CD Projekt Red has addressed accusations that it downgraded the visual fidelity of The Witcher 3.
Some accusers posit that the studio downgraded the graphics on the PC version between late 2013 (seen in the VGX video below) and release so the game would achieve something resembling visual parity across new-gen consoles and PC.
In a lengthy interview with Eurogamer, CD Projekt Red said the changes were due to technical restrictions that cropped up when the gameplay seen at VGX in 2013 was expanded into a true open world setting.
"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,” said company co-founder Marcin Iwinski.
“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.
"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,” he added.
“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.”
CD Projekt Red was keen to stress that it is continuously working on the PC version beyond patch 1.03 which dropped today (and which will be out on console soon).
“We will be adding a lot of stuff, and there is more to come,” said Iwinski.
“We've proven it in the past that we support our games and we will be looking at the feedback and trying to make it better.
"We don't feel good about it, and I treat it very personally.”
He also mentioned that the game wouldn't have happened at all had there not been new-gen console versions.
Whatever the case, the visuals didn't bother former Gameplanet editor-in-chief James Cullinane, who awarded the PlayStation 4 version an enthusiastic 10/10.