Witcher 2 dev 'will never use any DRM'

CD Projekt Red CEO says studio dropping security measures from future games; "It's just overcomplicating things," and "It does not protect your game."

Witcher developer CD Projekt Red is very much against digital rights management (DRM). Speaking today at the 2012 Game Developers Conference (via Joystiq), company CEO Marcin Iwinski said it will never again use DRM.

CD Projekt Red thinks DRM doesn't help.

"Every subsequent game, we will never use any DRM anymore. It's just overcomplicating things," Iwinski said.

Iwinski also talked about the piracy behind The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. He said he was surprised to learn that the DRM-free Good Old Games version was pirated fewer times than the SecuROM retail version.

"We release the game. It's cracked in two hours; it was no time for Witcher 2. What really surprised me is that the pirates didn't use the GOG version, which was not protected," he said. "They took the SecuROM retail version, cracked it, and said 'we cracked it.' Meanwhile there's a nonsecure version with a simultaneous release. You'd think the GOG version would be the one floating around."

Last month, CD Projekt Red said it sold 1.5 million copies of Witcher games in 2011. That figure pales in comparison to the 4.5 million copies of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings that were pirated during the year.

"DRM does not protect your game," Iwinski told Joystiq following the session. "If there are examples that it does, then people maybe should consider it, but then there are complications with legit users."

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition is due out on the Xbox 360 and PC in North America on April 17. That version of the game includes four hours of additional content, which features fresh characters to interact with and takes place in new locations.

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Discussion

158 comments
Aeondeity
Aeondeity

I'm going to support CD Projekt Red as long as they put all of their games on PC, I don't care if they port it too -- but please, PC, your origins always.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

CD Projekt Red will get more sales from me in the future. I want to buy all of their games on principle alone.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

Rat_King Well it does say that its for pc, i know it doesn't say its available for free on there, but you should still know that it is...especially before getting all angry over a problem which doesn't exist, and you should have at least done some research first.

Rat_King
Rat_King

@GamerLegen10, I quote, "The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition is due out on the Xbox 360 and PC in North America on April 17. That version of the game includes four hours of additional content, which features fresh characters to interact with and takes place in new locations." Last paragraph of the article, only paragraph that mentions anything about the game's release information. Please show me where in this article it says anything about free PC content (other than the pirating stuff), and I will gladly submit to being retarded.

Silphatos
Silphatos

At last one developer got it, now I'll buy the next CD Project game at its release, no matter what it is. And I have been only buying discounted games lately.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@Rat_King ahahahaha ok now this is just ridiculous... I cant believe you still dont understand. This time please pay attention; this new content, is available for both the xbox360 and the pc...it is included in the enhanced edition, but it is also available as a free download for pc users...therefore this content is available to everyone, for free, nobody is being left out. Do you understand now? please tell me you understand before i start slamming my head against the wall.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@thrice00 Random figures are fun. I say 60% would if they KNEW it was a good game (reviews, word of mouth etc.) and they simply had no other choice but to either buy it or leave it. The problem is with every game being open to be stolen what is the incentive for them to buy the game? Honour and respect for the industry? Sure, that I have my utter faith in and will never let anyone convince me otherwise that 8 / 10 thieves are good honest and upright men just looking for a chance to test the game first /sarcasm/ You're basing your statistic on what you hope, sadly that is not reliable. It is far more likely (even if they do buy the odd game) that they won't buy a game if they can play it and complete it for free and how many times have you heard this excuse 'I'll buy it if the game is worth it', hint, that simply means they don't buy quite a few of there games regardless of if they complete them.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

Bad idea in my opinion, I don't like heavy handed DRM more than anyone else but I think the development of a good system of DRM along with some way to actually stop it being hacked or messed with would be in the interest of gamers. Not DRM like so many installs, but at least something to make piracy harder. I mean come on, there's a difference between doing what you have to in order to protect your company but doing it in as kind a way as possible and just out and out smacking the consumer in the face. What we are essentially doing is telling CD Projekt to do is have there hands tied behind there backs and not defend themselves while people rob there house. I'll buy there games if I want to but I won't buy any more games than I actually want so it's not winning them any sales from me but still losing them sales from the thieves.

