CD Projekt Red has today launched the highly anticipated location-based AR game The Witcher: Monster Slayer.
Developed by Spokko (subsidiary to CD Projekt), the game is set in the Witcher universe and involves hunting various monsters that appear in the real world through augmented reality. The game entered into soft launch in April this year for Android users in several countries, including Russia and the Philippines.
The game will be free-to-play with in-game purchases available and features a story-driven narrative where players can complete quests. The game shows a clear influence from Pokémon GO, with the in-game map being an overlay of the real world map while including monsters from the Witcher World.
Originally starting as a series of books written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher series has produced numerous video games, a live-action adaption on Netflix, as well as the mobile card spinoff Gwent. Gwent was made available on iOS in 2019 and Android in 2020.
Early reviews for The Witcher: Monster Slayer have reported multiple glitches and crashes on the Google Play store, with an in-game message stating "ongoing maintenance."
"We found that this experience of being a Witcher and building your own story in that universe is something fresh," said the game’s executive producer Mateusz Janczewski in an interview (via TechRadar).
"This will be a game about millions of Witchers in the world, and we thought that would be something sexy that we thought would be cool for the players."
A few location-based AR games have proven to be popular in the past, with Pokémon GO most notably accumulating $5 billion in five years. Jurassic World Alive reached 25 million downloads and exceeded $100 million in revenue in the three years since launch too.
On the other hand, Minecraft Earth struggled to find a footing in the market, generating 2.5 million downloads but only earning $500,000 in almost two years. This subsequently lead to the game being shut down. It will be interesting to see whether the Witcher can make an audience for itself on the mobile platform.
Warner Bros. is currently testing a new AR Batman game in Italy, currently known as "DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition."
Niantic has recently partnered with Hasbro to bring a Transformers themed AR game to mobile, Transformers: Heavy Metal.