There was a time when "bigger," in videogame terms, was synonymous with "better." But more recently, it's not unusual to hear the opposite sentiment: That gamers just don't have time for 100-hour epics, and that an awful lot of effort is being wasted on huge games that only a tiny slice of players ever actually finish. CD Projekt Visual Effects Artist Jose Teixeira doesn't agree with that sentiment, however, telling MCV, "If anything, The Witcher 3 proved the point that players are more interested in longer games."
Teixeira was describing how the Witcher 3 achieved major mainstream success, well beyond the first two games in the series, despite being a game that by all appearances should only appeal to a relatively niche—and therefore, small—market. "We are still amazed at how many people played The Witcher 3, because it’s a game style that is usually reserved for hardcore audiences," he said. "People actually loved it, especially more in the casual audience, which we’re really impressed with."
It also, he explained, demonstrates that those more "casual" players aren't necessarily put off by games that demand big time investments. "Now, especially, you hear so many people talking about how the triple-A games industry is there and nobody wants that experience anymore, and here you go—a nice, well-written single-player experience," he said. "There’s no multiplayer, there’s no microtransactions; you get a game, you play the game and enjoy the game, and it’s a great success."
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was undeniably successful, but it also bears noting that, according to its Steam achievements, less than 25 percent of people who own it have actually finished the thing. Even so, CD Projekt isn't giving up on big experiences: Teixeira said its next project, Cyberpunk 2077, will be even bigger—"far, far bigger"—than The Witcher 3. It's an interesting contrast to the approach taken by Activision in the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, which developer Treyarch recently announced would launch with all campaign missions unlocked from the very start, enabling players to skip to any part of the game, at any time—even the very end, if they choose.
Speaking of big games, CD Projekt recently added some bulk to the Witcher 3 with the release of its first expansion, Hearts of Stone. Read our review right here.