One of the wildest success stories in contemporary gaming is CD Projekt RED. The Polish studio came from the brink of shuttering to landing a surprise hit with a game based on a Polish fantasy novel series. Somehow it was a hit, even overseas, and now there’s a trilogy. CD Projekt RED is a big deal now, and the gaming community is caught between judging the company for crunch practices and salivating over its next game.
But The Witcher remains a big deal, especially due to a recent Netflix adaptation that seems to have breached mainstream appeal. So in the wake of the Netflix series, the enduring success of the Witcher III, and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, there are probably plenty of thirsty Witcher fans looking forward to holiday presents. If you have one of those on your list, you might want to check out some of these suggestions.
As I mentioned before, The Witcher’s source material is a series of dark fantasy novels. From author Andrzej Sapkowski. The series largely ran during the 1990s, but after the videogames took off and made The Witcher a global brand, Sapkowski returned with another novel in 2013. There are several ways to get your hands on the series.
Orbit publishes The Witcher in English, and you can take care of collecting a big chunk of the whole thing by picking up the publisher’s box sets. The first box set is technically called The Witcher Stories, as the first two books (The Last Wish, Sword of Destiny) are short story collections. The second box set, which contains books 1-3 (Blood of Elves, The Time of Contempt, Baptism of FIre) kick off “The Witcher Saga.” You’ll have to get the remaining books piecemeal for now, but they’ll all have matching spines. The box sets currently available even have Netflix-flavored branding on the boxes, with the regular cover art maintained on the actual novels.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a book with Henry Cavill’s face on it if you want that. The first book has a new Mass Market paperback printing, which has a similar Netflix show branding on the cover. It’s also half the price! As an aside, the first book also got a new hardcover printing last year to go alongside the Netflix launch, so that’s an option as well.
The World of the Witcher
If you’re mostly just interested in the videogame side of things, The World of the Witcher is a big ol’ “Videogame Compendium” that has tons of big illustrations, lore details, and probably anything else you could think of.
Dark Horse produced a comic book series to tie in with the game’s success, and there’s a total of four trade paperbacks collecting the whole series. You can also start with the Omnibus, which collects the first three volumes. Mike Mignola of Hellboy fame did some cover art, which may be reason alone to check the series out some.
The Witcher is a huge videogame series now, so you can bet there’s all kinds of merchandise. Figures, apparel, coloring books, you name it. We aren’t going to go too in-depth here, since we’d basically be writing marketing material for Dark Horse at that point. And we ain’t gettin’ paid for that.
The Nendoroid series from Japanese company Good Smile is a massive line of super deformed-style figures that come with accessories and different face and limb parts for posing. There’s a Geralt one of these, and it’s hilarious.
Dark Horse Direct
Dark Horse Direct has produced a ton of figures, including the lovely bathtub sequence. It’s truly a meme come to life, and that’s why we chose it for the image here. But if you want more serious displays, there are also individual character statues and whatnot.
CD Projekt Red Gear
If you want a bunch of shirts and stuff, you can just hop on CD Projekt RED’s official shop and snap up all kinds of merch. This is where you’ll find officially licensed merch the easiest, since many online shops are full of screen-printed bootlegs and other weird products.
Perhaps your Witcher-loving holiday friend has pretty much devoured all things The Witcher. It could be a good idea to get them a new game, but one that takes up similar genre real estate. We’ve compiled a small list of games that we think fit that criteria, although we’ve deliberately left out Skyrim. They probably have Skyrim. Everyone has Skyrim even if they don’t want it.
BioWare has its ups and downs, but the Dragon Age series is still well-regarded. The first two 360 games are actively backwards compatible on Xbox One/Series so they’re plenty accessible. Inquisition, which got several Game of the Year nods, is readily available on modern hardware.
I mean, it’s CD Projekt RED’s next game. You do the math.
Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning
Another big, open world fantasy RPG, this game was subject to some unfortunate drama that rendered it an obscurity before it could find its footing. But through the primordial soup of rights ownership, you can at least get a fancy, new version that natively runs on your more recent consoles.
It’s like The Witcher meets Monster Hunter, from Capcom. People swear by this game, although it may take some time to get into.
Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has had people screaming about it being the best game ever made since it launched. If your Witcher friend has a Switch and doesn’t have this game, that’s an easy gift.
The Witcher series has a ton of music, and of course that means you can buy it separately from the game.
If you want something cool and physical, you can get a vinyl print of the Netflix show’s score (pictured above). It comes with bonuses and stuff to make it worth picking up as a gift, even if the recipient doesn’t have a record player.
You can also find several official album releases associated with The Witcher III. There’s a vinyl for this as well, but it’s not actively in print so good luck getting it for a reasonable price. Otherwise, there are multiple digital collections available all over the place.
If your friend or family member loves The Witcher, chances are they’ll already have some of this stuff. But all of it? That’s a tall order, especially with the adjacent game suggestions. But hey, if all else fails, you can get them the Nintendo Switch port of Witcher III, which is novel for its portability and PC cross-save feature.