CD Projekt tackles The Witcher 3 downgrade issue head on

"If the consoles are not involved there is no Witcher 3 as it is," answers Marcin Iwinski, definitively. "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."

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Ghost_of_Tsushima937d ago

"If the consoles are not involved there is no Witcher 3 as it is," answers Marcin Iwinski, definitively. "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."

To bad PC fans don't accept that and instead rather blame consoles for the downgrades.

xPhearR3dx937d ago

Well, technically the downgrade was because of the consoles. It would look like it did at E3 if it was PC only, but it probably would have been a much smaller game. As a PC gamer, I don't see this as a "downgrade". I see it as a trade off. I'm overly happy about how the game looks. It looks incredible, especially with my SweetFX preset I'm using. It may not look like it did in 2013, but I'm willing to bet it's overall a much bigger and better game. I've played 16 hours so far and feel like I've accomplished so much in the world, yet open my map and there's 80% of the map I haven't even touched.

If you want to talk about downgrades look at Watch Dogs. Not only were the graphics butchered, so was the game. Cookie cutter side quest with boring generic missions we've all seen 100 times. Not to mention the world wasn't even that big.

I applaud CDPR for their work on The Witcher 3 and I'm glad it came to consoles. More people get to experience this masterpiece, which also means more money in CDPR pockets. Thus, more Witcher.

The only people complaining are trolls.

Ghost_of_Tsushima937d ago

I completely agree with you. I should've said trolls instead of PC fans. Some people actually have common sense.

Roccetarius937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

As these 3 are laying it out here, i can't imagine they're anything but full of it. The development costs of only the PC platform would definitely outweigh the costs of adding two more platforms, not to mention they don't have the bloated budgets like Ubisoft or EA does.

The only thing that would really suck money is Marketing, because they spent something absurd like 25 million on that. The Witcher 2 had a much lower budget than even the marketing costs, and any EA exec would be shocked.

In other words, you keep dancing around the issue and come up with excuses, CDPR.

Bigpappy937d ago

"The billowing smoke and roaring fire from the trailer? "It's a global system and it will kill PC because transparencies - without DirectX 12 it does't work good in every game." So he killed it for the greater good, and he focused on making sure the 5000 doors in Novigrad worked instead."

DX12 is PC secret sauce too.

Peace_Love_and_FPS937d ago

Agree with everything you've said, but there's no more witcher :P it's the end of the trilogy, my friend.

But.. I'm extremely stoked for CyberPunk 2077 ;)

Meltic937d ago

And the game is a type open World with loading screens. Its not like GTA with a whole map. This is with many diffrent cities. Love it

Sethry101937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

@Meltic, the game has several regions, but the main one is much bigger than GTA V's alone so your point is invalid.

UltraNova937d ago

"The billowing smoke and roaring fire from the trailer? "It's a global system and it will kill PC because transparencies - without DirectX 12 it does't work good in every game." So he killed it for the greater good, and he focused on making sure the 5000 doors in Novigrad worked instead."

So the devs decision to save your PC from melting was down to the inferior consoles somehow?

Some people will never learn.

Nero2142937d ago

If the smoke effect would kill pc then i wanna know on what pc it was running ? If it was something with sli in it i cant belive that they thought even for sec that this would work on a consoles. Lets be honest, The build they chosen doesnt even have proper ultra settings.
Ok forget that vgx trailer, what about that 35 min gameplay on a swamp 8 montsh ago ? THIS is how ultra should have look like on a pc , it wasnt vgx quality but still rly good and dont tell me bullshit that this was old vgx engine build , 8 months before realse ??

Wii_nes_007937d ago

I'm pretty sure that complaining isn't considered trolling. Troll is a very miss used word. If someone doesn't like your opinion, you're considered a troll. If you speak facts/truth, you're considered a troll. When does it end?

kraenk12937d ago

Thank you, I absolutely share your opinion. *Sign*

freshslicepizza937d ago

there you have it. i said earlier in another topic that the popularity of the consoles is where their priority lies. the interesting take on this is how people react to claims of parity when it comes to the consoles yet act differently about it when it's to do with the pc.

NuggetsOfGod937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

That digital foundry video is sad though.

28fps averages for console version.

Apus + detailed open world = match made in hell

I fear for cyberpunk 2077.

Things like this is what makes pc better

Hope the modders enhance the witcher well!

One thing is for sure any company that gets involved with consoles can get away with a lot of things. The masses just want games their friends play.

