Witcher 2 is separate from White Wolf
Latter was only "suspended", says dev.
Polish developer CD Projekt has told Eurogamer that The Witcher 2 and The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf were always - and still are - separate projects.
Furthermore, Rise of the White Wolf "remains suspended" rather than canned following Atari funding issues, meaning the console-only game could be back on the cards at some point. A proper statement about the future of White Wolf will be released soon, the developer told us.
CD Projekt was speaking after the multiplatform (PC and console) sequel, The Witcher 2, was revealed on the internet via a leaked internal demonstration posted to YouTube.
"What happened and how the video was leaked to the internet isn't a matter for public debate," senior producer Thomas Gop told Eurogamer, "and we simply won't be commenting on it any further." Oh go on.
He added: "The feedback we got from the leak made us realise one thing: droves of people are waiting for this game. That's a bit bittersweet. On the one hand we're happy so many people can't wait to get their mitts on it; on the other, knowing how much our fans actually expect puts a lot of pressure on us."
CD Projekt has built a new engine to power better graphics, combat, magic and dialogue. Mutant hero Geralt now has Havok-powered abilities, for instance, such as a Force-push ability that throws medieval-period baddies around like toys.
The video attempted to demonstrate some of this, but Gop told us that footage is best taken with a pinch of salt.
"Keep in mind - the video was from an early alpha build of the game and absolutely nothing in it should be considered final. The leaked movie merely shows some of the improvements we'll be introducing, but there will be many more in the future. Most of the game's true strengths remain unrevealed," he said.
"We want to take what was best from the first game, power it up on our own technology and then extend and expand on it through lots of fresh, innovative ideas and solutions," Gop added, explaining that there will be as many similarities between The Witcher 1 and The Witcher 2 as there will be differences.
One similarity will be the "mature and complex" tone. Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, whose Witcher novel provided the foundations for the games, was apparently "quite pleased" about all this when shown The Witcher 1. "He was not, however, involved in the game development process, apart from providing some advice on the story design," Gop added.
The Witcher, released in 2007, filled a PC RPG hole, but was only brought up to solid-recommendation standard a year later with the Enhanced Edition.
With the added pressure of console versions, there's concern that history may repeat itself, to an even more dramatic degree, but Gop isn't worried. "We're very confident about the sequel's quality," he said. "We have an experienced and professional team whose members, without exception, are committed to presenting the universe of The Witcher as well as is humanly possible. What's more, we know exactly what we want to achieve and how we're going to achieve it.
He added that CD Projekt can draw on console help from Metropolis Software, which is "really experienced" in that area.
CD Projekt will also have more funds to throw at the project, providing the decision to float on the stock market and be acquired by Polish tech firm Optimus literally pays off.
Gop closed by telling us there was still "a lot to do" before The Witcher 2 will sit on shop shelves.