The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been winning near universal critical praise, but that hasn’t stopped fans from noticing some inconsistencies with the game’s graphics. Fans on Neogaf have compiled footage from numerous trade show events and trailers, and compared them to the final build. In conclusion, it looks like there has been a graphical downgrade.
Speaking to Eurogamer, CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwinski and studio head Adam Badowski refuted claims that the PS4 and Xbox One versions held back the PC version. In fact, they insist that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt would not have happened without the console versions.
“If the consoles are not involved there is no Witcher 3 as it is,” Iwinski said. “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.
“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 two men did confirm that the now infamous VGX 2012 trailer was captured straight from the PC version, but changes had to be made for the greater good. Effects, textures, and model detail had to be toned down in order to improve performance. The team didn’t set out to mislead players, though they do admit they shouldn’t have released the VGX trailer.
“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. 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.
Despite the downgrade, CD Projekt Red is moving forward with their plans for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. An upcoming patch aims to bump up the graphics on the PC version, and the company is exploring their options on improving the graphics and performance on PS4 and Xbox One.