I don’t know how this happened. Perhaps it’s new blood buying their first video games with their own money. Or perhaps people thought the new generation of consoles meant the lies of old were no longer going to repeat themselves. Regardless of the reasons, there’s a bit of a kerfuffle surrounding CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. There’s a 150+ page thread about it on NeoGAF and Digital Foundry even chimed in on the matter.
So what are people bitching about? The fact that the final version of the Witcher 3 doesn’t match up to the E3 2013 and E3 2014 trailers. Publishers and developers mentioned “in-engine” and “in-game” footage but they don’t necessarily clarify that it’s all work in progress and subject to change. And even if they did, people tend to put too much stock in what they’ve seen on screen.
What happened to knowing that the Big Macs in the ads were not exactly what you were going to buy in store? What happened to knowing cars don’t end up looking like their initial prototypes? I’m glad people are taking marketing teams to task for trying to pull a fast one but try to keep that anger in check. There’s no point nitpicking the details and trying to figure out what changed between then and now. The important thing is how to move forward and to ensure that everyone knows that works in progress are subject to change. Perhaps we’re all better off shortening the preview cycle and focusing on near final footage. The movie industry does it, so maybe the games industry should as well.