HammadTheBeast937d ago


According to Steams Survey, 90% of people on PC are running low-mid end GPU's, or laptop models.

starchild936d ago (Edited 936d ago )

Well said, brother. You're a sensible PC gamer and it's appreciated. I try to be a sensible PC gamer as well, though I'm definitely far from perfect. Unfortunately, theres a certain subset of PC gamers who seem to think the whole point of PC gaming is to complain about consoles and whine at developers. These people are really only harming PC gaming in the long run. But thankfully most PC gamers aren't like that.

@ Nero2142

It seems some people have this idea that those early trailers are glimpses of an entire build of the game that you could essentially play the way you can play the final game. And you wonder why they "turned off" those if that game still exists somewhere. But it's really not like that. Think of those scenes in the trailer as specially designed tech demos of what they'd like to have the game look like. The rest of the game certainly didn't exist at that time.

Over time they figure out what will work from both a technical and gameplay design point of view and some stuff gets axed, some stuff gets added, and some stuff stays the same.

In any case, the final build does look as good as that 35 minute demo. In fact, if you play that segment in the game it looks essentially the same, some could even argue better, than the older demo. Here are some screenshot comparisons of that area-
Old demo:
Final game:

A few artistic changes have been made and they tweaked the depth of field, but generally speaking the graphical quality is the same. Do keep in mind, though, that missions can occur at different times of the day in this game and weather and clouds are always dynamically changing as well.

Based on everything I've seen, the game looks just as good as any of the gameplay demos. A few parts of the early trailers can't be matched, but then again there are some parts that do indeed look the same in the final game.

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Mega24937d ago

It's consoles fault, but at the same time is the people who pirate the game on PC's fault. Witcher 2 alone was pirated 4 million times, so many sales lost on such a great game. I love the fact that they still to this day do DRM free games. I've come to terms with the console crontroversy, if consoles saved the witcher, then I'm okay with it not looking like the first reveal trailer. (which it wasn't so much ahead of what it is today, just better lighting, few visual effects here and there).

I love the witcher story, don't care if consoles hold it back, as long as it comes to PC and it's still this magnificent.

Vegamyster937d ago

While The Witcher 2 was pirated quite a bit they still sold millions of copies, in 2013 they announced 1 & 2 sold 6 million together so its probably past 7 million by now.

Ripsta7th937d ago

Now add 4 million to that

Allsystemgamer937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

Uh you're foegetting to add the piracy of people checking if they can run the damn game. Witcher 2 wS extremely demanding. I pirate pc games to see if I can run them to determine whether to get the pc or console release.

Nice try.

Ps. Check pirate bay for PS3/360 torrents. Just as high as pc torrents you fool.

TheRacingX937d ago

...or could READ what the requirements are, or needed to run the game.... nice cop out .....

hasamalaha937d ago

Pirate to test specs... hahahahaha. You guys still try that line?

LoveSpuds937d ago


How many millions of those copies were picked up for peanuts in Steam sales etc.

Whether PC elitests like it or not, without consoles there would be next to no AAA releases.

Vegamyster936d ago (Edited 936d ago )


The game sold 1 million in less than a year, I'm not going to try and figure out when it started getting price cuts but plenty of people bought it full price. There is lots of AAA Titles on PC that have sold well, there is good looking, story & gameplay rich Indie titles that were funded that can easily compete with AAA titles (quality) and sold well.

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camel_toad937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

It's good to see honesty on their part. Definitely lacking with a lot of other devs/publishers. Loving the game on pc btw. Downgraded or not its beautiful and its great.

Erik7357937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

I have a simple solution that could of prevented all of this and instead of using consoles as a escape goat that CDPR thinks will suffice so they wont get called out on manipulative marketing....

Maybe not show Touched up demo's of their game? It's especially bad when they knew the official specs of the hardware and knew it wasn't going to work yet continued to show graphically enhanced footage of a great game.

Not showing the fake footage of it on steam and pictures that represent better/earlier looking builds right on the official store page for this game would be a nice thing to fix too.Also in the years of development that they had on this game, pretty sure they knew in the last 8 months or so if they were gonna be able to have enough resources to make the pc what it looks like it was advertised to be. But no, they continued to show even more fake footage of it only until last minute.
If anything I blame the developer not consoles...this whole issue could of been avoided easily with something called HONESTY....

thekhurg937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

Wrong on so many levels. There were plenty of videos of the game prior to launch, well in advance that showed the new build.

