The Witcher 2 Was Almost Never Developed

The Witcher 2 Was Almost Never Developed

Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf

CD Projekt, not to mention GOG.com and The Witcher's sequel, almost fell apart thanks to a single, money-draining project.

CD Projekt is currently one of the biggest names in DRM-free gaming, and it's been able to back up its position with success stories like The Witcher 2 and GOG.com. But things weren't always looking so rosy for this publisher. In an interview with Eurogamer, joint-CEO Marcin Iwinski revealed that the entire company came incredibly close to being scrapped, possibly taking plans for DRM-free gaming and Witcher sequels with it. But what could possibly bring down the company that would become one of Steam's biggest competitors? According to Iwinski, The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf, a console port of the PC-exclusive that consumed any profits and goodwill gained from the original.

"It was looking pretty grim back then," Iwinski explained. "It was very edgy. We had probably a year where we were scraping money to make the payroll at the end of the month ... I realized that if this doesn't work I'll just do something else - maybe I'll restart the company."

Considering the original 2009 reports of White Wolf's pay disputes, this claim isn't exactly hard to believe. What's important to remember is that Rise of the White Wolf wasn't developed in-house, but outsourced to French developer Widescreen Games. Within a mere five months, the team started reporting problems with development, and requested extensions ranging from four months to a year. "I'm not mentioning all the tensions, all the hours of stupid discussions on the phone, 'you are guilty', etc," Iwinski said. "The thing is, what we realized was they had no idea how to make it."

Eventually, CD Projekt bit the bullet and cancelled White Wolf after millions in development costs. Atari wanted its investment repaid, resources were stretched thin with GOG.com's launch, and that's when the economy tanked. The Witcher 2 was CD Projekt's attempt to set things right, which thanks to generous investors in the Polish stock exchange, it was able to do so. "Overnight the stress just went away and I had new power to do things," Iwinski said.

Iwinski talks more about CD Projekt's formative years in the interview, but it's staggering to imagine about how close the company came to closing before its prime. Given that CD Projekt has been one of the few consistent supporters of DRM-free policies, we might have had a very different industry today without it.

Source: Eurogamer, via Polygon

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Wow. All I can really say is that I'm super glad they managed to release Witcher 2 and, well, not collapse. GoG is the only site dedicated to DRM-free games. Plus there's the fact that they take old games, re-jigger them to work on modern systems, and sell them at a low price bundled with a bunch of cool extras. Yeah, it would seriously suck if they went away.

Glad it eventually worked out for them. Hopefully TW3 will allowed them to further strengthen their position on the market and launch other projects (beside Cyberpunk 2077).

Thanks, Polish time travelers! I'm glad something worked out for once in this day and age.

NEVER EVER OUTSOURCE TO FRANCE! Even the French Canadians can't do a proper job most of the time, Arkham Origins game halting bugs.

You already have two guaranteed sales from me for your next games so as long as you keep the quality as high as the Witcher 2 you have nothing to worry about.

Hmm this was an interesting read and i realized i was wrong about one fact concerning Witcher 2 funding. oh well. Gld they suceeded as they seem to be worth the prasie they are getting. Though i am nto sure about it being biggest steams competitor. Gog deals almost exclusively in really old games.

1337mokro:
NEVER EVER OUTSOURCE TO FRANCE! Even the French Canadians can't do a proper job most of the time, Arkham Origins game halting bugs.

Ubisoft Montreal and Eidos Montreal would like a word with you.

Thanks for the sweeping generalization though.

#sarcasm

AzrealMaximillion:

1337mokro:
NEVER EVER OUTSOURCE TO FRANCE! Even the French Canadians can't do a proper job most of the time, Arkham Origins game halting bugs.

Ubisoft Montreal and Eidos Montreal would like a word with you.

Thanks for the sweeping generalization though.

#sarcasm

You'd have done better to put the #sarcasm a bit higher. For the sake of argument I will merely focus on the bugs and will not indulge in describing the many game design flaws present in their titles.

Yes let's start with Eidos Montreal. Famous for all of... 2 games, one of which had game breaking bugs and corrupted save file issues and the other had game breaking bugs and corrupted save file issues... what's quite funny though is that BOTH these glitches can be solved by just clipping through the environment. Similar to another Montreal studio that recently released a game with a similar bug. Must be a Montreal thing.

Do I even need to point out why Ubisoft Montreal fails to meet the cut? Splinter Cell Conviction. That's almost as big a sin as the studio that developed Hitman Abomination. Oh and yes game breaking bugs and glitched combined with corrupted save files. I so enjoyed having to replay 28 hours of AC3 to get to more naval missions and not being able to just use my back up files because of Uplay. A GLORIOUS delight!

