The studio wants extra time to polish the game.
In a lengthy open letter posted on Tuesday, CD Projekt Red announced that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will not be released in Fall 2014 as originally planned, but will hit the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in February 2015. The reason? The game just won't be good enough if the studio keeps the 2014 release date.
"We recently reexamined what we had achieved thus far, and faced a choice about the game's final release date," the studio writes. "The decision we made was difficult, thoroughly considered, and ultimately clear and obvious. We could have released the game towards the end of this year as we had initially planned. Yet we concluded that a few additional months will let us achieve the quality that will satisfy us, the quality gamers expect from us."
The studio even reaches out to shareholders, saying that the team is aware of the responsibility that's on their shoulders, and thanks the investors for their continued trust. "We firmly believe that quality – more than any other factor – determines a game's success, and that the decision we have made is thus equally valid in business terms," the letter states.
CD Projekt Red explains in the letter that it wants The Witcher 3 to be its crowning achievement after spending 11 years creating RPGs. The team is shooting to create an unforgettable adventure to experience what takes place in a vast, open world.
"We knew this to be an ambitious plan, but believed we could achieve it by bringing together our team with its creative energies and current gaming platforms with their technical capabilities," the letter states. "A project this vast and complex would inevitably require special care in its final stages, manual fine-tuning of many details, thorough testing time and again."
To read the full letter, head here. While the news may be disappointing, the delay doesn't look too drastic. Fans would presumably want the developer to take extra time spit-shining the game rather than rushing it out the door half-baked.