The vertical slice of the game for the reveal trailer was just that. It wasn't final code.

DevilOgreFish937d ago

It's pretty evident there was a downgrade in exchange for sales. people are now looking towards the enhanced edition of 3 to bring back the stripped down settings.

cmgs937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

After the crysis case I think it is not unreasonable however. See, it is not a requirement for every studio to develop multi platform titles, and to be honest, it is not something everybody can handle. And really, games like Arma wouldn't mean anything on consoles without mods. Most mobas and mmorpgs have control schemes too complicated for controllers, despite not being actually too complicated. And pc fans prefer when studios remain committed and aim for more modest projects with passion instead of aiming sales records accross platforms. However I can agree that in case of witcher 3, the massive scale and a team of 200 is way above a team that can develop a singld platform title if we consider that witcher 2 only sold about 3 million copies with heavy discounts.

MasterCornholio937d ago

I appreciate them for being so honest with us. Potential sales have a much larger impact on a games budget than many people think.

lategamer937d ago

I just wish they would've addressed this earlier. This whole downgrade talk has been talked about for awhile now.

Still, better late than never and I am glad that CDPR IS talking about issues like this & addressing it. Hopefully in the future a situation like this doesn't occur again.

someOnecalled937d ago

The complaints came from the fact they didn't say this in the first place we know going multiplat gives any devs more money what we don't like is lying and treating us like idiots. Don't sh!t on the fan base that put you here especially seeming as we was the only group defending this game when console gamers said it looked avg or not worth getting into PC gaming for. People forget its about the principle, keep letting these devs gas y'all up

showtimefolks937d ago

So simply if it wasn't coming to consoles than there would be no witcher 3

Coming from Developers

Bottom line is witcher 3 could have sold 2 to 4 million on pc while another 4 plus million pirated. With consoles it can get up to 10 plus million

So higher sales means more money for developers meaning bigger budget for future games

showtimefolks937d ago

So simply if it wasn't coming to consoles than there would be no witcher 3

Coming from Developers

Bottom line is witcher 3 could have sold 2 to 4 million on pc while another 4 plus million pirated. With consoles it can get up to 10 plus million

So higher sales means more money for developers meaning bigger budget for future games

and I understand some pc gamers download to see whether their pc's can handle the Fame. But more than 4 million gamers pirated the witcher 2. You can't tell me 4 million people downloaded just to see if their pc can handle the game

Piracy is a real issue

Linwelin937d ago

People pirate games on consoles too what your point ? nearly everyone i know that have consoles play pirated games on them, some have got banned from online play, not that that seems to bother them though.

someOnecalled936d ago (Edited 936d ago )

Idiot he said if it wasn't for consoles it wouldnt be at its current state aka not a massive world. It would have looked better but most likely a smaller game like the other witchers if you have played which I doubt. Pass the message around to your buddies seeing how its hard to understand. Multiplat = more potential buyers --> bigger backing for budget --> more time and resources --> more $$$

And if people pirate a game it doesn't mean they would have brought the game. Remember the record breaking pirated console gtav. Oh, not only selective reading but memory too. Millions Pirated gtav before launch on xb360 but talk high and mighty about pirating like it only existed on PC. Don't worry these console will get cracked than modded since their x86 architecture. Than what will be the go to line then.

So if it wasn't on console it would still be a witcher 3 just not this one. One with a different vision, which doesn't mean the game wouldn't exist anymore

fiveby9937d ago

At issue here is that pc players feel the game could have had even better visuals if it had not been for any need for parity. So although as a pc player I am still satisfied with the game I see the point. Yes it's true the game also benefited from console development in that it substantially increased the revenue which can be used in development. High end pc's are apparently somewhat of a boutique item. Lower cost consoles although very good are not as capable as high end pc's. I love both my PS4 and PC and will live with the trade offs necessary to support the marketplace. Such is life but I do see the frustration too. I guess I will just have to enjoy the game as is which is still pretty damn awesome.

Lukejrl936d ago

I like how you say such is life. I wish I had the time in my life to actually care about something so minor as some of these people do. I do get the chuckle from it though.

fiveby9936d ago

@Lukejrl As a father of 3 and a career to attend to as well I would not say I have much time either. What I meant to convey with my 'such is life' comment is that somethings are the way they are and one must just accept it for what it is. Perfection is a nice goal but unattainable.

_-EDMIX-_937d ago

100% agreed! And I told many, many on here that exact same thing. The game was not going to exist SOLELY on PC in that state.

