The Witcher: Ronin is a manga that sees monster-slayer Geralt of Rivia’s adventures recast in the world of Japanese folklore, and little-known RPG-maker CD Projekt Red wants your help to make it happen. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign for the project today aiming to raise just over $100,000 to deliver it into the hands of fans.
Announced at WitcherCon back in July, The Witcher: Ronin is written by longtime CDPR comic book editor Rafał Jaki and illustrated by Japanese artist Hataya, and features an “Elseworlds” take on the titular hero that sits outside the official Witcher canon. It sounds really cool and the 100-page hardcover version exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign seems worth the $40 asking price. But why is CDPR asking for fans to crowdfund the manga at all?
The Poland-based game developer and publisher is the largest in the country and valued at several billion dollars. And despite the hit it took from Cyberpunk 2077’s trainwreck of a launch, it continues to do alright for itself. Nevertheless, it’s asking fans to support The Witcher: Ronin like it were some indie imprint just getting off the ground. There’s even an early-bird bonus.
“Time is of the essence! Back within the first 24 hours of the campaign and you’ll receive an exclusive collectible miniature inspired by The Witcher: Ronin with your pledge!” CDPR writes in today’s announcement.
The company has already blown through its initial goal and is currently headed toward raising over $200,000 in the project’s first few hours. CDPR tried to head off potential criticism of its reliance on the crowdfunding platform back when Ronin was first announced, citing it as a means of creating a deluxe collector’s edition and also launching the manga globally. The company also said the collector’s edition could expand with additional support.
“The more support for the comic, the more amazing new artists we can enlist to create stunning variant artwork — all showing off unique takes on this Japanese-inspired Witcher story,” CDPR wrote on Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter campaign no doubt also doubles as a good peg for extra publicity and an easy way to effectively take pre-orders. Ronin isn’t expected to ship until early 2022.
“Rewards aren’t guaranteed, but creators must regularly update backers,” reads the Kickstarter reminder in the middle of the page. I have no doubt CDPR will be able to deliver. It is, after all, several times the size of established comic book labels like Dark Horse.