The finale to CD Projekt RED's sword and sorcery RPG trilogy, which was slated for a Q3 2014 release, is being pushed back to next year according to a recent press release.
Despite CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski’s comments back in January that indicated The Witcher 3 was still “on track” for a 2014 release, the developer released a press statement yesterday afternoon disclosing that the hotly anticipated game will be delayed until February of next year.
“We recently re-examined what we had achieved thus far, and faced a choice about the game’s final release date. The decision we made was difficult, thoroughly considered, and ultimately clear and obvious. We could have released the game towards the end of this year as we had initially planned. Yet we concluded that a few additional months will let us achieve the quality that will satisfy us, the quality gamers expect from us. Consequently, we have set the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for February 2015.”
The open letter went into some depth explaining why the decision to move the game to next year was considered, explaining that to the team, the value of extra development time was worth the added wait, in order to produce a Witcher game that lives up to their vision:
“Ever since we started working on the third installment in The Witcher franchise, it has been our aim to produce a title that would take our 11 years of experience in creating RPGS and distill them into a quintessence, into a game that would effectively crown those years. At the same time, we have wanted The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to expand creative boundaries, set new benchmarks, develop the genre as a whole. Ultimately, you, the players, must get an unforgettable adventure to experience in a vast, open world – and that’s most important.
Based on everything we’ve seen about The Witcher 3 so far, CDPR aren’t embellishing much here; trailers and interviews indicate that even setting aside potential critical success, The Wild Hunt is at least gearing up to be a technical achievement, with up to 120 hours of gameplay and some of the most stunning visuals we’ve seen on a console.
The team ended their press release by addressing both their fans and shareholders:
“Dear gamers – we know many of you would have liked to play The Witcher 3 sooner, as soon as possible, even. We’re sorry to make you wait longer than you, or we, initially assumed you would. At the same time, we believe the game will prove to be worth the wait and meet the expectations you have of us. We believe The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be an exceptional RPG, one of the best, providing many hours of wonderful entertainment.”
“Dear shareholders – we are aware of the responsibility that rests with us and thank you for the trust you have granted us thus far. We firmly believe that quality – more than any other factor – determines a game’s success, and that the decision we have made is thus equally valid in business terms.”
It’s a nice touch to see a company address fans of their work in a press release like this, and a bold move for one to assert a ‘quality over profit’ attitude to their shareholders, but CD Projekt RED are somewhat revered in the gaming community for their transparency and the respect they have for both their work and their consumers.
It’s always disappointing when a high profile game like The Witcher 3 gets its release date postponed, but more often than not it leads to a more complete, if not better quality game. If an extra few months means that CD Projekt can deliver on some huge promises, we’ll be glad we waited.
Images: CD Projekt RED