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The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - All News

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Thursday - May 07, 2009
Wednesday - April 29, 2009
Tuesday - April 28, 2009
Wednesday - April 15, 2009
Wednesday - April 08, 2009
Friday - March 20, 2009
Friday - February 27, 2009
Thursday - February 26, 2009
Friday - February 06, 2009
Wednesday - January 28, 2009
Friday - January 23, 2009
Monday - January 19, 2009
Thursday - January 15, 2009
Monday - December 15, 2008
Thursday - December 11, 2008
Tuesday - December 09, 2008
Thursday - December 04, 2008
Wednesday - December 03, 2008
Tuesday - December 02, 2008
Box Art

Thursday - May 07, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - On Hold - Official Statement

by Dhruin, 01:24

CD Projekt Red has finally announced the official status of Rise of the White Wolf, in a statement on the Witcher site:

After recent technical evaluation of The Witcher: Rise of The White Wolf, CD Projekt RED has decided to suspend development of the project. This decision was made because the company saw a high risk that the final product will not meet the quality expectations of CD Projekt RED. We have already started to look for other possible solutions to address this situation. 

A comment from Adam Kiciński, CEO of CD Projekt RED:
“This decision was one of the hardest we’ve ever had to make as a company. We have put our hearts, a lot of our time and energy into this project. Because of that, development was in a very advanced stage. However, there was serious danger that we would miss our target release date, but more importantly to us, that the project would not meet our own expectations of quality. Our main goal is always to make every release better than the previous one. Unfortunately, this project was not going in the right direction. We are now looking into all possible scenarios, and we will do all we can to retain our fans’ confidence in us. We simply will not let them down; the quality of our games remains the highest priority.”

Since The Witcher’s release in October 2007 most of the CD Projekt RED team has been working on another major project. Information about this title will remain secret for the time being.

CD Projekt RED will reveal the new project in the coming months.

Wednesday - April 29, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Development Frozen - Mud Starts Flying

by Dhruin, 22:55

A public spat has erupted between CD Projekt and the French company contracted for the console version, Widescreen Games.  Let's start with GameBanshee, who let us know about a French press release put out by Widescreen Games.  Here's a snip from GameBanshee's translation, saying the development is on hold:

The development of the game The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf was suspended for the duration of the resolution of financial problems between the various partners of the project. We regret this event particularly in regards to the fans who awaited this title impatiently. I hope that we will find a solution in good understanding with our recent and historical partners on this ambitious project.

VG47 then posted Widescreen's point of view, claiming CDPR had not paid them for some time:

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.

CDPR CEO Michal Kicinski hit back in the comments (scroll down):

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

Tom Ohle pointed this post out on the official forums, so he remains with them but has reduced his work load.

CDPR has similarly responded in other interviews.  From Polish site Polygamia, who first revealed the issues (thanks, GameBanshee):

From what you're saying, I gather that WSG is hugely responsible for this situation. In spite of that, the company accuses you of not paying and blames you for suspending the project.. Can you explain what happened, from your perspective?

WSG behaves in a way that is far from our business ethics. But their accusations are serious and, what is most important, untrue that is why we published a correction under the article on vg247.com. We paid for all the milestones on time, just after they had been accepted. Of course, it was later than planned, because the milestones were presented for acceptance with delays and they were inconsistent with the specification. We put an enormous effort to make sure the production goes the right way, and still the plans were becoming invalid, and there were new delays? After a few such incidents, we sent a large team over to Lyon. The group consisted not only of people involved in the project, but also of technology managers from RED and Metropolis. They spent one whole week to examine thoroughly the whole project and its technology. As a result, we found out that WSG's promises had no grounds in reality and that the game's premiere date and quality cannot be guaranteed. So, after a long discussion, we decided to suspend the cooperation with WSG, because we understood there is too much risk in it. And actually we haven't paid for the last milestone, but only because it wasn't complete and we have already started the termination of the contract.

Tuesday - April 28, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Canceled, Witcher 2 Starts Production?

by Dhruin, 23:43

GameBanshee claims The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf has been canceled, according to an "inside industry source".  The newsbit says CD Projekt Red started three simultaneous Witcher developments after the PC version shipped - Rise of the White Wolf, The Witcher 2 and a new game altogether:

As the financial crisis hit, the studio was affected as well, finding itself incapable of managing all three projects and forced to lay off a significant portion of its staff. The third Witcher IP project was cancelled, and its entire crew was let go or left of their own volition. A second round of layoffs followed as The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf was cancelled, including around two dozen people losing their jobs yesterday.

