Confirmed: Console Witcher 'on hold'

Production on Xbox 360, PS3 versions of CD Projekt's dark fantasy RPG suspended amid dispute between publisher and developer Widescreen Games.


This week, speculation abounded on the fate of The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 adaptation of CD Projekt Red's well-regarded dark fantasy role-playing game released for PCs in 2007. According to online reports, CD Projekt Red, facing significant financial instability, opted to halt development on the project in order to redirect its resources to The Witcher 2, which was said to be in production for consoles and the PC.

Geralt has an idea on how to end this dispute.
Geralt has an idea on how to end this dispute.

Today, a portion of that speculation entered the realm of fact, as The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf developer Widescreen Games announced that development on the console title has been suspended.

"The development of the game The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf has been suspended in an attempt to resolve financial problems among the various project partners," Widescreen Games manager Olivier Masclef said in statement. "We regret this measure, particularly on behalf of the fans who were impatiently awaiting the release of the game. I hope that we can find an amicable solution with our present and former partners involved in this ambitious project."

However, some dispute has arisen as to why development on Rise of the White Wolf has halted. Speaking with UK gaming blog VG247, Masclef said, "After having a payment being broken by CD Projekt--a big payment that we were supposed to receive--and after having committed to the project but not being covered financially on it for three months, I [had] no choice but to put the team on hold."

At odds with that claim, CD Projekt joint CEO Michal Kicinski defended his company in the comments section of that same article. "It is sad that we cannot talk with WSG in normal business way, but communicate through media," the Warsaw, Poland-based executive wrote. "It is absolutely not our style of making business, and we answer here as we feel forced to do this to clarify the unclear information."

According to Kicinski, CD Projekt paid Widescreen on time for all milestones. However, due to production delays on the part of Widescreen, these payments were "later than originally planned." Kicinski went on to say that even with additional support from CD Projekt Red--better known as the publisher's development arm--Widescreen continued to miss deadlines.

"The most important fact is that development process didn't make planned release date possible, and moreover, propositions of the new release date were changing few times," Kicinski wrote. "Besides the schedule, technical incapability created a risk of missing planned quality, which is absolutely unacceptable. And this brought an end in our cooperation with WSG."

Kicinski concluded by saying that the project is currently "on hold" as CD Projekt evaluates "all possible options to continue the production."

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