Video game developer CD Projekt Red has exciting news for Xbox One, PS4 and PC owners who’ve already finished its latest role-playing game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This week the studio announced a huge expansion coming this October. Called, Hearts of Stone, the developer says it’ll add roughly 10 hours of new content to the already long game.
CD Projekt Red announced the Hearts of Stone expansion late yesterday in a post on its news blog. Coming October 13th, Hearts of Stone will add “new characters, powerful monsters [and] unique romance.” The bulk of the content users can expect isn’t optional add-ons at all, but a new story where the decisions they make define their gameplay world. Different Runewords will alter large parts of the in-game experience, according to today’s post. Basic The Witcher 3 add-on content added over the last few months is free, but CD Projekt Red is charging for larger game expansions.
The Heater of Stone teaser video included with this week’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt expansion announcement starts with the player being dragged down a beach. The game’s protagonist is Geralt and it’s clear from the video that he’s somehow managed to find himself in big trouble. Locked in a cage, Geralt is asked if he wants help. Geralt responds simply, “it’s a deal.” Then the trailer ends.
A description for the expansion on Microsoft’s Xbox website describes the expansion as , “a 10-hour adventure into the wilds of No Man’s Land and the nooks and alleys of Oxenfurt, where [Geralt will] try to complete a contract from the mysterious Man of Glass.”
The pre-order page for Hearts of Stone is already available online and separated by platform. Starting today, anyone can pre-order The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt expansion for their Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Outlets offering the PC version of the expansion include Origin, Steam, UPlay and GOG. Digital versions of Hearts of Stone will only cost $10, but buying a physical copy of the expansion will cost $20. The $20 physical version of Hearts of Stone comes with Monsters and Socia’tel Gwent cards.
To keep costs down for add-ons going forward, CD Projekt Red has The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Expansion Pass coming. The Expansion Pass gets users Hearts of Stone plus other updates for just $24.99. For example, Blood and Wine, another expansion to The Witcher 3, adds a new region to the game and includes another 20 hours of gameplay. Blood and Wine isn’t expected to launch until sometime early in 2016. The Expansion Pass also includes new gear and weapons, but there’s very little information about either yet.
Microsoft and Sony are already selling versions of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that include the Expansion Pass for $84.99. CD Projekt Red notes that users can purchase the Gwent Card sets separately if they already have an Expansion Pass.
When it arrived back in May, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was an enormous hit for CD Projekt Red. The base game itself is enormous, with visual effects and simulations all working together to give the player the impression that they’re living in a real world. Exploring the game’s entire setting could take days on end. Cave systems and explorable landmasses dominate the world. What’s more, each location in the game has its own dangers and ecosystem. The changes that players make to those ecosystems has real ramifications. Geralt is a monster hunter and only he can save the world from what it’s facing next.
Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine both being expansions means users will need to have a base copy of the game unless they purchase the $84.99 digital version that comes complete with the Expansion Pass. Retailer GameStop has pre-owned copies of the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on sale for $37.99 and the Expansion Pass available separately for $24.99. New copies of the game start at $39.99.