Recently, the developers at CD Projekt announced that the long awaited The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, (which should have been released for late 2014 and then got pushed back to February 2015) will now be released May 2015. Understandably for a lot of fans of the series this is disappointing news, many may have already bought the game as a pre-order and would have been expecting to see some content for the £40 they spent on it.
However, for me this is fantastic news. This extended period of time gives the developers of the game to really put the time and effort into making a title that is worth every single penny. Playing one of the previous Witcher games will give you the impression that there is a team who really care about the quality of the game that they make. For the third and biggest installment in the series, CD Projekt aim to make sure they deliver the experience the fans want.
Contrast this to Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed, games that are released yearly for a huge price tag. The quality has been famously lacking, many people would claim that there hasn’t been a good Call of Duty game since 2007, and the recent Assassin’s Creed: Unity released with a multitude of issues that has left Ubisoft flustered and embarrassed (more so than usual). It’s a sad state of affairs when AAA titles are judged against each other on whether they work, rather than their core mechanics. So to see that CD Projekt are stating that this extension on the release is so they can properly finish the task they set themselves, is refreshing and hopeful.
Understandably there are strong deadlines to meet when working for publishers like EA, Activision and Ubisoft, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has sold 78 million units, for a business it’s wise to release as often as possible before the quickly changing appetite of the gaming market turns away from your product. The issue with this, is that it pits innovation against reliability. A lot of the people who make games such as FIFA and Call of Duty are enthused about trying new ideas and functions to make the gaming experience better, but this comes at the sacrifice of an experience that is consistent. Besides, it’s much easier to sell a game that is always giving the player newer and more exciting things to do, instead of just a game that runs well.
Ultimately though, I am a slightly disappointed. I have been looking forward to The Witcher 3 for a long time now, and the lack of forward planning where release timing is concerned is irritating. But, it’s uplifting to see a team who are focused on the quality and scale of their project, rather than the monetary aspect. I just hope that it’s a fantastic game and delivers everything it promises.