Witcher 3 veterans announce a multiplayer stealth-action game set in feudal Japan

In 2021, CD Projekt has successfully released a Witcher-based manga. crowdfunded (opens in new tab) called The Witcher: Ronin who re-imagines Geralt and the gang in feudal Japan. Now former members of CD Projekt want to take it one step further by launching a studio called Dark Passenger (opens in new tab) that’s working on an all-new online action game set in – you guessed it – feudal Japan.

Dark Passenger co-founders, Jakub Ben and Marcin Michalski, both worked on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its expansions as part of CD Projekt, Ben as a film artist and art team coordinator and Michalski as an environmental artist; Michalski later served as a senior recording artist with Gwent and Thronebreaker. They were also “outsource partners” on Cyberpunk 2077 through the Realtime Warriors (opens in new tab) studio, which created in-game television movies.

The Dark Passenger project, which does not yet have an official title, will be their first standalone game: an online multiplayer game with first-person perspective that supports PvP and co-op PvE, built in Unreal Engine 5.

“Our goal is to create highly exciting online experiences that focus on both collaboration and rivalry,” says the studio’s website. “We are fascinated by interpersonal interactions, alliances, daring confrontations and unexpected turns of events. To make each game unique and surprising, we use advanced procedural solutions. Although the goal will be the same for all players, the time to achieve it will require a different approach, tactics and chosen path.

“Our locomotion system allows players to perform incredible evolutions, such as running on arrows fired by other players, quickly climbing vertical surfaces using shuko claws, or using a yari spear as a pole to jump over obstacles. Among the many weapons in the player’s arsenal, there will be katanas, short tanto and wakizashi swords, kusarigama chains, shurikens, kunai throwing knives and much more.Engaging close-range combat requires as much dexterity as it does tactics and close collaboration with teammates.”

The game promises extensive customization options for both characters and equipment, as well as user-designed dojos where players can battle with friends and do movement exercises. However, the studio clarified in a press kit that it will not be an MMO, but rather a “match-based” game featuring “stealth-action multiplayer with robust player progression”. The first-person perspective will be expanded to include third-person views at certain points, and there will be no single-player outside of the training dojo, although Dark Passenger expressed an interest in “expanding the universe” in the future.

Dark Passenger is still looking for people for the project – the studio said it expects a few more CD Projekt colleagues on board soon – and the website references previous criticisms of working conditions (opens in new tab) and lack of diversity (opens in new tab) at CD Project. “We are creating an environment without prejudice based on tolerance, support and understanding,” says the career page. “We treat individual needs as seriously as the expectations of the group. We provide all amenities, private medical care and paid overtime. With an emphasis on work-life balance, we offer flexible working hours and vacations. We accommodate both stationary and external work possible.”

Unsurprisingly, there’s no hint as to when Dark Passenger’s debut game will see the light of day, but you can follow what the studio is up to Twitter (opens in new tab).

Leave a Comment