You pretty much have it from the horses mouth. What are gamers going to say now?

I'm sorry but one owns BEAST PC's in the DEEP MILLIONS, more PS4's and XONE's exist then those "beast" PC's.

If that was ever going to happen, why not years prior? Where are those amazing next gen ONLY exclusive PC titles that REQUIRE Titans to play?

To say the downgrade is because of "consoles" is justified to a degree, but it doesn't answer why its the same way on PC's, also count that the sole existence of the game on PC in its current state is based on consoles existing at all.

ie more high end consoles exist then high end PC's....if this game was made JUST FOR PC, it was not going to look the way it looks now.

I'm happy to hear them say this because I've been saying this about next gen only titles for some time now.

Again...doesn't any PC gamer wonder why AC Unity and Witcher 3 came out now and not years ago? Did the hardware not exist years ago? Yet when PS4 and XONE come do the first set of next gen only PC titles? I mean...seriously! Yet where is this magical PC only exclusive that requires a HIGH END card just to run?

Don't get me wrong, I game on both PC and console, I just have the common sense to realize that not all PC rigs are created equal, that is good and bad. Good because you can go as high grade as you feel, bad because it creates a community that can't really be created for JUST for the high end. Too little own those rigs to actually justify a high end, AAA exclusive.

PC gets the hardware down in price.

Consoles add those specs then get the games upping the minimum specs to PC when next gen exclusives come out.

What is making folks build new rigs are NOT PC exclusives, they are PC titles that only exist from the funding off next gen console development.

One scratches the others back. We need BOTH! As a PC gamer, this helps me because now more PC exclusives will use those higher specs ie millions will buy Witcher 3 on PC, thus raise the community of high end users.

I'm sorry but PC gamers very much need console more then they actually think, especially if you game on high end hardware. Who do you think will be making those high end games to really max out your rigs?

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mic_cala937d ago

I dont understand peoples complaint about downgrades, the witcher 3 is seriously beautiful !! One of the best looking games iv ever played not to mention the size and detail of the world.

The devs should be praised for the game and how they treat there fans, not have to explain themselves to cry baby self entitled whingers.

Summons75937d ago

entitled brats being spoiled....all it comes down too when someone cries downgrade. This "downgrade" is hardly noticeable and you you said the game looks fantastic.

Vegamyster937d ago

Well i wouldn't say its hardly noticeable compared to the earlier trailers and they did say high end PC's could replicate those early visuals, i still think it looks great (obviously) and i kinda laugh when people say they cancelled their pre-orders over it.

Erik7357937d ago (Edited 937d ago )'s just people who don't like being knowingly lied too.

Game is beautiful indeed but does not give you a excuse to show touched up demo's LATE in it's development cycle.

If this game was not a near master piece everyone one would be ripping on it for the downgrade like they did on watch dogs and Alien Colonial Marines. But if the game is good a lot of people turn a blind eye to showing deceptive footage.

If CDPR would of been open about it months before the launch of the game HARDLY ANYONE would of complained at launch....but instead they don't show the true footage of this game until last minute. Don't care how you feel about this game or how good it is, does not take a genius to figure out that was not a good thing to do.

buttclown937d ago

Lol, this is the internet and the internet not complain and be happy during the launch of a game? Sure...

Maul_T_Pass937d ago

Ugh the graphics are perfect and the art style is great. Whats the big problem here? Can't wait to see you all complain when SW Battlefront graphics look nothing like the teaser 'game play' we saw last month. Quit counting pixels and enjoy the game you buncha nerds...

Erik7357937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

Yea....putting up with stuff like this basically says

"hey developers and can get away with showing false footage of your game and you won't get sued for it! We will just call it "pre alpha" footage even though we know the final version won't look like this! "

Maybe if publisher's that downgraded their games in the past like Ubisoft with Watch dogs got in trouble for doing it we may have never had the witcher 3 downgraded. But nah lets put up with it so the next master piece gets a downgrade too.

Yea EA and DICE will downgrade battlefront 3 because they knew gamers like you seem to put up with lowers are with your wallet I guess is the only solution to avoiding a battlefront 3 downgrade.

And btw I sympathize with CDPR and understand that what they had to do with the game.....but honestly no one would of been pissed if they would of learned something called HONESTY and showed the non-touched up footage of their game shown near the end of its development cycle instead of letting people know last minute.

