions of our games (be it standard or Collector's), and we deliver the same game, regardless of platform or version you buy. Moreover, we promised not have any exclusive DLCs, neither per platform nor per retailer, and we do stand by our promise--nothing has changed, nor will change in this regard.
Don't get me wrong, I do understand that these extra items might be desirable for Witcher fans playing the game on other platforms. However, as we are not offering any platform or retail exclusive DLCs or any other form of gameplay differentiation, we do have to find other ways to support our partners. We are also providing special pre-order items for certain retailers around the world, including Witcher comic books, posters, steel books or medallions. Funnily enough, we did not notice any heated comments on the pre-order specials.
What is the reason? Why are we doing this? We need the support of partners to make our game visible worldwide. This should hopefully translate to better sales, which will in consequence allow us to do what we have been doing for the last 10 years, i.e. reinvest this money to make more great RPGs, while still sticking to our values.
If you still consider that adding two decks of Gwent cards and a map of the in-game world to the Xbox One CE equals us betraying our values and not fulfilling our promises, well, it does make us sad, but the final call is always yours to make.
Still, I do hope that what we offer is unique and we can ask you to give us the benefit of the doubt. We have more great things to announce for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in the coming months and I promise you won't be disappointed (yes, yes, there are no more exclusives coming).
The Witcher 3 is slated to arrive for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC on Feb. 24, 2015.