A recent statement from CD Projekt Red indicates that the upcoming next-gen release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for various platforms could include fan mods as part of the official package. It's been six years since the iconic RPG released, and like other RPGs before it, dedicated fans have spent loads of time working on mods for the original game and its DLC expansions Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine. If this statement holds true, it could be an inciter of big opportunities for the modding community in the future.
In March, CD Projekt Red announced that the next-gen version of The Witcher 3 will be available on PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC later this year. Though players with next-gen consoles can already play the game via backward compatibility, the new releases will add visual and technical improvements to use everything the newest consoles have to offer. Fans will get the award-winning RPG and all DLC when it releases, but it's also possible that fans will get to experience the handiwork of hardworking modders as official content.
One such modder is Halk Hogan, who has been working on a project called The Witcher 3 HD Reworked since shortly after the game was released in 2015. His mod work has upgraded various textures throughout The Witcher 3 to 4K levels of sharpness that in some cases even improves overall map draw distance. Hogan revealed recently that CD Projekt Red reached out to him about official cooperation, and while nothing is set in stone right now, he said "it's very likely that HDRP will be included in the official next generation update."
Following this statement, Kotaku reached out to CD Projekt Red to confirm. CDPR responded that along with its own efforts working on the next-gen version of The Witcher 3, the company would also be "in talks with creators of various mods for the 2015 release of the game." So far CDPR does not have any official agreements with modders and has not commented on how any potential modders may be recognized for their contributions. However "creators" likely means more than one, which will probably have fans wondering how many great Witcher 3 mods will make it into the official next-gen release.
Although developer Bethesda is known for having a good relationship with modding communities of Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, more developers are recognizing the draw of modded versions of their games. It's rare to see these mods ever make it into official releases, but if numerous fan mods make it into next-gen The Witcher 3, it could go a long way to making this practice more common. Many modders work on their creations for years with painstaking attention to detail, and this type of dedication can certainly be an asset to game developers with deadlines and stretched resources.
As far as RPGs are concerned, two of the most influential series on the market today are undoubtedly The Witcher and Fallout franchises. Their latest mainline entries, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Fallout 4, show no signs of slowing down in terms of their massive popularity and the interest they still generate.
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