CDPR Story Director Doesn’t Think The Witcher Is a Work of Art


Earlier today, we've reported on CD Projekt RED's particular focus on the story when developing games.

But there's another part of the interview published by Culture.pl that's well worth highlighting. That's where Story Director Marcin Blacha explains that he doesn't believe a game like The Witcher to be a work of art.

I’ve participated in such discussions many times, although I was never particularly convinced because, to tell you the truth, I don’t know. I know that games are an important part of culture – this is undoubtable. But whether they can be art or part of it? I guess so, but not en masse, meaning not every game is a work of art… And there are cases where a game is a work of art or nearly a work of art. With a game like The Witcher, I don’t think so, but there are artists who express themselves by creating games. It’s a similar form of expression to painting a picture or writing poetry.

Film or visual arts are different from games in that they are directed from the very beginning to the very end. There certainly are such forms of art – especially modern art – which assume a degree of interaction, that play with the audience. But one can assume that traditional art is much less interactive than games. In the case of games, artists are scriptwriters, but it is the gamer who is the ultimate director, because it’s the gamer who decides about what will ultimately happen in the game, and in what form events will happen. This is a controversial issue, I don’t feel competent enough to discuss it, but I can see a certain clear difference between Bergman’s films – say Wild Strawberries – and a game. Firstly, a game is usually not designed with the intention of becoming a work of art. Secondly, we have a gamer who makes the ultimate decisions on how the game will follow.

What do you think? Is The Witcher, in particular the third and last game, a work of art? In the meantime, the Blood & Wine expansion is destroying the competition in the 'Best DLC' category of our Reader's Awards 2016 poll.