Allsystemgamer937d ago

It was a target render. That's what they wanted to achieve. They couldn't and admitted that. They said they were trying as hard as possible to get that level but with the consoles and pc in mind they couldn't using their small team so they had to make compromises. That's not lying. That is being honest. It's people like you that just look at screen shots and not read into the development cycle that are a problem. They said before it came out there would be compromises.

Maul_T_Pass937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

I'm not putting up with anything, but I understand the difference between pre-alpha builds and final releases. Look, whether you want to accept it or not CDPR made a wise decision to scale back graphics a bit so that they could deliver a stable product on multiple platforms. They are not a big gun studio. They have finite resources. What they were able to achieve is remarkable.

The game looks fantastic and plays great. Even with its minor issues, its much more solid than any other release as of late. So if CDPR left the graphics they way they were and as a result the game could only get a max 20fps on PC using a Titan X, would you still be complaining? most likely yes.

Curious as to who you plan on suing for down graded graphics as test footage always says 'not final build'. How exactly is a studio going to be punished? Are you suggesting the formation of some sort of Graphics Police to keep devs in line :D ?

Wii_nes_007937d ago

Resolution and graphics are two completely different things silly.

Koopdogg937d ago

What are you talking about ,SW Battlefront!!!

That teaser trailer was NOT gameplay footage, it was in engine footage,big difference !!!!!

There's going to be nothing to complain about!!!

buttclown937d ago

Honestly, you think that people still aren't going to complain about it? Lol

TwoForce937d ago

I'm console gamer. It will look great on my PS4. I don't care about downgrade.

Ch1d0r1937d ago

Yeah games look great at home, comparing them to a youtube video doesn't do them justice. Youtube has it's limitations. When you play at home it's pumping out raw video to your screen as intended, nothing compressed. Im sure The Witcher 3 look great on the big screen.

Speak_da_Truth937d ago

All I have to say is developers shouldn't show us something in an early trailer when they don't if they're going to match it come release.

Fireseed937d ago

Then don't expect see anything for a games release 2 months before launch.

Speak_da_Truth937d ago (Edited 937d ago )

All of you defending CDPR are probably the same people who were ripping Ubisoft for Watchdogs. So when CDPR does it, they get a pass huh??

Yes, I'd rather see a game only a couple of months/days before it releases rather than seeing it months/years before the game releases only to find out on release day that it's been downgraded. That's just my opinion and No company should get a pass no matter how big or small the downgrade is.

Well said man.

937d ago
k3rn3ll937d ago

Im pretty sure they are being about as honest as they could be. Sure we would all love to not see anythign about a game until right before launch. But it doesn't work that way, won't work that way, and can't work that way. You can't expect a company to put $20+ million into to a game and release it with no build up, or promotion. That's a failure waiting to happen. The promotion for this game is what got them 1.5 million presales for this game. That right there can pretty much guarantee the game to be a success, depending on game and company. This isn't the mid 90's were major publishers are putting games together with a small team and in less then a year.

I don't understand why it took you till release day to find out it was downgraded. This has been being brought up for months. But if that is going to ruin a game for anyone, than stop watching trailers of games when you know they are years away.

I don't even own the game yet, but from what i have played i dont get all the complaints. Someone please show me a AAA $30million game with one of the largest open worlds we have seen a game, that was able to nail down every bit of what was shown in a trailer 2+ years before hand. There's a reason why it's a vertical slice. Because thats all of the game they have done so far. Multiply that by 50x and see if it its easy to nail that down on your final cut

DaleCooper937d ago

I'd be okay with this. Games are announced way too early as it is.

starchild936d ago


Exactly. Games go through changes all the way up until they go gold.

I don't know why some people are making a big deal about this all of a sudden. It has always been common knowledge in the gaming community that games in development are only works in progress and some things can change. I thought we all knew to take early trailers with a grain of salt and that they are only vertical slices or targets that the developers are aiming for.

I prefer it this way. We're all big boys and girls and we're smart enough to know what early trailers really represent. I would rather see 'something' about what my favorite developers are working on and simply keep in mind that it's subject to change than to not see anything about my most anticipated games until right before they release.

And as k3rn3ll points out, it's not really economically feasible to show nothing of your game until right before release. A few massively successful and firmly established franchises might get away with it, but it would be suicide for many games.

Most games, like the Witcher 3, end up looking close enough to their early trailers anyway. It doesn't bother me in the slightest. Especially since we nearly always get other trailers later in development that show how the game is coming along.

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