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Page 2 of 2GB: The Witcher takes place in an unforgiving world with a lot of mature-themed content, including prostitution, political corruption, racism, and an abundance of violence. Did Atari or anyone else ever express any concern over such content during the game's development? Or were you given total freedom to do justice to the world depicted in Sapkowski's novels?
Michal: One of the reasons we decided to work with ATARI was their full understanding of the game idea and theme. They never insisted on any changes of the mature-themed content, and they were very encouraging throughout development. Nowadays, the average American gamer is over 30 years old, and we developers should stop treating customers as stupid kids; they naturally deserve mature and intelligent games! Most publishers still think with stereotypes - before signing contract with ATARI we spoke with almost all major publishers in USA and Europe, and some of them even wanted to make Geralt a sexy Elvish girl!
GB: How much impact did BioWare have on the final product and what role will they play going forward? As part of your licensing agreement for the Aurora Engine, will they be helping with promotion, patch optimizations, or anything of that nature?
Michal: One of the reasons we decided to use the BioWare Aurora Engine was our close relations with guys from BioWare. We had a long-lasting cooperation, we published their games in Central Europe, and Baldur's Gate was the first fully localized game in Poland. During development we sent them our code changes in the engine, and at the beginning of the development they also positively reviewed some early design documents, which gave us confidence to carry on that way. They really helped us to understand some basic rules of game development, market and publishing in US. As for the future, we are still in close contact, but no decisions have been made officially what will be next. I think that now we are more an equal to them than we were four years before, and it also requires different model of cooperation.
GB: The Polish special edition version of The Witcher features a soundtrack containing several songs written by popular Polish bands (including Vader's "Sword of the Witcher"). How did this collaboration come about? Are there any plans to bring the soundtrack to North America or elsewhere?
Michal: It was quite easy The Witcher has a huge number of fans in Poland, so it's not too strange that several really great bands wanted to make music inspired by the books and the game. Even the guys in Vader are dedicated gamers, and they were really happy to work with The Witcher song. It was just matter of selecting the best songs for the soundtrack. As for North America and other territories we are not a publisher there to have any plans about that. If ATARI or some other company wants to publish the soundtrack we are ready to cooperate.
GB: What are your plans for supporting The Witcher over the short-term and long-term? Aside from fixing any bugs that creep up, is there a possibility that we might see any free or fee-based downloadable content for the game?
Michal: The Witcher is on shops' shelves, but we didn't stop working on it. I can't say anything right now just be patient, and you won't be disappointed. The Witcher story is not over and we will do our best to keep it alive.
GB: Where would you like to take The Witcher franchise moving forward? Assuming the game meets your sales goals, is there a good chance we'll see an expansion pack and/or sequel?
Michal: We are still working, but I can't give you any details right now. The game can offer hundreds of hours of gameplay, with different paths, character specializations and endings. Until you experience everything possible in The Witcher, there is no reason to tell about future plans. Just enjoy the game right now!
Thanks Michal, we will!
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