Ready for some crazy The Witcher 3 news? This, apparently, is what years of dedication to your IP and artful refinement of your category buys you: The third installment in a once-abstruse roleplaying series by likewise recondite Polish developer CD Projekt Red sold 4 million copies in its first two weeks.
That's not quite Skyrim turf — Bethesda's open-world roleplaying opus managed 7 million copies in just one week and over 20 million copies to date. But it's one heck of an upsurge over the last game in CPR's series, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, itself considered a resounding success both critically and commercially for the developer, with somewhere in the vicinity of 2 million copies sold worldwide.
I was lucky enough to get in on the ground floor with the original The Witcher, a PC-only game that came out of nowhere back in 2007, packing a lot of the play components and storytelling tenor sorely missing from the merry-go-round of increasingly anemic, cliche-riddled vamps on Dungeons & Dragons.
The Witcher 3, to trot out a highfalutin word, may be the apotheosis of the stadium-rock roleplaying shtick--the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band of video gaming. I'm still not finished with it, but I can say I'm much happier, 50 hours in, than I was with Skyrim at the same point. Will The Witcher 3 push past Skyrim sales? Probably not. But remember, it took Bethesda five The Elder Scrolls games to reach Skyrim's numbers, and CD Projekt Red's already clearing the charts with game number three.