Earlier today, Polish developer CD Projekt RED announced that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been delayed again.
In an open letter to fans, CDPR addressed its reasoning for the delay, citing “the sheer size and complexity of The Witcher, key features of the title, have had a decisive impact on production. Now, nearing the end of our work, we see many details that need to be corrected.”
As unfortunate as the delay of The Witcher 3 is, CDPR’s decision is indicative of the kind of change that needs to become commonplace in the video game industry.
2014 has been a year of plagued game releases, with a large number of AAA titles releasing with experience-crippling bugs and other issues. I’ve previously written about this unsettling phenomena and its insidious implications of the development and publication cycle. In an era of publishers and developers making a habit out of rushing highly-anticipated video games onto store shelves, CD Projekt RED’s decision to hold the closing chapter of The Witcher saga back until May 19, 2015 is one that is both respectable and a shining example of the precedent that should be set for the rest of the industry.
In their open letter, CDPR went on to say that “We owe you an apology. We set the release date too hastily. It’s a hard lesson, one to take to heart for the future.” This acceptance and awareness makes it clear that the developer is championing the consumer. The Witcher 3 is, by all accounts, one of next year’s most anticipated titles. With excitement and interest in the franchise at an all-time high, seeing a company ready to take an extra twelve weeks in order to ensure that the resulting product is of the best possible quality is refreshing to say the least.
If CDPR’s precedent is one that the rest of the industry takes to heart remains to be seen. It is, however, one that should become a commonplace standard. Gamers, more so than ever, are finding themselves disenfranchised with many AAA titles and big name studios thanks to rushed, blatantly unfinished and occasionally downright broken releases. For the biggest title in one of gaming’s most popular franchises to be willingly held for the sake of more polishing and tweaking, consumers can successfully see the promising light at the end of the tunnel once more.
To CD Projekt RED, thank you. Your decision to take extra time and ensure that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the best possible game it can be is one that will not go unnoticed and unappreciated. To other publishers and developers, take this move to heart. The only thing that gamers love more than video games that work.
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”