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CD Projekt addresses Witcher 3 graphical downgrade complaints

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The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a major hit, but it's also been the subject of complaints that its graphical quality has been downgraded from what we saw in a trailer that aired a couple years ago at VGX. CD Projekt has acknowledged that the quality of the visuals in the game is indeed a step down from what it presented, but while co-founder Marcin Iwinski told Eurogamer that nobody at the studio feels good about how things ended up, there was simply no way to avoid it.

"If you're looking at 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," Iwinski explained. "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."

He also said that suggestions that the PC version of the game was held back by the console editions is accurate, but only to a point: Without the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases, he continued, The Witcher 3 as it is wouldn't exist on any platform, because the studio simply couldn't afford to make a game of this scale exclusive to the PC.

CD Projekt hasn't commented on the issue until now because "we didn't see it as a problem," he said. "In a way, because of us not seeing it as a problem, and working hard on the game until the very end, that's where we are today and that's why we have to explain. I hope it shows our intentions, because we are not hiding anything."

"Maybe we shouldn't have shown that [trailer], I don't know, but we didn't know that it wasn't going to work, so it's not a lie or a bad will - that's why we didn't comment actively. We don't agree there is a downgrade but it's our opinion, and gamers' feeling can be different," he said. "If they made their purchasing decision based on the 2013 materials, I'm deeply sorry for that, and we are discussing how we can make it up to them because that's not fair."

He also suggested that future updates could improve the game's visual quality, and suggested that anyone who still has doubts should wait to see what happens in the future before purchasing the game.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.