Witcher 3 card game Gwent receiving a new standalone spin-off

A Golden Nekker from Witcher card game Gwent sitting on a rock
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Witcher 3’s competitive card game Gwent is being adapted into a new, single-player, standalone game for release later this year.

The card game, codenamed Project Golden Nekker, is in development at CD Projekt Red’s in-house Gwent team, and aims to be notably different from past iterations of the card game, IGN says in its reveal of the game.

That description sounds similar to 2018’s Thronebreaker: A Witcher Tale, another standalone Gwent game, but CD Projekt Red claims the two will be distinct. 

“It’s not another Witcher Tales [game] but something different,” Paweł Burza, communications lead for the Gwent team, told IGN. “We’re aiming to provide a captivating single-player for players who prefer it over competitive multiplayer Gwent.”

Several pieces of concept art have been revealed, including the titular Golden Nekker, a Fire Elemental, Living Fire (which looks like a burning skull), and The Barbarian, which has only now been revealed by IGN. Two other artworks show environmental areas, rather than characters, including a marketplace and a library containing a hiding Golden Nekker.

Although there’s no word yet as to exactly when the game will release, in a developer update stream for the existing Gwent multiplayer game from last December, game director Vladimir Tortsov mentioned the new title and said the team wants “to announce stuff that we’re working on when the time is right”.

IGN also points out that when Thronebreaker was released, its new cards were added to the main, multiplayer version of Gwent. With new cards expected to be released for Gwent in April, July, October, and December this year, Golden Nekker might release in one of those months.

Analysis: Gwent is The Witcher’s legacy

A Fire Elemental from Witcher card game Gwent

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Gwent has gathered quite a following since The Witcher 3 released all the way back in 2015. Mentioned in Andrzej Sapkowski's original novels, the card game’s inclusion wasn’t a novel idea, but followed a long tradition of RPG designers sticking gambling minigames among epic quests and open worlds.

Unlike Fallout’s Caravan and Star War: Knights of the Old Republic’s Pazaak before it, however, Gwent was able to foster an entire community around itself. The fact CD Projekt Red has been able to spin a full multiplayer game, a single-player title, and now a second standalone release out of the card game says a lot about the loyalty of its players.

With no rumors of The Witcher 4 circulating, and CD Projekt Red still developing the next-gen ports of Cyberpunk 2077, this is likely the only new Witcher content we’ll be seeing for a while. When it comes to the world of video games, the little card game of Gwent has done a lot to keep the world of Geralt relevant.

As for what, exactly, Golden Nekker will be, it sounds remarkably similar to Thronebreaker in form, if not content. A standalone, single-player Gwent experience, it might take a different format to The Witcher Tales game, but is certainly catering to similar players.

Callum Bains
Gaming News Writer

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.