The Witcher 3′s Delay Should Be Appreciated
Normally video game delays come with a sigh of disappointment along with the despairing thought of yet another game in developmental hell. Truth be told, however, some delays are just what a game needs. The latest Thief, for example, stinks of a game that could have done with a good few extra months of polish before it was released. The point, then: delays may have a negative impact on the consumer, but the product benefits from it.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the latest game to be delayed (now set for release February 2015), but I, as a Witcher fan, am utterly delighted by this. Why? Simply because it comes down to the talent, class, and relationship CD Projekt has with its franchise and its fans. They’re a studio whose attitude is both commendable and human–a rare thing in the video game industry.
In the face of heavy piracy, and during the days when DRM was a hot topic, CD Projekt’s refusal to incorporate harsh DRM into their games commanded a lot of respect. They trusted their fans, and that, today, reflects their dedication to producing quality games.
The announcement of the delay of The Witcher 3 is yet another example of CD Projekt’s wonderful attitude. Most game delays come in the form of a press release. Nothing else. The Witcher 3‘s delay, however, came with an open letter. The letter showcases exactly what The Witcher franchise is all about, as well as the ethos of CD Projekt. The goals and aspirations are clearly defined within the open lines. It’s clear there’s a vision that CD Projekt has in their collective minds, and this vision will be achieved, irrespective of how long it will take. The fact they are so open and honest about why the delay has come about is hugely refreshing. There’s a genuine sense that The Witcher 3 is their masterpiece-in-the-making, and they will pour effort, timen and passion into each and every corner of the project.
”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. ”
The above extract from the open letter is a nod towards the fans, the people who have supported The Witcher, and CD Projekt is fully aware of the expectation placed upon them. The Witcher 3 is their love letter to the franchise, to RPGs, and most of all to the fans. They want to give their followers what they want and deserve, and that is admirable. The fact they are willing to push the game back a whole year to obtain the high quality they aim for is nothing short of beautiful. Too long have developers thrown out games in order to meet deadlines, often resulting in a distorted experience that was not truly wanted by the creators.
‘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. ”
The words ”we firmly believe that quality determines a game’s success” should echo across the industry. CD Projekt aren’t trying to make just another game: they’re trying to create their masterpiece, a game that will stand head and shoulders above the rest. A video game that doesn’t just meet expectations but rises far above them. Frankly, in my opinion, they can take as long as they wish. If The Witcher 1 & 2 (and the improvement from game-to-game) are anything to go by, it’ll be worth it.