Witcher 2 dev: 'RPGs meet the need to run away from normal life'

CD Projeckt developer ponders the lasting appeal of the genre

Just under two weeks to go now until The Witcher 2 debuts on Xbox 360 with the enhanced edition with additional content also appearing simultaneously on PC.

With the enormous success of Skyrim last year, the surprise hit of Kingdoms of Amalur in early 2012 and the prospects for the Witcher 2, we're seeing something of a renaissance in the RPG genre.

So when we recently had a chance to sit down with CD Projeckt's lead level artist Marek Ziemak, we asked him why RPGs continue to be so immensely popular.

"I think the name of the genre is the answer, it's a role playing game and people like that," said Ziemak. "I believe most people play the game to experience something different from their everyday life. So that's really one of the main reasons, the need to run away from your normal life."


"In most cases you don't want to play as an IT guy, because that's what you're doing every day, you don't want to be a nurse in a game because that's your job. "

"You just want to get out of this reality and check out something else, become a different character because that's what RPG games are valuable for, becoming another person, making decisions, developing as a character."

True enough we supposed, but isn't it more than just the need to escape, surely other factors come into play too? Ziemak agreed, pointing to the genres profound reverence for storytelling and its ability to draw you into the world.

"They are usually really deep with great dialogue and they really immerse you into the game ...our spine, the spine of the whole game is our storyline."

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The game debuts this month on April 17th and if you haven't seen it already, be sure to check our recent extensive Witcher 2 preview, where we go hands-on with Geralt of Rivia's expanded Xbox 360 adventure.