Polish game studio CD Projekt Red laid out its plans to rehabilitate collectible card game “Gwent” on Thursday. In an open letter, co-founder Marcin Iwiński, game director Katarzyna Redesiuk, and product director Rafał Jaki said their team needs another six months of “fully focused development” to deliver what they promised fans, including the “Thronebreaker” story campaign it teased last year.
“Compared to the single player RPGs we had been creating so far, we didn’t realize how different it was to operate and develop a live game at the same time,” the team wrote. “What we didn’t realize back then was that we also started slowly drifting away from our original vision for standalone ‘Gwent.’ While fighting with the everyday reality of regular updates and content drops, we lost sight of what was unique and fun about the game.”
“Gwent” was originally a mini-game within CD Projekt’s 2015 role-playing game “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.” It was popular enough among fans that the studio decided to turn it into a free-to-play standalone title. But, players became unhappy with a number of changes. They didn’t like the UI overhaul and felt many cards were “dumbed down,” according to Kotaku.
CD Projekt is calling its six-month reboot “Homecoming.” Aside from standard season transitions and events, the team said it will only release two updates during this time. The first one in April will introduce missing premium cards and faction-specific board skins. The second update in May will balance the game and fix its “Create” mechanic. Players have criticized it for being too overpowered and too random.
“At first, we thought it would be an interesting addition to the game, but — as time passed — we realized that this form of wide RNG is not something that fits our focus on player skill,” CD Projekt said. “We will be extra careful with these types of mechanics in the redesign process. That said, if we manage to find some cards interesting enough to include, but ‘too crazy for Ranked,’ they will still have their place in Arena and Casual Mode.”
Other Homecoming changes include an upgraded board, tweaks to the coin mechanic, a proper tutorial, a new leveling system, and more. CD Projekt also wants to give the game a darker aesthetic and mood that feels more like “The Witcher” source material. Once the six months are up, the studio will take the game out of beta and launch the “Thronebreaker” content at the same time.
“We want ‘Gwent’ to kick some serious ass and reignite your passion for our beloved CCG,” CD Projekt wrote. “We would like to ask you for your trust and patience.”