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The Witcher's "Missing Element" Was Open-World, Dev Says

"To make it truly immersive we had to let people explore it their way," says CD Projekt Red.

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The Witcher franchise's "missing element" was an open-world design, according to Polish developer CD Projekt Red. In a new interview with VG247, CD Projekt Red's Michal Platkow-Gilewski said the studio always wanted to make a truly open-world Witcher game, but technical limitations held the company back from being able to do so in the way that it wanted to.

"It's only with the next-gen consoles that we can do much more," he said about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. "Open-world was something we've always wanted to do and we believed that was the missing element for this story. To make it truly immersive we had to let people explore it their way. We always wanted this but we couldn't because of technical limitations and because of the experience and size of the team."

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CD Projekt Red has not held back in boasting about the size of The Witcher 3's open-world. The studio said previously that the game is 35 times the size of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and 20 percent larger than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. For more on The Witcher 3's open-world, check out GameSpot's in-depth thoughts about what open-world means for the game.

Also in the interview, Platkow-Gilewski discussed the Witcher's evolution from its origins as a PC-exclusive to its multiplatform status today.

"With The Witcher 3, we knew that we would have to reach a wider audience," he said. "We needed to be on the new consoles and in particular the PS4, because a lot of people are attracted to them."

The Witcher 2 for Xbox 360 was CD Projekt Red's first console release. Platkow-Gilewski explained that it was "very hard" to make the game run on that console, and revealed that the studio even had to "redo" a lot of in-game elements to make it work. The Witcher 3 for PlayStation 4 will represent the franchise's debut on a Sony platform, as The Witcher 2 was never released for PlayStation 3.

As for why The Witcher 3 is not coming to Xbox 360 or PS3, CD Projekt Red said previously that it would be "impossible" to deliver the full vision for the game on those platforms.

Last week, CD Projekt Red responded to a claim from an anonymous "insider" that claimed the team had been "crunching for over a year" in a bid to overcome development challenges.

The Witcher 3 launches on February 24, 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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