For players who felt the need to “game the system” in The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt in order to earn large amounts of money quickly, CD Project RED knows. With the first major expansion, Hearts of Stone, releasing for the popular open world RPG, a new NPC character known as Deputy Tax Enumerator Walthemor Mitty interrupts the travels of Geralt of Rivia to review potential misdeeds at the expense of others.
While playing Hearts of Stone in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, players will be confronted by the taxman who questions the player about the vast wealth Geralt has quickly acquired. Specifically, whether or not the player was involved in harvesting pearls from clams and selling them at a profit or using a glitch to skin cows to sell the rawhide. The taxman levies a 200% fine for those in violation but ultimately, the player has the final say in what happens as the player is directly asked if they’re guilty or not.
For players who deny the claims, whether or not they have in fact committed these exploits, the taxman will reward the player with a diploma declaring Geralt the title of Taxpayer in Good Standing. For those who want a clean conscience and own up to past mistakes, the taxman will actually charge you with fees. According to reports, players can be charged up to 1000 crowns based on how the questions are answered and cannot proceed in the main quest until the debt has been paid in full.
While the event is mainly used as a fun scare tactic, it’s still a great little touch and response by the developer. While other developers may have taken the opportunity to crack down on the behavior through marketing means, forum posts, and patches, CD Projekt RED handles things a different way and has more fun with it. It’s clear that this developer loves its fanbase, bending over backwards to release free DLC, adding in fun easter eggs to its games, and fighting back against anti-consumer practices.