Game delays are never the preferred situation for highly anticipated games, but oftentimes, people support them because more development time has never been a bad thing. Besides, no one wants their excitement to play a game on launch day to be ruined by bugs, glitches and other performance issues.
More time to polish the game was one of the factors that led to CD Project Red delaying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt by a few more months, but another huge variable was that people have become fearful of games that release with a host of problems. Recent launches like DriveClub, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Assassin’s Creed Unity are just some of the recent games that fit the part, containing issues that rendered parts of them unplayable or, at the very least, difficult to enjoy.
Speaking to financial journalists in Poland (via Eurogamer), CD Projekt Red president and board member Adam Kiciński explained that the market has spoken: they don’t want more faulty games on the PS4 and Xbox One.
“Gamers took our decision [to delay The Witcher 3] very well. [The] market is afraid of badly polished games on next-gen platforms.”
The last time the game was delayed, it was pushed from 2014 to February 2015 -a date the developer now says was set “too hastily.” At the time, though, CD Projeckt Red stated it was because the open-world aspect wasn’t up to par like the story is.
“There’s a lot of small errors though, because the game is huge. It’s the only reason behind the delay. We didn’t assume it will be this big. Only after putting all the pieces together it turned out it’s bigger than the two first put together.
“Let me remind you: it’s open and not linear. We are just learning how to play it and we have to catch the little pieces. We know what to do, we just have to do it. We don’t want to release the game with bugs that undermine the gameplay.”
Again, CD Projekt’s decision to push back the game to avoid the launch issues others have faced is worthy of praise and understanding, but it once again highlights the fact that release dates are set before a game is actually ready to hit that date. It also begs the question: why did the studio wait until now -two months before the game was supposed to release- to announce a delay? A new trailer just debuted last week!
Even more interesting (or terrifying) of a question: If Halo and AC Unity had better launches, would The Witcher 3 have kept the February 2015 date, to release with a day one patch and, probably, several bugs?
Regardless, The Witcher 3 now has more time to be improved upon, and hopefully the final game will everything both fans and CD Projekt want it to be. As Kiciński put it, “We want to put our names under this game. It has to be fun.”
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, as of right now, will release on May 19, 2015 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.