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Witcher 3 Studio Responds to Crunch Accusations

Anonymous "insider" claims trailers and demos are overly flattering; Studio says trailers speak for themselves.

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A spokesperson for the studio creating The Witcher 3 has responded to claims that the team has been "crunching for over a year" in a bid to overcome development challenges.

Writing on the games forum NeoGAF, one anonymous user took issue with others praising the Witcher 3, claiming that developer CD Projekt Red has built an "overblown" impression of the game. After the anonymous poster's legitimacy was questioned, a NeoGAF administrator claimed they had been "vetted and cleared," suggesting these were not the words of an outsider.

The anonymous individual took issue with others "painting CD Projekt Red as some magical dev studio with only the best of interests of the gamers in mind. Trust me they are not."

He continued: "The bullsh**ting with the Witcher 3 started from day one. PR is creating an overblown vision of a game that doesn't exist while the team is in crazy crunch time for over a year now."

In response to these accusations, the studio's communications exec, Michał Platkow-Gilewski, told GameSpot that the video demonstrations of the game speak for themselves.

"In principle, we don't comment on rumors, especially when someone anonymous says that it’s 'his/her word against CDP PR,'" Platkow-Gilewski said in a prepared statement.

He added: "So, PR aside, if you have any doubts about Wild Hunt’s quality, have a look at the 35-minute gameplay video we published some time ago, or check out gamers' reactions to our public previews at Gamescom, San Diego Comic Con, and E3 (it's all public and available on the studio’s YouTube channel), and decide for yourself."

CD Projekt Red was asked specifically by GameSpot if the studio wanted to address claims that its team had been crunching--an industry term for working for an unreasonable and unhealthy amount of time in the office--for more than a year. The studio did not respond to this request.

Crunch is a common and ethically complex practice in games development. Many developers, whether self-employed or working at a studio, impose it on themselves. Others believe the practice is unequivocally unfair, especially if imposed on them, due to the detrimental effect crunch can have on quality of life.

In March, CD Projekt Red delayed The Witcher 3 release date to February 2015. At the time, the studio wrote: "We could have released the game towards the end of this year as we had initially planned. Yet we concluded that a few additional months will let us achieve the quality that will satisfy us, the quality gamers expect from us."

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