The Witcher 3 continues to sell and sell. Valve recently published a Top Sellers of 2017 ranking for their online service, and sitting among the revenue juggernauts of DOTA 2, Rocket League, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is 2015’s the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. A single player game that released 2 and a half years ago.
Back in May 2015 the PlayStation Pro hadn’t been revealed yet, Rocket League hadn’t released yet, and no one had heard of the Nintendo Switch. Outside of two add-on packs (which come bundled incredibly cheaply with the title’s Game of the Year edition), the game contains no persistent microtransaction mechanics of any kind. Blood and Wine would release in summer 2016 and everything since has been pure revenue driven by a few smart sales and a plethora of positive word-of-mouth.
Yet it’s still made as much money as a game like Warframe, a free to play title whose revenue stream involves a litany of optional cosmetic purchases. That’s crazy. This was initially spotted by the good folks over at PC Gamer.
Many of the Witcher 3’s add-ons are completely free.
It’s no surprise to anyone to hear that The Witcher 3 is a stellar game; it was our runner-up for 2015’s RPG of the Year, and the beefy Blood and Wine actually won our large screen award for 2016, as an expansion no less. That’s how good it is. The paying public seems to strongly agree.
The Witcher 3 made more money on Steam this year than Assassin’s Creed Origins, Call of Duty: WWII, and Middle-earth: Shadow of War. It also made more money than some of the biggest games released in 2016, including Dark Souls III and Fallout 4. The only other true single-player-focused RPG game keeping The Witcher 3 company in the Platinum bracket is the excellent Divinity: Original Sin II, which bodes very well for Larian’s future RPG projects. That’s icing on the cake.
The fact that these two titles can be mentioned in the same breath as monsters like Dota 2 and Grand Theft Auto V in terms of revenue is a good sign for the future of RPGs with strong single-player focus. However, we do know that CD Projekt’s next project will contain a multiplayer component of some kind. It’s not quite the same conversation as whether or not the game’s revenue model will compare similarly to Witcher 3 or no, but its one that could strongly correlate. Based on track record however (look at all of the free cosmetic stuff Witcher 3 has already!), we’re comfortable giving CD Projekt the benefit of the doubt, easily.