I could also name one of Ubisoft's more notorious games. Rayman Legends. Which to this day refuses to work without a work around. But hey then I'd just be going back to the mainland French and how they are so incompetent they can't even make their own games run on their own DLC.... but you'd rather have me focus on these two colonial studios.

Oh but I almost forgot, what was you point again? That these two studios had a decent track record. My good man these days if the game doesn't blow up your PC it's considered a stellar launch. These studios didn't clear the hurdle. The ones that came before them simply knocked down the bar.

1337mokro:
NEVER EVER OUTSOURCE TO FRANCE! Even the French Canadians can't do a proper job most of the time, Arkham Origins game halting bugs.

Is it possible that of all these French developers you're talking about, being French wasn't the thing that made them fail, but rather that they were incompetent?

A French developer called Dephine Software was responsible for both Another World and Flashback, two critically acclaimed old school games. Both were principally developed by French developers Eric Chahi and Paul Cuisset, respectively.

Another French developer Infogrames released Alone In The Dark, one of the best PC games of all time. It was designed principally by a French designer called Frédérick Raynal, who was also responsible for Little Big Adventure, one of the greatest adventure game series ever made.

Nadeo, a famous French developer, is responsible for the wildly popular Trackmania series.

Quantic Dream, another French developer, was recently responsible for Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, which, despite being somewhat controversial for their 'interactive story' style, are nevertheless pretty good games objectively.

This is without even mentioning the hundreds of excellent games that Ubisoft have produced or published.

Your xenophobia is unfounded and embarassing.

Well the core message of it all should be that CDP did NOT came so close to bancruptcy because of DRM-Free and piracy problems but good old 3rd party moneygrapping jerks within the industry itself.

food for brain...

1337mokro:
NEVER EVER OUTSOURCE TO FRANCE! Even the French Canadians can't do a proper job most of the time, Arkham Origins game halting bugs.

What the hell? It's like saying "all Americans are warmongers" or "all American companies are highly inefficient." There are tons of great games (not to mention software or hardware or high-technology) developed in France and your over-generalization only shows your ignorance.

1337mokro:

AzrealMaximillion:

1337mokro:
NEVER EVER OUTSOURCE TO FRANCE! Even the French Canadians can't do a proper job most of the time, Arkham Origins game halting bugs.

Ubisoft Montreal and Eidos Montreal would like a word with you.

Thanks for the sweeping generalization though.

#sarcasm

You'd have done better to put the #sarcasm a bit higher. For the sake of argument I will merely focus on the bugs and will not indulge in describing the many game design flaws present in their titles.

Yes let's start with Eidos Montreal. Famous for all of... 2 games, one of which had game breaking bugs and corrupted save file issues and the other had game breaking bugs and corrupted save file issues... what's quite funny though is that BOTH these glitches can be solved by just clipping through the environment. Similar to another Montreal studio that recently released a game with a similar bug. Must be a Montreal thing.

Do I even need to point out why Ubisoft Montreal fails to meet the cut? Splinter Cell Conviction. That's almost as big a sin as the studio that developed Hitman Abomination. Oh and yes game breaking bugs and glitched combined with corrupted save files. I so enjoyed having to replay 28 hours of AC3 to get to more naval missions and not being able to just use my back up files because of Uplay. A GLORIOUS delight!

I could also name one of Ubisoft's more notorious games. Rayman Legends. Which to this day refuses to work without a work around. But hey then I'd just be going back to the mainland French and how they are so incompetent they can't even make their own games run on their own DLC.... but you'd rather have me focus on these two colonial studios.

Oh but I almost forgot, what was you point again? That these two studios had a decent track record. My good man these days if the game doesn't blow up your PC it's considered a stellar launch. These studios didn't clear the hurdle. The ones that came before them simply knocked down the bar.

The point was how ridiculous blaming bad video game development on anyone with the ability to speak French. Your response novella is irrelevant because it doesn't deflect your ignorance.

AzrealMaximillion:
SNIP

The point was how ridiculous blaming bad video game development on anyone with the ability to speak French. Your response novella is irrelevant because it doesn't deflect your ignorance.

First of all... No. That was not what I said. I never mentioned their linguistic abilities. I mentioned anyone who IS French. In other words anyone who has a French nationality or close relation to France sucks at videogame development. Many game developers could speak French or multiple languages... as long as they are not French they will do their job competently.

Just look at the (the the is intentional) David Cage and his several magna opera.

#serious bit follows

Really? Your lack of an ability to distinguish between ridiculous hyperbolic statements like all French suck at videogame development somehow lays bare my ignorance? I thought you were facetious when you called my 4 paragraph post a novella but seeing as you couldn't spot the joke in my original comment I guess you really did think 4 paragraphs equalled a novella. I hope the people around you don't use sarcasm often. It would be a sad sight.

Random dude: "Thanks for cutting me off, asshole!"

You: "You're welcome! Also what was that about your anus, you didn't finish your sentece?"

 

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