Some players anticipating CD Projekt RED’s open-world action-RPG epic The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have had concerns over what they see as graphical “downgrade” in the final version–especially as compared to the game’s spectacular VGX trailer in December 2013.
Speaking to Eurogamer, CD Projekt RED co-founder and joint CEO Marcin Iwinski and managing director Adam Badowski officially addressed the issue for the first time, explaining that any changes seen since that trailer are because of trying to cram the game into a massive open world and by optimizing the experience on all three platforms: Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
“If the consoles are not involved, there is no Witcher 3 as it is,” Iwinski told Eurogamer. “We can lay it out that simply. We just cannot afford it, because consoles allow us to go higher in terms of the possible or achievable sales; have a higher budget for the game, and invest it all into developing this huge, gigantic world.”
Badowski said that the VGX trailer was indeed from an actual PC build, but keeping that graphical fidelity throughout simply wasn’t an option as development progressed.
“If people see changes, we cannot argue, but there are complex technical reasons behind it,” he added.
The game’s massive open world was a major culprit, Iwinski explained, saying that what might work for an event like E3 might need to be changed once the entire game gets involved.
“If you’re looking at the development process, we do a certain build for a trade show,” Iwinski said. “You pack it, it works, it looks amazing. And you’re extremely far away from completing the game. Then you put it in the open world, regardless of the platform, and it’s like, ‘Oh s***, 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.”
If you’d like to check out the VGX trailer and judge for yourself how the finished game stacks up, take a look below.