The Witcher 3's Improbable Switch Port Came Together In Just 12 Months--Here's How They Did It

"Our goal was to bring the same game: not to cut anything, not to change things unless you really have to."

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Now Playing: The Witcher 3 Nintendo Switch Handheld Gameplay

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One of the generation's most acclaimed RPGs, The Witcher 3, is on its way to Nintendo Switch, and it releases on October 15. The fact that the open-world RPG can even run on the hardware looks like a miracle beyond what we thought the Switch was capable of. Now, in a new interview with Eurogamer, CD Projekt Red's Piotr Chrzanowski has explained how the port, which was largely done by Saber Interactive, came to be. The game has been in development for "around 12 months," and the team has managed to fit the entirety of The Witcher 3, including its DLC, onto a 32GB card.

"When it comes to expectations we wanted to really bring the same experience," Chrzanowski told Eurogamer. "So our goal was to bring the same game: not to cut anything, not to change things unless you really have to." CDPR made themselves available to Saber Interactive for guidance, but he makes it clear that Saber led development on the port. The port process has included working "a lot on memory optimization," as the Switch has much less to work with, but they've been able to add features as the game got more stable - ambient occlusion will be available in the final build, for example. No new assets had to be built; instead they "took the ones that were existing and we compressed them a bit."

The game's geometry is unchanged from the original release, while cutscenes have been cut down to 720P. Models haven't been changed much either, although "there were slight adjustments in some cases." Chrzanowski says that Crookback Bog and Novigrad Market were two taxing sections that they wanted to get right. "It's the same experience," he told Eurogamer. "You play it, you feel the same way, you have all the systems, so you don't feel that anything is cut."

The Witcher 3 is one of just 15 games to receive a 10/10 review from GameSpot. It's available to pre-order now.

See The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Switch) at Amazon

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