The Witcher 3 includes Gwent, a Hearthstone-esque card game

UPDATE: CD Projekt issues statement on Xbox One-exclusive physical items.

UPDATE: CD Projekt has issued Eurogamer a statement on the reaction to its announcement of Xbox One-exclusive physical items for the Collector's Edition of fantasy role-playing game The Witcher 3.

CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński said the deal with Microsoft was about making The Witcher 3 more visible worldwide and, following that, selling more copies of the game.

The statement is reproduced below:

  • Looking at the heated comments, I believe that our announcement of the physical addition of two decks of Gwent cards and a cloth map, requires a further word from us.
  • Here at CD Projekt Red, we always put gamers first. Our PC versions are released DRM-free, we bend over backwards to give you the most beefed up editions of our games (be it standard or Collector's), and we deliver the same game, regardless of platform or version you buy. Moreover, we promised not have any exclusive DLCs, neither per platform nor per retailer, and we do stand by our promise--nothing has changed, nor will change in this regard.
  • Don't get me wrong, I do understand that these extra items might be desirable for Witcher fans playing the game on other platforms. However, as we are not offering any platform or retail exclusive DLCs or any other form of gameplay differentiation, we do have to find other ways to support our partners. We are also providing special pre-order items for certain retailers around the world, including Witcher comic books, posters, steel books or medallions. Funnily enough, we did not notice any heated comments on the pre-order specials.
  • What is the reason? Why are we doing this? We need the support of partners to make our game visible worldwide. This should hopefully translate to better sales, which will in consequence allow us to do what we have been doing for the last 10 years, i.e. reinvest this money to make more great RPGs, while still sticking to our values.
  • If you still consider that adding two decks of Gwent cards and a map of the in-game world to the Xbox One CE equals us betraying our values and not fulfilling our promises, well, it does make us sad, but the final call is always yours to make.
  • Still, I do hope that what we offer is unique and we can ask you to give us the benefit of the doubt. We have more great things to announce for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in the coming months and I promise you won't be disappointed (yes, yes, there are no more exclusives coming).

ORIGINAL STORY: CD Projekt Red has revealed Gwent, a competitive card game that will be included in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for players on all platforms.

Gwent is designed to be a competitive game for two players - each with their own deck of spells and battlefield units.

More than 150 cards will be included, with four different faction classes to play as.

"Invented by dwarves and perfected over centuries of tavern table play, Gwent is a game of initial simplicity and ultimate depth, something beloved by both road-weary travellers during long nights around the campfire and elegant nobles looking to liven up dragging dinner parties," the press release reads.

Owners of the Xbox One Collector's Edition will get two decks of physical Gwent cards to play with - along with a new cloth map.

Card battling games have recently seen a surge in popularity since the launch of Blizzard's Hearthstone. As well as the annual Magic: Duals of the Planewalkers series, Ubisoft has launched Assassin's Creed tie-in Memories. WWE has also just launched a 2K-developed CCG of its own, WWE Supercard.

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