Cross-gen development means compromise, says Witcher dev

CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwinski says games like Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV, and Destiny have a dilemma to face.

Building cross-generational games means developers must compromise, CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwinski told Edge. The developer explained that these compromises may negatively impact gamers.

"We've clearly said we'll be next-gen only," Iwinski said. "PC is a non-stop next-gen, that's the cool thing about it. So I think a lot of people with big franchises and massive reach plans, they'll have this dilemma, and I think there’ll be a lot of compromises made in the industry that might not necessarily be good for gamers."

Games like Bungie's Destiny and Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Watch Dogs are all slated to release on current-gen machines and future platforms, but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is not. Iwinski explained that CD Projekt Red would never feel comfortable downscaling the game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, a move that would result in a "so-so" offering.

"We're looking for AAA experiences from the next-gen," Iwinski added. "The Witcher 3 is so large… with a world bigger than Skyrim, and everything that we wanted to put inside it, there's just no way that it would run on current-gen. We'd have to put a couple of years of development into [360 and PS3 versions], and then the experience would be so-so… we'd never do that."

Ubisoft has not commented on the differences between the current-gen and next-gen versions of Watch Dogs or Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Bungie, on the other hand, has promised all versions of Destiny will feature the "full vision" of the game universe, though it is not clear exactly what that means.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Want the latest news about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Discussion

271 comments
FallenOneX
FallenOneX

"Iwinski explained that CD Projekt Red would never feel comfortable downscaling the game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, a move that would result in a "so-so" offering."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't they have to downscale games for the 360 and PS3 already? Just tell us it wouldn't be profitable.

Slash_out
Slash_out

Heh, it's always great to hear stuff from CDprojekt. In this "era" I read every single news with apprehension because of all the crap on making games more accessible basically turning out as hand holding, and mind boringly simple gameplay.

But with Cdprojekt, you just know, it's all about the players. I still remember buying The Witcher 2, for something like 29$ or even less DRM free on their website. I mean come on... such a low price for such an awesome game on release day... AND DRM FREE ! How awesome is that?

I just hope they continue to do their thing, for the gamers' sake. Crappy publishers and stupid console makers with their insulting DRM/online policies will not have won as long as dudes like CDprojekt are still there to remind everyone that we don't need to be taken advantage of to be gamers.


tionmedon
tionmedon

elitis here.............PC rulzzz...............

DAOWAce
DAOWAce

PC master race.

I love CD Projekt.

I also fear for Watch Dogs.  I know it was running on a PC at E3, but if by chance it gets released for the current generation of consoles, I can only wonder what compromised they'll make the in development to make sure it runs adequately on them.  We can change graphical options, yes, but complexity of the world (AI, physics) and other misc things has to be done on a development level for all platforms.  Nobody wants to re-develop a game for a different platform..unless you're CDPR, because they care about stellar ports.

Double_Wide
Double_Wide

Well thank Sony for the lack of BC...

nathangray
nathangray

Meanwhile in console land, the war rages over backwards compatibility, always-on DRM, sony vs microsoft exclusives, and overpriced consoles with online passes.


Oh PC, how I love thee.

MotaPrefect
MotaPrefect

Thumbs up to CDPR for not following crap companies like EA and Activison who only care about how to squeeze out every dollar of an IP.  Witcher 2 was an awesome experience and I can't want to play it on a next gen console.

UrbanTracker
UrbanTracker

Why is it that everytime they talk, they make perfect sense?

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

CDPR are probably too small still to be trying to develop across 5 platforms.  They've had trouble scaling for all three current gen platforms already.  So I can see why they would make this choice.  It will be tough giving up the install base for current gen consoles though.


As for those who say CDPR are too focused on graphics, just look at Skyrim.  They _are_ trying to make a more open world game, which means lots of stuff loaded into memory to stream the world live.  They also clearly have a distinctive artistic vision, so their artists presumably want the extra power.


My big worry is that they spend too _little_ time and energy worrying about the business angle, as painful as it is to say.  They can be a fan darling and it will just be tragic if they then go under.