The piece goes on to say resources have been concentrated behind The Witcher 2.

Meanwhile, Edge Online is running a similar story with the source stated as a translation at IncGamers from Polish site, Polygamia.  From the IncGamers translation:

Roughly translated, the post reads: "We're sorry to give you this information. Our sources report that the console edition of The Witcher has been cancelled and the game will not see the light of day." The site reiterates that right now this is only rumour and that readers should wait for an official line before taking it too seriously.

A little later, polygamia posted an update from developer CD Projekt Red, which (again, very roughly translated) appears to say that the company is not commenting right now, but will make an official statement soon.

A lack of outright denial might be seen to add credence to the claims.

Wednesday - April 15, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - The Hero, Geralt

by Dhruin, 00:36

The latest update at The Witcher site is another in-character piece from Dandelion.  This one describes the hero, Geralt:

You see, somewhere in Geralt’s training and mutation, something went wrong. Certainly the elder witchers, like Geralt’s master, Vesemir, perceived some of the personality traits he retained as flaws. After all, what sort of ruthless killer could he be if his emotions are constantly there to cloud his judgment? He still does his best to be the heartless murderer the people expect him to be, however, for he has quite a reputation to uphold. You don’t gain a nickname like the Butcher of Blaviken by planting daisies, after all.

Wednesday - April 08, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Guide to the World

by Dhruin, 00:43

The Witcher has has received a Rise of the White World makeover and the first new article aimed at the console release is Dandelion's Guide to the World of The Witcher.  Here's a sample:

Kindest greetings, fellow knowledge-seeker. I am Dandelion, your humble and undeniably attractive scribe – a tour guide, if you will, on this journey through a treacherous world rife with horrible beasts, gluttonous monsters and foul demons – and that’s just the humans, hah! In all seriousness, I’m no different from everyone else in this world, in that life has thrown its share of peril my way. None of us are safe, and to take that fact for granted is to beg for an early trip to the grave. I’ve often relied on the help of my closest friend, Geralt, to make it through, and indeed, he has saved my neck on more than a few occasions... Oh, I could go on for days about our amazing adventures, about the monster-slaying brotherhood of the witchers, and about how Geralt has become the most famous of all… thanks in no small part to my *ahem* wondrous retellings of his adventures. But that’s a tale for another day.

Friday - March 20, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - New Screens

by Dhruin, 21:17

The official site has a short update and three new screens for Rise of the White Wolf.

Friday - February 27, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - New Screens

by Dhruin, 22:27

CD Projekt has released three new Rise of the White Wolf screens, which you can see at the official site.

Thursday - February 26, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Latest Screenshots @ Official Site

by Magerette, 17:06

The official site for CDProjekt's cRPG The Witcher has assembled a few new screens for their console version of the game, Rise of the White Wolf. You can check them out here.

Friday - February 06, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Kicking it Off Blog, Screens

by Dhruin, 21:19

The Witcher's IGN blog has a not-so-serious blog entry on console development:

Everyone knows that any big venture will have some causalities, and it’s no different with the production of RotWW. Since the beginning of production, 7 gamepads have made their journey to the fiddler’s green. We hope that after leaving this vale of tears, they'll find themselves in a better world, where people won’t spill tea on them, hurl them at the floor ten times a day and where dogs don’t think they would make a wonderful toy to play with.

...and Worthplaying has a handful of screens from Rise of the White Wolf.

Wednesday - January 28, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Dev Profile Interview

by Dhruin, 22:49

PanKarol has a new dev interview over at The Witcher site, with Pawel 'Eriash' discussing his background.

Friday - January 23, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Interview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 21:27

IGN has a Rise of the White Wolf interview with lead developer Adam Badowski:

IGN: We're used to seeing successful PC RPGs ported over to consoles, but CDProjekt Red and Atari are doing something a bit different with The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf by essentially rebuilding the game from the ground up for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Why tackle such a task rather than simply move your code from one platform to another?

Adam Badowski: Yeah, "port" is such an ugly word. We're avoiding it altogether because we think this project is much more than just bringing the game to a new platform. It has practically involved us building the game from scratch, with a massive list of new features, changes and improvements. It would have been a lot easier to do a straight-up port, but anyone familiar with our company knows we generally don't take the easiest route. From a marketing standpoint it was always going to be a challenge to say, "here's a game that shipped on PC in 2007" and to get people excited about it all over again two years later. So we need to make sure Rise of the White Wolf stacks up against the best RPGs this year, too.

