CD Projekt has officially brought the development of its Witcher card game spin-off Gwent to a close with one last update, putting all future balance changes in the hands of the community.
Gwent, of course, started life as a turn-based card-collecting mini-game in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (although, technically, it existed on the page of author Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels before that) and was expanded into its own full-scale release in 2018.
As development has continued, Gwent has recieved new cards, content updates, and expansions – as well as a standalone single-player story campaign in 2020’s Thronebreaker and a rogue-like solo deck-builder in 2022’s Gwent: Rogue Mage – but last December brought the news CD Projekt would wind down development
10 months on and Gwent: The Witcher Card Game has now received its last official patch, Update 11.10, which includes the final card changes made by the Gwent design team. Previously, the studio said it was looking to introduce a system enabling the community to control balance changes after development on Gwent ended, and it’s now detailed how that’ll work in an FAQ shared alongside 11.10.
Gwent’s future will be determined by what the studio is calling the Balance Council – a feature it says “ensures changes to cards will still be happening as long as there are people who want them”. Essentially, this is an in-game voting system available to Gwent’s more experienced players – access requires an account at Prestige 1 or higher and either being in a Pro Rank or winning 25 ranked games in the current season.
Once those criteria are met, players can vote for a maximum of three cards to be changed in each of four brackets: power increase, power decrease, provisions increase, and provisions decrease. Once the monthly voting cycle ends, a minimum of three and a maximum of 15 cards will be altered per bracket, with changes requiring least 50 votes.
There’s a lot more detail on the process over in CD Projekt’s FAQ, and patch notes for Update 11.10 are available elsewhere. The studio does note, too, Gwent may recieve additional patches in the future, should critical technical updates be required, but 11.10 is, to all intents and purposes, the game’s final update.
Earlier this year, CD Projekt announced it was laying off around 30 members of the Gwent team as development neared its conclusion, leaving “about 30 remaining Gwent team members” who are due to depart the studio by the end of 2023. CD Projekt has seen a succession of layoffs throughout the year; in May, 29 employees lost their jobs at CDPR-owned studio The Molasses Flood, and the developer announced “around 100” additional layoffs in July.