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Risen 2 forum activity

Risen 2 forum activity

Game News - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Wed 1 August 2012, 10:33:04

Tags: Piranha Bytes; Risen 2: Dark Waters

made informs us that there's an interesting Q&A thread on the World of Players Risen 2 forum with the new Deep Silver community manager that goes into detail about DLC, DRM, and why not every company can be as awesome as CD Projekt:
CD Projekt always leads to interesting discussions so I won’t shy away from giving my personal opinion.

First of all, I have to say I respect CD Projekt RED a lot for what they did and what they are doing. They are also nice people to boot, and as someone who went back to The Witcher 2 to finish it two more times after the Enhanced Edition was released, I'm glad they did what they did. Plus, I think it’s good to have someone like CD Projekt around to shake things up in the industry once in a while.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that CDPR works on one title at a time (or did so until now as far as I know). They had The Witcher and the Enhanced Edition, an Xbox port of Witcher 1 by another studio didn’t turn out very well so they cancelled it, then The Witcher 2, the DLC, and then TW2 Enhanced Edition on both PC and Xbox 360 which they did themselves. It will be interesting to see if they will release The Witcher 3 on PC and consoles at the same time.

If they do release it on all major platforms, they may run into some problems with Microsoft who have a pretty different stance on things than what would work on PC. You can’t do a few GBs worth of EE update material to overhaul the engine on Xbox 360 right now, and even free DLC is a problem for MS. No idea if MS are planning to change that for the next console generation, of course, and since it’s likely CDPR will first work on their Cyberpunk game before going full-on into Witcher 3 mode, we probably won’t know for a few years .

Looking at The Witcher 2’s EE in particular, it included a major overhaul of their engine with the few small DLCs they had offered for free before (not the longest quests but quality > quantity), as well as two pretty cool quests in the end-game depending on who you sided with. They did it in a smart way, because now they could integrate all of the free DLC into one console game, while overhauling the engine to make it run on Xbox 360 and simultaneously putting some extra effort into the engine for the PC version. If they had launched the original Witcher 2 on PC and Xbox 360 right off the bat, I don’t know if an EE would have been possible to do on console.

With Risen 2, it’s a multiplatform game from the start. So offering DLC for free would have been challenging enough on consoles in its own right. What CDPR did with The Witcher was a gamble and it definitely worked out for them. Since CDP owns both GOG.com and a localized distribution division, that probably also gives CDPR a bit more freedom to do experiment.

But I don’t think PB/DS and Risen 2 are necessarily that comparable to CDPR/CDP and The Witcher franchise. If we would do an Enhanced Edition type of thing for Risen 2 with an overhauled engine and everything, that would take up a lot of time for PB which they then can’t spend on something else, and I think it would be a big gamble for both PB and DS to hope for a similar Witcher type of effect after you would release such an EE. Don’t forget that the first Witcher also had a lot of bugs and load-time problems, and the EE for that one also served as kind of a clean slate/reboot for the game and for everyone to know “Ah, it’s ‘finished’ now so I should probably finally buy it if I hadn’t before.” And people did exactly that.

To get back to your question about the philosophy, I think it's great that it exists, but not everyone is in the position to do the same as CD Projekt. It depends on the situation of both the developer and the publisher (or indie dev or iOS studio) whether it would make sense to do something like an EE, what kind of manpower and resources you have at your disposal to work on CDPR type of DLC updates and engine overhauls, etc. Sometimes you don't have that luxury, and sometimes it might make more sense to create paid DLC and to then use that revenue and put it back into development (or feeding developers).

Long story short, I don't think the CD Projekt scenario is a one-size-fits-all standard type of solution that is guaranteed to work every time. Things are changing fast in the world of PC games, though, so it's certainly an interesting time to live in. I just hope The Witcher won't become a F2P MMORPG 5 years from now.

Anyway, that’s how I look at it myself, based on what I've seen happen in the industry the past years .

Good ol' CD Projekt. It brings a tear to my eye.
My heart is in Poland,
My heart is not here
My heart is in Poland
a-chasing the deer
a-chasing the wild deer
and following the roe
My heart is in Poland wherever I go.

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