We realize that PCs and consoles are very different, each with their own strengths and limitations. It's not just about using the pad as a controller… but about delivering a game that makes the best use of the tools available to the player. We want to bring gamers one of the deepest role-playing games they've played, but we've redesigned most of the gameplay to keep the action flowing, too. Rise of the White Wolf will have a brand new interface to make up for the lack of a keyboard and mouse… but that doesn't mean we're about to dumb down the experience. Everything there will be intuitive and easily accessible. Fortunately there are a lot of buttons on the controllers, so you'll be able to do almost anything on the fly.

Monday - January 19, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Dev Profile

by Dhruin, 21:16

CD Projekt Red has kicked up a developer profile interview for QA lead Piotr 'Xymek' Szymanski.  There's nothing particularly revealing, so this one is for the hardcore fans.

Thursday - January 15, 2009

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Preview @ VideoGamer

by Dhruin, 23:37

CD Projekt's Rise of the White Wolf has been previewed at VideoGamer:

It's worth mentioning at this point that Rise of the White Wolf is looking really rather nice. Thanks to the game's new DaVinci engine, the console Witcher outing will benefit from normal mapping, which makes low polygon models look better, and dynamic weather changes - but it was the quality of the animation that caught our attention the most. Both Geralt and his enemies have been given a selection of new animations, with the bad guys also getting new moves and a boost to their A.I. Hopefully this will make for some interesting, dynamic swordplay. Geralt certainly looked pretty darn cool as he slickly despatched a small group of guards that had surrounded him - killing the last with a series of blows that ended with a slash across the back of the legs, dropping the poor sod to his knees before the final strike was delivered.

Monday - December 15, 2008

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Q&A @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 21:22

We overlooked this interview last week between GameBanshee and Tom Ohle to discuss Rise of the White Wolf.  On the relationship with Widescreen Games:

GB: How did you wind up working with Widescreen Games? Can you give us a quick overview of what exactly they'll be contributing to RotWW?

Tom: We obviously had a few options for how we could approach Rise of the White Wolf’s development… do it all internally or find a studio that could help us out. Given that this was to be our first console title, we figured it would make more sense to find a studio with console experience – and importantly, console technology – to work with. We looked at a number of options and decided to go with Widescreen, as their tech fit our needs and they were enthusiastic about the project. They’re providing the technology base and handling implementation of assets and new design elements into the new engine. They’re also making sure everything actually works.

Thursday - December 11, 2008

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Q&A @ Gamecyte

by Dhruin, 22:57

Tom Ohle pops up at Gamecyte to talk about Rise of the White Wolf, explaining a little more some of the changes to this console version of The Witcher:

We’ve completely redesigned the combat system to be more in-line with players’ expectations on consoles. We’ve gone back and motion-captured a lot more combat animations for the new combat actions, like parries, counter-attacks, enhanced evasion, special attacks, etc. We’re also enhancing the enemy AI to make them more aggressive and perform a wide range of offensive and defensive actions to make the combat a bit more action-oriented.

We wanted to meet console users’ expectations, so we’re giving them full control of Geralt during combat. They’ll determine how and when Geralt parries enemy blows, ripostes, evades them, makes lunging attacks, and which foes he attacks. In general, combat will be more dynamic and will give players more potential for combat mastery through practice.

Tuesday - December 09, 2008

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Video Interview @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 21:16

The Witcher site is pointing out a video interview with Tomek Gop at GameSpot.  Here is their sumary:

Today we would like you to present a short interview that Gamespot arranged with my personal hero, Tomek Gop. It was recorded a few days ago In London during the official announcement of The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf.  You’ll find there some details about the game itself and some of the reasons we’re bringing Witcher to the consoles.

Thursday - December 04, 2008

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Interview @ VG247

by Dhruin, 23:16

Tom Ohle steps up for a short interview with Videogaming247 about Rise of the White Wolf.  Here's more clarification on the project:

Aren’t owners of the PC version going to feel a little miffed that you’re saying the console SKUs are essentially better than the PC game in both graphics and control?