Toxicum_S
Toxicum_S

For are RPG developers, CD Projekt is too concerned  about graphics. And they too arrogant for are company, which make only one AA-and-half-A project (first Witcher while fresh for its time, wasnt AAA, BTW ).  Looks like they catch star fever .

holtrocks
holtrocks

Releasing it for current gen aswell as next gen is just for the money obviously there will be more people on the old gen than the new one when these games come out.

onixevil
onixevil

Yeah it's not all about shaders .

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

It depends on how you look at it. If you have been developing a current-gen game a the end of the console cycle and you find an opportunity to also release on next-gen, why not take it?

Sure; the next-gen title will likely benefit mostly or only in the graphics department, but it gets your game out to a potentially larger audience.

If you're designing a next-gen game you don't want creativity to be held back by limitations of the previous generation consoles. You also don't want to come up with a fleshed out next-gen concept and then have to dissect it down until it will run on old consoles. Doing so will likely result in a much worse game on the old systems and will give your studio a bad rep.

Chico86_basic
Chico86_basic

Where did Eddie get that there will two different version of Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed IV for each generation? I'm pretty sure it will be simply the same game on different consoles.

Derock161
Derock161

Do they consider wiiu to be next gen, current gen or somewhere in the middle?

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

"PC is a non-stop next-gen, that's the cool thing about it" You hear that console fanboys? Suck it!

Falzonn
Falzonn

No surprise coming from CDPR.  As much as I can sympathize for gamers who would really want to play Witcher3 but can't otherwise afford/justify a new console, it gets to a point where one has to move forwards to avoid stagnation.  Some might argue we haven't reached that point yet, but I most certainly do.  Creativity > hardware sure, but better hardware allows for more creativity.  I'm getting tired of so-so.

Not having the Witcher 3 on 360 or ps3 might not pay dividends right away, but it will pay off in time, once other next-gen focused games come out and more people feel compelled to upgrade their consoles/computer.  A top quality game(s) that wows people builds buzz, and a loyal following which will only help CDPR grow.

PinchySkree
PinchySkree

Sacrificing quality to leech money from console sheep.

Sums up the last 5 years of gaming.

Threesixtyci
Threesixtyci

They can fool themselves all the want, but they did make sacrifices with Witcher 2. Red is not immune and doesn't always practice what they preach.

yeah_28
yeah_28

@FallenOneX wich games? the witcher 2 of course, but TW3 not, maybe im not getting what you meant?

JMiles77
JMiles77

@Double_Wide  BC is a waste of time, keep your PS3 and 360 to play the old games. I can't believe that people still care about BC.

Bellum_Sacrum
Bellum_Sacrum

@nathangray Meanwhile in pc land, the war rages over shitty ports, horrible technical issues due to varying hardware, drivers that fix some games while breaking others and completely uninformed consumers who are unaware of the bottlenecks and sacrifices that have to be made hardware, software and OS wise to ensure compatibility between all the different possible configurations.

areial_ace
areial_ace

@Toxicum_S people only say that because there a company who likes to use the resources a good gaming computer has at its disposal

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@Toxicum_S Sh1t. Witcher2 alone gives them my attention and respect. Now if they start releasing flops, then I may turn a deaf ear to topics like this, but as for now, they seem to know what they're talking about.

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

@Toxicum_S 

And surely number of npcs, AI, scale of the landscape including draw distance and rendering issues, fluidity of animation and so forth and so on have nothing to do with it. Right? ;)

RedLegZeff
RedLegZeff

@Hvac0120 The thing is, while released on a next gen system, it is not a next gen game. Yes it makes sense from a business perspective, you get more money. I imagine most of them have been aware of some of the specs for the next gen system for several months, perhaps by the time the game comes out they'd have had a year to make stuff that was tailored for next gen. But instead we get a copy paste affair with slightly better graphical effects, because they want more money over making a good next gen game. I mean it makes sense, but it's not going to excite me as it's definitely not a next gen game. Do you want to make great games? or would you rather cut corners to make more money? The answer is clear from most publishers. I do kinda like the dev that wants to make the best game possible though.

