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Namco on Witcher II 360 release: “this is not a port”

The Witcher II releases for 360 in Britain today, and Namco Bandai UK marketing boss Lee Kirton has promised you won't be buying a straight up port over the PC version.

Speaking on Witcher II's 360 launch day in Britain, Namco Bandai UK marketing boss Lee Kirton told VG247 it was key that the new version - which comes with additional gameplay content, a new CG intro and more - had moved on since the game's PC release last May.

"It's very important that it wasn't just the standard game made for Xbox 360. This is not a port. That is an important point," he said.

"All the content was brought onto the Xbox 360 and developed specifically along with this incredible extra content. The plan was also not to deliver extra digital content and over four hours or extra gameplay, but all-new physical content and 16 different endings.

"The new cut-scenes, new CGI intro, extra quests, characters fill in a lot of gaps that maybe a non-player of this universe can understand. It was important to develop the most comprehensive RPG with some of the most richest mature storytelling witnessed in this genre."

Kirton has been working with developer CD Projekt Red on The Witcher since the Atari days with The Witcher 1 in 2007.

"The Witcher 2 is one of the best titles I've ever had the privilege of working on," he said.

"The team at CDP Red are truly brilliant in their approach to their development and communication to gamers. We have been working with the Witcher franchise since the Atari days and it's always been a gem and being able to finally after many years of secrecy announce the game for Xbox 360 was exciting to start with.

"Now we have a polished, exciting, thrilling, unique piece of story telling and action combat that will drag you into it's world and not let you go."

Kirton promised those who pick up the 360 version will get their money's worth.

"We also are not just selling a typical disc to everyone. The game comes on two CDs which are well worth installing, the official soundtrack on another CD, a quest book, a map and the typical manual.

Witcher II 360's launch trailer

"All this is available for some truly stunning prices at retail. I think The Witcher 2 is the best RPG ever made; now we just need everyone to experience it."

The additional content is coming to the PC version as a free download for those who already own the game on PC. Players have been able to download most of the update in the past week, with the remaining 5% available today. A retail version of the Enhanced Edition for PC is also set to be released at retail today.

Kirton said said Namco is looking at similar plans for other titles.

"It's certainly an important focus for CDP Red and I think it's fantastic and loyal to fans of the PC SKU that they can upgrade their game for free.

"We will also be selling The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: Enhanced Edition PC SKU as well to Game, Amazon, Play, ShopTo and independent retailers.

"I think a lot of publishers and developers have a lot of opportunity to work on unique distribution offering to keep games on players shelves and we are looking at lots of options for our future titles. However, this is great for current Witcher 2 PC owners.

"If you haven't played The Witcher 2 yet though I strongly recommend the Xbox 360 version. What they have done with this platform is stunning."

The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings: Enhanced Edition is out now on Xbox 360 and PC.

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