Although The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s delay may have been a disappointing one, it appears that developer CD Projekt Red made the tough decision to ensure they deliver a solid product to their fans. They want to do right by the gamers who have stuck by The Witcher franchise since the beginning, and to show new followers the same consideration.
Part of that dedication and respect includes a promise of 16 DLC add-ons for The Witcher 3 that CD Projekt Red will release at no extra charge. It’s a decision that the devs say is motivated, again, by a need to do right by their fans. As CEO Marcin Iwinski explains, “We owe them.”
“Yeah, we are making a statement. We, as gamers, would like to be treated this way, 'Hey, give me free DLC.' It doesn't have to be something huge. And I'm saying we aren't giving out huge stuff, we aren't giving tens of hours of storyline here, we are giving small bits of pieces that don't cost a lot. And I think people would feel better about our game, and, so, they will enjoy the adventure even more.
Iwinski believes that by offering the DLC free of charge they are treating their fans as they would want to be treated. Yes, the pieces are small add-ons like side quests, costumes, and things of that nature, but plenty of titles charge several dollars for cosmetic changes. And with 16 items planned, CD Projekt could have easily made a nice profit by selling them.
But that’s not what they want to do, and Iwinski hopes it will inspire gamers to view The Witcher 3 a little differently. The CD Projekt Red CEO knows that given The Witcher franchise’s popularity on PC it will likely be subject to rampant piracy, but he hopes this DLC plan will discourage gamers away from doing so. Similarly, he hopes the free DLC might encourage players to hold onto The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt instead of trading it back for credit.
“And maybe the ones who thought about pirating would not pirate it. Maybe the ones who wanted to trade it back and get something else will keep it on the shelf. That'd be great, I would like this to happen and if not that's fine as well. I hope they'll have fun.”
In total, it sounds like CD Projekt Red is a developer who knows their fan base and wants to support them as best they can. As an independent company, they have the freedom to make unique decisions like this, but they are also undertaking a tremendous amount of risk. And that’s not even considering the gameplay side of things, where The Witcher 3 appears to be pushing the boundaries of open world exploration.
From a deeply involved story to a dynamic and gorgeous open world, The Witcher 3 has a lot of potential. CD Projekt Red hopes that they’ve done enough to make sure gamers are interested.
How do you feel about CD Projekt Red’s plans for free DLC? Have they increased your interest in the game?
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt releases May 19, 2015 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.