Legal Battle, Extra Polish Time Push The Witcher 2’s Xbox 360 Debut Back to 2012


Another top game planned for release later this year has slipped into 2012, with CD Projekt RED confirming the unfortunate delay of the Xbox 360 version of acclaimed PC RPG, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Its new expected launch period is “the first quarter of 2012.”

One reason for the delay is pretty obvious. CD Projekt says the extra time is needed for “expanding and polishing certain elements of the gameplay.” As we learned at E3, the Xbox 360 version will come with an exclusive bonus chapter bridging the gap between The Witcher and The Witcher 2 with an 8-10 hour interquel storyline, so there is more involved here than a quick and dirty port job. However, the need for additional polish time is the stock reason developers always give when a game is delayed, so I’m not totally buying that excuse.

The real reason behind the delay seems to be the ongoing legal battle over the game’s European publishing rights. Namco Bandai, distributor of the PC version in Europe, is suing CD Projekt RED and its parent company over the rights to publish the Xbox 360 version in the same region, and for removing the PC version’s DRM without permission. Right now, THQ is slated to distribute Geralt’s Xbox 360 adventure in Europe, and I guess Namco Bandai doesn’t like that too much. Thus, we all have to wait a little longer to play the game.

As someone without a proper gaming rig capable of running the PC version, I’m sad to see this slipping back to next year. Especially when the only other Xbox 360 exclusive I’m truly looking forward to is Gears of War 3.

What say you on the matter?

The Witcher 2 For Xbox 360 Delayed Into 2012 [G4TV]
Namco Sues Over European Distribution, DRM Removal from Witcher 2 [Kotaku]

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