The Witcher 3 Downgrade Issues: CD Projekt Red Responds

Two years ago we saw how The Witcher 3 PC version would look thaanks to a trailer revealed by CR Projekt Red at VGX Game Awards. Now the game has been released to critical acclaim with regards to everything but the PC graphics which many have found to have been downgraded.

Until now the developers weren’t attending the topic directly but now they have. The global communications manager Michal Platkow-Gilewski, studio head Adam Badowski and CDPR cofounder Marcin Iwinski sat together and answered the burning questions that fans have for them.

An enraged PC gamer would say that they had two years to either make the game up to the same standards as they showed to us while marketing the game or to let us know what exactly to expect. Why couldn’t they do so? Interestingly, Iwinski says that it was “because we didn’t see it as a problem.”

Point is, The Witcher 3 released during a time when every other AAA game is being criticized for this one thing (at least), then how could they not see it as a potential problem?

However, they have a reputation that has come out of hardwork and acclaimed talent so Iwinski adds:

Considering our values, hiding is the last thing we ever want to do. And for those who are still not 100 per cent decided, I definitely encourage them to wait and see what we will be releasing in patches, updates and whatnot.

So why exactly did the graphics change? they have confirmed that hte VGX footage was not pre-rendered and indeed it was captured from PC, but apparently a lot had to be changed in it due to “complex technical reasons.” The rendering system of the game was changed after that video was made, the global system that showed those fires and smokes in the video was also changed as without DX12 it would not have worked.

Iwinski says these changes are a part of the development process:

We do a certain build for a tradeshow and you pack it, it works, it looks amazing. And you are extremely far away from completing the game. Then you put it in the open-world, regardless of the platform, and it’s like ‘oh shit, it doesn’t really work’. We’ve already showed it, now we have to make it work. And then we try to make it work on a huge scale. This is the nature of games development.

Well, if those features had to be removed, and if all this is a part of the development process, I would politely suggest that reputed (and loved) development studios like CDPR stop making videos that could takes the hopes high only to end up flatlining them for some – and Iwinski agrees with me on this!

He did add “maybe we shouldn’t have shown that [trailer].”

The next question that fans have had in mind is the role of console parity in the way that the PC version of the game has turned out to look like. However, the developers did not directly answer that. They did, however, state that they had to take all the platforms together especially the console versions because they would not be able to afford it (financially) otherwise:

Developing only for the PC: yes, probably we could get more [in terms of graphics] as there would be nothing else – they would be so focused, like if we would develop only on Xbox One or PlayStation 4. But then we cannot afford such a game.

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt is out now and without doubts it has a lot of juice to offer. If the developers can do something about the game’s graphics on PC, that would set the record straight and it wont matter than it will take some weeks to do that.

However, marketing games through videos featuring quality you might not achieve has to stop, now.

Sarmad is our Senior Editor, and is also one of the more refined and cultured among us. He's 25, a finance major, and having the time of his life writing about videogames.