Sardinar
Sardinar

Wii U is current gen, mostly because of it's technical specifications. 

agent_nino
agent_nino

@DarkSaber2k but where are these NEXT GEN PC games? the most popular pc games are RTS and MMOs  lol. Like I told my firend yesterday you can buy a $2000 PC with everythinge to max out the game BUT the game will still be the same game you play on console without it being optimized for your system. Next gen will play at 1080p , I can take the console with me when I travel, it will auto update patches and such, I can PLAY while I install next gen games, etc etc. The accessibility to play with friends without downloading other programs just so we can speak to each other lol.

emptycow
emptycow

@DarkSaber2k sorry dude but CD Projekt Red Studio  sucks  they could not make a console game to save there life   uncharted 3 look  waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay waaaaaaaaaaaaay better then the witcher 2

Dessicator
Dessicator

@Falzonn I think you have it backwards actually. "Art from adversity" remember? As developers start to hit that glass ceiling of what they can do technically with a game engine due to hardware constraints, if they want to keep elevating the experiences they can deliver they'll have to start thinking of more clever and creative ways not just to squeeze more power out of the hardware, but also to find new narrative and gameplay techniques to get around their limitations. This is a very well understood phenomenon in the film industry and I think it applies even more so here. The best example of this is No More Heroes, in my opinion. That game had a great style to it that was wholly a result of the limitation of the Wii hardware. If they had made that game on another more powerful console I can't help but imagine how tired of a GTA clone it might have been.

Falzonn
Falzonn

@Threesixtyci True, which is why I am glad they're committing to next-gen only.  Almost like a 'they've learned their lesson' type thing.  I know it's not as cut and dry as that, but it's a good sign anyways.

42316
42316

@JMiles77 @Double_Wide So True! I don't get it, were people planning on throwing their Ps3/ 360s the second they got the next wave of games?

42316
42316

@Fernin-Ker @Toxicum_S WOW, Toxicum, dissing the developer that does not believe in dlc and gives out quality expansions, the one developer that developsfor PC and downscales to consoles so that everyone can get the best possible experience......the only thing 2 and a half start worthy is your comment (out of 100)

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

@emptycow @DarkSaber2k Ha, nice try with an example of a game that doesn't even run at 1080p. Keep trying and some day you may even be taken seriously as a troll in a decade or two!

areial_ace
areial_ace

@Dessicator @Falzonn Yeah but the more resources avaliable to a game to draw on means that more then graphics are made better. especially for an RPG where that means u can have more thigns to improve the immersion of the actual world

yeah_28
yeah_28

@FallenOneX @yeah_28 Well if its about PC and consoles obviously the games will always be downscaled, but TW3 for a current gen console probably couldnt even run without making extreme changes.

Also they didnt even make TW2 for ps3 because of the hardware.

CDPRED are a small to medium sized studio with very little console development experience, that puts focus in top quality, the compromises of having to make the game run in a 360 would hurt all versions of the game.

saleama
saleama

@Slash_out Except the cost of BC is astronomical.  BC would cause the system to cost more again than the trade in or resale value of your older system.  My suggestion.  Start banging out those back logs and get on board with the next gen when you are ready.  No one is forcing anyone to buy at launch.  In fact, I plan on playing out the current gen as long as possible. With games coming out on both generations and being almost the same, it is silly to waste the money on the next generation ones.  Similar to why I do not buy games on WiiU that are also on PS360.

Slash_out
Slash_out

@42316 @JMiles77 @Double_Wide It's more of a convenience factor.

I have had almost all consoles since the nes. After a while you just can't horde them anymore and if you can't just dedicate a full closet (so they can gather dust) because you live in an apt, then it kind of sucks because you can't just move them to your garage or a "cave"because of the humidity.

Having full BC allows to free space under the TV and still play all your games. I had no reasons to keep my GC under the TV with the wii for exemple. But I still had to with the xbox360/xbox and PS3/PS2. If I could, I'd just store them or in the case of the x360/ps3 just sell them, for a couple of bucks, it wouldn't hurt and I'm not that attached to them anyways.


So yeah... With next gen full BC, you could just throw the current gen away, sell, or even store them  somewhere else the second you got your PS4/x720.

emptycow
emptycow

@Sardinar @emptycow @DarkSaber2k"PC is a non-stop next-gen, that's the cool thing about it" You hear that console fanboys? Suck it!