Having found success in video games and a hugely popular Netflix series, The Witcher franchise is now on the hunt for the coin Pokémon GO has earned in location-based augented reality mobile games.
Developer Spokko, a subsidiary of CD Projekt Red (the developer behind the console/PC games), has opened up registration for early access to the global "soft launch" of the Android version of The Witcher: Monster Slayer.
At the end of April, Spokko will draw names from registrants to receive early access to the app. Players interested in joining the hunt early can register at the game's website.
Currently, availability for the iOS version is limited to New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Philippines, and Russia via the App Store (no word on a wider rollout). A support page also lists early access for the Android version for New Zealand and Australia, but the Play Store link comes up empty.
The Witcher joins franchises like Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, The Walking Dead, Ghostbusters, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Minecraft in publishing games in the vein of Pokémon GO.
None of them have come close to replicating the financial success of Pokémon GO, which remains one of the top-grossing mobile games around. In fact, Minecraft's AR game will close its doors in June.
But that hasn't stopped franchises from shooting their shot, with Hello Kitty and Pikmin among the next location-based AR games in the works.
Based on the gameplay trailer footage, The Witcher: Monster Slayer will borrow elements from Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and The Walking Dead: Our World, where encounters with monsters in the real world involve immersive battles as opposed to the cute ball-tossing approach of Pokémon GO.
Moreover, the open-world gameplay of The Witcher games mirror the location-based RPG aesthetics for the mobile AR adaptation. Like the console/PC games, The Witcher: Monster Slayer includes side quests, where players use their Witcher powers to solve mystical mysteries.
Early-access players of the iOS version have given the game mostly positive reviews, with an average of 4.5 out 5 from 87 reviews to date. Perhaps game quality combined with the public's interest in the Netflix series will result in players diving deep into the immersive world of The Witcher: Monster Slayer.
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