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Confirmed: Witcher suspended thanks to CD Projekt failing to meet dev payment

Wednesday, 29th April 2009 16:18 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf developer WideScreen has confirmed to VG247 that the game has been suspended as CD Projekt has failed to meet financial obligations.

“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 hold no choice but to put the team on hold,” said Widescreen boss Olivier Masclef in a phone interview this afternoon.

Masclef also said CD Projekt’s deal with Atari was out of kilter with Widescreen’s agreement with CD Projekt in terms of milestones.

The suspension came after a meeting between the three parties, called by Masclef.

Staff have not been laid off, said the exec.

“We have be reallocating people onto other projects and work for hire jobs at the moment,” he said.

“I will try to find any solution for the fans. The Witcher on console is an extremely promising title that’s awaited by a lot of people. We have it running here, and I can tell you that if it hits the shelves one day it’s going to be great… I feel sorry for the fans and I feel sorry for Namco Bandai.”

Masclef said he “appreciated” Namco, who has signed a distribution deal with Atari of which Rise of the White Wolf formed a large part, but said he wasn’t sure if the game would ever been completed.

“I don’t know. I can’t find a financial solution by myself,” he said. “I don’t own the IP – CD Projekt owns the IP and Atari owns the distribution rights.”

First news of the game’s cancellation came from Polish site Polygamia yesterday.

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13 Comments

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  1. SticKboy

    Sounds like a clusterf*ck

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    Yep. Messy.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. anasui

    quite embarassing for the boys innit

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Hunam

    Sounds like they started too many projects with money in the wrong banks to me.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Seraphemz

    …so you’re telling me theres a chance?? (Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber)

    #5 5 years ago
  6. SplatteredHouse

    Nope, that does truly sound complicated (Namco, an’ all, he says?) Deary me, what a disarray.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Captain Fruitloop

    I believe they also worked on the Eidos Highlander game that seems to have disappeared right off the radar.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. CDP_RED

    It is sad that we cannot talk with WSG in normal business way, but communicate through media. 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:
    1. All payments were done on time according to milestone plan.
    2. Truth is that payments were later than originally planned but this was solely due to delays in production. The delays were growing in the project due to WSG continued to miss the deadlines.
    3. Delays and risks of further development by WSG were unacceptable by CD Projekt (this happened even though CDProjekt RED was constantly increasing main team involvement to help in the production). 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. 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.
    4. Currently the works are on hold. We are evaluating all possible options to continue the production.
    Making this decision was extremely difficult and sad as we know that many people are waiting for this project. We do our best to find a way out of this situation. But final decision must guarantee high quality of the product, otherwise we won’t continue the production no matter what consequences it will bring. We are committed to the highest quality of all our games, and this is unnegotiable for us.
    So no matter what the final decision or solution we will find, please be sure that it will be the best for the game quality, and satisfaction of gamers, which is the most important for us!
    Michal Kicinski
    Joint CEO
    CD Projekt Group

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    Thanks, Michal. I’ll get a story up shortly.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Mike

    Thanks for taking the time to respond Michal. Much appreciated.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. David

    I suggest using a whip on the work force next time :P

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Blerk

    Wow – great to see an official response right here in the comments!

    A shame that the project has fallen apart, but it doesn’t sound like all has been well for quite some time. :-(

    I wonder if there’s an opportunity for them to grab what was done and reallocate the project to someone else? Then again, it might just be a better idea to put more money into the sequel instead – that’s coming to consoles too, right?

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Patapom

    Besides the marketting psychobabble, having worked for 3 years in the R&D department of Widescreen Games, I can’t let people say we are « technically incapable » of bringing The Witcher to consoles.

    Here is a small list of the cool features we have in our engine :
    • Dynamic weather system (sky and volumetric clouds)
    • Spherical Harmonics radiosity lighting on dynamic and static objects
    • Advanced lighting shaders like sub-surface scattering for the skin of characters and translucency for a lifelike aspect of many materials like hair, wings, fins, drapes, etc.
    • New flexible particles system for a huge variety of cool visual FX
    • All the standard post-processes existing in many game engines like bloom, depth of field, motion blur, radial blur, flares & glares and you-name-it
    • All the necessary streaming of content to support memory-limited console architectures
    • A nice editor for assets (Da Vinci) that was amply sufficient to support the huge quantities of data needed for such a game (nothing to be ashamed of if compared to UnrealEd, for example).

    Moreover, the combat system was reviewed and enhanced, all animations were redone with some nice motion capture and the AI system was really true to the PC version.

    #13 5 years ago