Creator of The Witcher's most controversial feature says he'd (mostly) cut it from the remake

The Witcher
(Image credit: CD Projekt)

Even one of the creators of The Witcher's notorious sex cards has regrets about how they were implemented, and would do things differently today.

The original Witcher game has a pretty extensive list of romance options, ranging from major characters like Triss and Shani to quest-giving farmgirls and unnamed courtesans. Once you make Geralt have sex with any of them, you get a card with a lavishly-illustrated pin-up of that woman, usually semi-nude and in a suggestive position. The cards are collectibles, and thus the game essentially turns women into collectibles, too.

"It is about the fact that you switch to a mindset that you need to collect them all, right?" Witcher 1 story designer and scripter Karol Kowalczyk, one of the folks responsible for the infamous cards, tells Time Extension. "And in that context, it is indeed very disturbing that the game kind of forces you to become a mindless sex addict to get some of those. We failed to see that as when you are testing the game for the 100th time, you start to do it mechanically and don't really feel those emotions."

The cards were originally intended simply as a way to avoid the expensive, challenging animations that putting actual sexual encounters in the game would require, and as a sort of memento for Geralt to remember his partners by. Later Witcher games would continue to let Geralt have all sorts of spicy rendezvous both casual and romantic, though cards now mostly just serve as playing pieces for Gwent, and are substantially less horny.

Kowalczyk no longer works at CD Projekt Red, so he'll have no new influence on the upcoming Witcher remake. But as fans prepare for the removal of the sex cards from that remake, Kowalczyk notes that he'd get rid of them, too - mostly.

"With the experience I have now, I'd leave the drawings in the game, but remove *any* suggestions that this is a collectible, and also do a review of all the scenes and strip the game of those that were causing mixed feelings."

The Witcher remake has its work cut out for it.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.