I think that’s probably a bit of a misinterpretation of what we’re doing with Rise of the White Wolf. We simply weren’t able to efficiently move the existing engine to consoles, so we’ve worked with an external studio to make a new engine. We’re taking the same story from the PC game and essentially building everything else from scratch to take advantage of the consoles’ controls and features. The combat is really deep, but it plays more like you’d expect a console game to play. The graphics look great, but of course we have to work within the capabilities of each console. Basically it’s a console game through and through… any PC gamers who get upset about missing out on the features are hiding a dark secret: they actually prefer console games and controls.

Wednesday - December 03, 2008

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Newsletter

by Dhruin, 01:42

CD Projekt has whipped up a newsletter for Rise of the White Wolf, again emphasing this is a built-from-scratch title and not just a port.  That said, they've got this to say to PC fans:

Before you PC die-hards throw up your hands in revolt… please remember that RED is still working on two unannounced games. For now, give Rise of the White Wolf a second look, even if you’re not a console gamer. We’re not into dumbing things down in future PC releases… as an example, we’re not even dumbing things down for a console release. We think that all gamers – regardless of platform loyalty – want deep story-driven games, and we’re delivering what we think is the deepest console RPG yet.

Tuesday - December 02, 2008

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf - Official Announcement

by Dhruin, 22:03

Here's the official announcement from Atari, which also reveals the assistance of French developer Widescreen Games and their cross-platform DaVinci engine:

‘THE WITCHER: RISE OF THE WHITE WOLF’

COMING AUTUMN 2009 TO PLAYSTATION®3 SYSTEM AND XBOX 360®

 

- Award Winning, Million-selling Role-playing Franchise Coming to Consoles with Thrilling New Dynamic Combat, State of the Art Visuals and Unparalleled Story -

 

NEW YORK, NY – December 2, 2008 – At the ATARI LIVE showcase event in London today, Atari and CD Projekt RED announced plans for the global release of The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf on PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in autumn 2009. 

 

Based on the story of multi award-winning million-selling PC role-playing game The Witcher and completely rebuilt pixel by pixel for the new generation of consoles, The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf brings the unrivalled RPG experience to Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3 with a brand new combat system for thrilling dynamic action, and a new engine delivering matchless state-of-the-art visuals.  The game is underpinned with the evocative and enthralling story which helped secure the original game’s status as PC role-playing game of 2007, based on the mature and compelling universe created by renowned Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski.

 

“The creative vision and dedication to the quality of the player experience that CD Projekt RED bring to the Witcher games is extraordinary, and it’s great to be working with them to bring the Witcher universe to console gamers,” said Phil Harrison, President of Infogrames Entertainment, the parent company of Atari. “Taking this brilliantly realised world to PLAYSTATION 3 and Xbox 360 gamers for the first time is a breakthrough in the development of this important franchise.”

 

“We’re thrilled to continue our great relationship with Atari, whose refreshing focus on quality fits squarely with our own, to bring Geralt and the Witcher franchise to an even larger audience – fans who expressed to us very clearly that The Witcher would be a natural fit on consoles,” said Adam Kiciñski, CEO, CD Projekt RED. “Console gamers’ tastes are maturing; they’re looking for deeper story-driven experiences that are very hard to find in today’s console market. We’re developing this remake based upon the compelling narrative that helped The Witcher on PC sell more than a million copies and win more than 100 awards, building everything else from the ground up to be the definitive console RPG.”

 

Based on the universe created by best-selling Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf puts players in the role of Geralt, a professional monster slayer who exists on the fringes of a complex society troubled by the kind of problems more commonly found on the front pages of newspapers than in a fantasy universe.  Taken as a child, mutated, and trained in the arcane ways of the witchers, Geralt is a reluctant hero, who nonetheless finds himself all too frequently in the heat of battles that are not his own.  In this world there is no right or wrong, only decisions and consequences. 

 

With The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf, the best PC RPG in recent years is being completely remade as the ultimate console RPG. The title is being developed by a core team from CD Projekt RED working alongside France-based Widescreen Games who provide their cross-platform DaVinci engine technology.  For more information about The Witcher visit www.thewitcher.com and for more details about Atari’s entire product line up visit www.atari.com.

Information about

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf

Developer: CD Projekt RED

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Combat: Pausable Real-time
Play-time: 40-60 hours
Voice-acting: Full

Regions & platforms
Unknown
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Canceled
· Publisher: Atari

Unknown
· Platform: PS3
· Canceled
· Publisher: Atari