The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was an anomaly among AAA games. Not only was it an impeccable RPG, it was also gargantuan, gorgeous and generous. You can comfortably spend 200 hours during a playthrough, which is why you’ll never hear anyone dare suggest content was cut for DLC. Instead, we got two huge expansion packs, both of which added significant storylines and new areas to explore. It was an old-school approach from CDPR, and yet in an age of loot boxes and microtransactions, it stood apart.
With Cyberpunk 2077 on the horizon, fans are keeping a careful on what CD Projekt Red is planning, and whether there is a risk of the Polish developer leaning towards the current industry trends. Well, worry not. CDPR co-founder Marcin Iwiński has been talking to PC Gamer about the recent loot crate and microtransaction controversies, and he believes it was about time the gaming community pushed back.
"'Conversation' sounds way too nice to describe what was happening last year,” said Iwinski, referring to Star Wars Battlefront 2’s stat-boosting loot crate system. “I would rather call it community backlash. And this time around, it wasn’t just the hardcore community, there were a lot of really pissed off gamers out there and they decided to speak up.
“If you buy a full priced game, you should get a big, polished piece of content, which gives you many, many hours of fun gameplay,” Iwiński goes on to say. Obviously how long a game should be is going to differ greatly from title to title, genre to genre, but CD Projekt RED aims for 50+ hours for the main storyline plus another 150 hours for side activities. As Iwiński succinctly puts it, CDPR believes it’s “best to overdeliver.”
CD Projekt RED also makes the distinction between smaller DLC and expansion packs. Iwiński believes downloadable content should be free bonuses, while expansion packs are more meaningful, offering a significant chunk of new story and gameplay features.
"The moment they feel you are reaching out for their wallet in any unfair way, they will be vocal about it. And I think it's good for the industry," Iwiński continued. "Things often look great from a spreadsheet perspective, but decision makers often aren’t asking themselves the question of 'How would gamers feel, or is this offer a fair one?'. Gamers are striking back, and I really hope this will change our industry for the better."
I don’t think there’s really a huge deal to debate here- Iwiński is bang on the money. It may mean CD Projekt RED never quite makes the money of the Overwatch’s of FIFA’s of this world, but if you’re going to deliver the best game you possibly can then it needs to come without compromises.
Is CDPR the template to follow for single-player games? Can they repeat the same trick with Cyberpunk 2077? Let us know what you think.
Source: PC Gamer