Atari has announced today that it has inked a deal with Eastern European publisher / developer CD Projekt to bring forthcoming fantasy role-playing title The Witcher to Europe next Spring.

The PC game, which is the first title to be internally developed at CD Projekt, casts players in the role of a chap called Geralt, who is well known around town for his monster-slaying, sword-wielding antics, and promises a blend of fast-paced combat and a twisting, branching storyline where player decisions can radically affect the outcome of the game.

The whole thing is powered by Bioware's Aurora engine (and in fact, it made its public debut on Bioware's stand back at E3 2004, which is quite a vote of confidence from one of the world's finest RPG studios), and everything we've seen suggests that it's quite uncompromisingly dark, violent and bleak. We couldn't possibly comment on how well that tallies with our own experiences of Eastern Europe.

Anyway, it all sounds great to us, even if we're distinctly uncomfortable with the horrors being wrought upon the English language by that title (What on earth is a Witcher? What does that even involve? I witch, You witch, He/She witches, we witch... No! Just no!). Apparently it sounds great to Atari too, since they've signed the game up not only for Europe, but for Asia as well.

"The talented and passionate development team at CD Projekt has invested an enormous amount of time and love into The Witcher," according to Atari's European marketing director, Cyril Voiron, in a statement he probably didn't write himself. The end result, he (or his PR person) reckons, is "a tremendous game that blends stunning graphics and engaging combat with an extraordinary traditional role-playing experience." We'll see for ourselves next spring - fingers crossed!

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Rob Fahey

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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