Because of various undisclosed reasons, the negotiations between and JoWood were unsuccessful after the release of Gothic 3. To find a company to develop the next entry of the series, JoWood arranged some kind of developer casting: basically the candidates had to produce a demo on their own time before entering a contract with JoWood. The reasons were the technical disaster of the Gothic 3 release as well as JoWood's bad experiences with some development studios in the recent past, e.g. Trine Games.

After the (unannounced) release date had to be postponed a few times, an producer of an external investor took control and cut down the game. It became a linear experience instead of an open-world RPG. This is the reason for the big amount of working titles and why the Gothic name is much less prominently used than originally planned. To quote Johann Ertl (JoWood's community manager): "(...) da hat es zu viele Leute gegeben [bei JoWood], die sich eher die Pulsadern aufgeschnitten h├Ątten, als da Gothic 4 draufzuschreiben." (Translation: "(...) there were too many people [at JoWood] who would have rather cut their own wrist than calling the game Gothic 4.")

Working titles

ArcaniA: Gothic 4 underwent quite some name changes during its development. Announced as anonymous sequel to Gothic 3 calling it Gothic 4 informally was a logical consequence. Though there have been four official announcements wreaking some confusion among the players. Here is a naming history:
  1. Aug 2007 Gothic 4: Genesis
  2. Apr 2008 Gothic 4: Arcania
  3. Sep 2008 ArcaniA: A Gothic Tale
  4. Mar 2010 ArcaniA: Gothic 4

Contributed by Zerobrain (3093) on Jan 09, 2012. [revised by : Jeanne (76515) and Patrick Bregger (213567)]. -- edit trivia