Should The Witcher 3 Be Disqualified from GotY Awards?

Yeah, it's one of the best of 2015 NOW, but it took a few months of massive patches.

Yeah, it’s one of the best of 2015 NOW, but it took a few months of massive patches.

Let me be clear: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is my favorite game of 2015. So before everyone leaps down my throat for being unfairly biased, I want them all to understand that in fact, if anything, I’m biased toward the game.

That being said, I wonder if it should be considered for all the end-of-year awards it will invariably receive. It has already gotten one – it got GotY at the 2015 Game Awards – and it will undoubtedly get others and to many fans of the epic RPG, such accolades will be richly deserved. I’m inclined to agree simply because I love the experience and I also say the Hearts of Stone expansion is the best piece of add-on content released this generation. There are all kinds of reasons why The Witcher 3 should be honored.

Do we give out awards based on the game as it stands now, without taking a shoddy launch into account?

Do we give out awards based on the game as it stands now, without taking a shoddy launch into account?

But should we really gloss over the launch, which could only be considered an epic fail as opposed to an epic role-playing experience? I’m often surprised at the fickleness and shockingly short memories of the gaming community; it wasn’t that long ago that seemingly every new owner of CD Projekt Red’s ambitious title was complaining about a myriad of serious issues. These problems ranged from the minor and comical (like Geralt or his horse getting stuck in parts of the environment) to the critically severe, like game-breaking bugs and glitches. Lest we forget, it took the team several months and four or five gigantic patches to really whip this game into shape.

This leads me to the obvious question: As the game won’t go backward – I mean, it won’t ever revert to that unstable state – it’s not fair to condemn the game forever because once the issues were fixed, the game became a special gem for all eternity. Nobody will remember the major problems a year from now; hell, most don’t seem to remember them now. And anybody who purchases the title after the fallout won’t even know it existed; they’ll only see a mostly masterful production. So, we must ask: When we issue awards, should we consider the games as they are NOW, or as they were when they first launched?

Perhaps it’s ridiculous to claim the latter because as I just said, the game will simply  be great for all from here on out. But does this not give the developer a pass? Are we not simply sweeping that horrid launch under the rug and pretending it doesn’t exist? And let’s also not forget that we’ve been seeing a disappointing number of unstable and unfinished products hit store shelves this generation. It has been painfully obvious that these games just aren’t ready and in the old days, there’d be no way to fix them. They’d be flawed forever. But now that we can issue patches and updates, we can magically fix those problems and as a consequence, pretend they never happened.

This is the conundrum that faces any source or publication that plans to give out video game awards for 2015, and from here on out. If we’re only evaluating the games at the time of the awards, doesn’t this mean the launch becomes essentially meaningless? And should it be meaningless? I’m not so sure about that.

7 thoughts on “Should The Witcher 3 Be Disqualified from GotY Awards?”

I don’t care how glitchy it was. It still deserves goty because it’s arguably one of the best rpgs ever. Stop crying about bugs when most games have them. Of course witcher 3 is, it’s freaking huge. And giant game has a bunch of glitches .That’s life.

Right. So what you’re saying is, let’s just keep letting the developers produce shoddy products because we’re a bunch of sheep and we’ll just play any unstable piece of garbage when it releases. I mean, why force the publisher to produce a game that actually works when all the lemming gamers just patiently wait for it to be fixed?

Many big games do have glitches when they’re first released but none I’ve ever played have been as broken as The Witcher 3. Not even close.

Fallout 4 is currently having glitch issues. Arkham Knight is a mess. I’ve encountered issues in MGS V, Just Cause 3 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. It happens. Some more than others but it’s there in every game. So NO! Witcher 3 stays!

Obviously, nobody thinks it should be eliminated from contention because it’s getting nominations everywhere. Just got 8 for the DICE awards. 🙂

Yeah, I understand why. But the article still makes a solid point. If we want more stable products, we need to find a way to hold developers and publishers to a higher launch standard.

I understand the point. And I do hope developers start making more stable games. I just didnt have much trouble with The Witcher 3 in the first place.

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