As the complexity of games increases and intended scope begins to exceed the limits of modern technology, QA testing is becoming a more and more lengthy part of the development process. It's one thing to dream up a menagerie of gameplay mechanics and AI interactions, but ensuring that they play well with each other is another thing entirely. Given the incredible scope that has been promised of The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt it should come as no surprise that the process for it has been equally time-consuming.
Following the recent delay that pushed the release of The Witcher 3 back three more months, questions as to what might have caused this delay were very much on fans' lips. It didn't take long before developer CD Projekt RED cited the market's fear of unfinished launches as the reason for the game's delay. With the latter half of 2014 playing host to a number of flawed releases, it's unsurprising that they would want to do everything in their power to ensure that The Witcher 3 is as stable at launch as humanly possible.
Further elaborating on this point, CD Projekt RED CEO Marcin Iwinski spoke to Nerdacy about the delay as he continued to highlight the importance of thorough testing and optimization prior to release.
"We are removing the final bugs and still running optimization in various areas. What it will result in is a smoother and more engaging experience and, yes, the game looking better across all platforms. The content is locked, so no content changes are being made at this point. The scale of the open world in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is unprecedented, so fear not – there is enough gameplay to keep you playing for weeks."
Considering the grand scope of the upcoming title, this is sure to assuage some gamers' fears that the delay was due to a need for additional development time. Realizing The Witcher's living world looks to be no easy task and ensuring that everything comes together as a cohesive whole is no doubt a time-consuming matter. As such, the reasoning behind this delay should come as no surprise.
Given the number of unfinished releases that have stolen the spotlight over the past year, it's refreshing to see a developer acknowledging the need for additional QA time. A game only has one chance at executing a stable launch and if three extra months of optimization are necessary to achieve that, it should hardly be considered a slight against them. If anything, it is this transparency that is needed to hold and foster consumer trust as the industry moves forward.
While the wait will no doubt be a long one for fans who have been eagerly anticipating the release of The Witcher 3, the promise of a second playable character and an impressive new trailer will make the wait that much more bearable. With 2015 quickly filling up with high-profile releases, the coming year is likely to be an incredibly exciting one for gamers.
Is The Witcher 3 one of your most anticipated titles of 2015? What living world feature are you most excited to experience?
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will release on May 19, 2015 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
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