Rat_King
Rat_King

@GamerLegend10, this is where logic plays a big part in user comments. Obviously I meant it's BS that this enhanced edition gets new content NOT AVAILABLE TO THOSE WHO MADE THE GAME POPULAR ENOUGH TO WANT TO RELEASE IT ON CONSOLES. No, it's not the same as a GOTY edition, cause it's not a compilation of DLC or expansions. It's simply new stuff for people who haven't bought the game yet, and personally, I think that's unfair. Especially considering all the bugs I had to work through...great game though.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@Tseng Yes i know why the they want internet censorship, but i was talking about the governments motives, in response to "Stealing is stealing people, and you are the reason the government is trying to censor the internet."...yes they are being pushed, but they have their own reasons to do it also. If we are talking about the entertainment industry i think it is important not to speak of it as a whole, as not everyone within the industry agrees with internet censorship, but those who do often tend to be greedy idiots who dont care for the industry as a whole but are just focused on putting a bit more cash into their already stuffed pockets.

Tseng
Tseng

@Thrice You are right about that, but where did you get 20%? And assuming that statistic is correct, that is still 900,000 copies stolen, or 5.4 million dollars of potential income lost. @Gamerlegend10 You are incorrect. SOPA was being pushed through by lobbyists working for the entertainment industry. It would have allowed them to petition the government to shut down any site that LINKED to a site that has pictures, videos or illegal downloads of their property. The number one reason for censoring the internet is so giant corporations can make more money. You can blame politicians for agreeing to write the bill and vote for it, but it is big business who are really behind internet censorship. So yes, pirating of games, music and movies is the reason why SOPA and any other internet censorship bill is brought before congress. Also, there is no good reason to pirate games/movies/music. It's not available in your country? Import, and if you can't, tough. Want to know what the game is like before you buy it? Download the demo, and if there is none then watch videos and read reviews. Still not sure you want it? Wait for a price drop and buy it then. People use that argument like it excuses their actions, but it doesn't. There is always an alternative to stealing, some people just don't give a ****. Pirating is wrong, period.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@thrice00 I agree, but people dont think about it that way, they just assume that one pirated copy = 1 loss for the company, which completely wrong. A lot of people who pirate wouldn't have bought the game anyway, other people simply cant because its not available in their country, other people pirate and then later purchase (sometimes if they didn't pirate first, then they never would have bought the game) etc.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@Tseng lol that is not the reason the government is trying to censor the internet; they are doing it because they are over controlling p***s who dont want us to have any freedom unless they can monitor, control and give permission for it. Piracy is just an excuse they are using to police the internet.

bikram323
bikram323

I agree. @axlroselm: you are correct that if pirated version was not there, then only 20% of the people who pirated would have bought it. See the case of mass effect 3. Pirates were able to play the game before actual customers. A buggy software called Origin was introduced and cracked. The toughest cracks(considering the time taken) were for AC2, and a few others(Diablo 2 also if I remember correctly). For a small company, DRM application has a lot of associated cost.

axlroselm
axlroselm

@mortis1982 i agree. Someone who pirate a game violate the right of the producer and therefore we must blame him. But what i have said is something different. Piracy is bad, but from an utilitarian POV, it wont hurt sales that much. Pirates are bad people, but they dont hurt companies as much as companies themselves. If you cant buy a game you dont buy it, so pirate it or not, sales number will be unaffected.

thrice00
thrice00

@TSeng, They didn't lost 4 millions sales. There would be 20% MAX of the 4.5 millions who would have realy bought it.

Tseng
Tseng

It's awesome that they see that DRM doesn't work. It really sucks that they missed out on 4 million sales because people don't see anything wrong with stealing. And even if 1.5 million of those people pirated it, played it and then bought it because they liked it (which is every pirate's go to argument for why he isn't breaking the law) that still leaves 3 MILLION copies stolen. Money a relatively small company like CD Project Red desperately needs to release quality games like the Witcher series. Stealing is stealing people, and you are the reason the government is trying to censor the internet.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I applaud the announcement. It's a gutsy move. Gamers will react even more negatively if CD Projekt back peddle on a later game than if they never made this announcement in the first place. Can't wait for Witcher 2: EE.

Vojtass
Vojtass

@Bummer88 The point is that RPS assumed, that CDPR harmed innocent people, which just isn't true. This is what I call unfair.

King-gamer
King-gamer

People like these deserve your support. DRM is cracked in hours, and then what else it does? It hurts consumers. DRM isn't free either, developer needs to put money and effort into making them. That's just more development time wasted on locking the game and less time put into polishing it. I'm glad they are putting their time, effort, and money into something that makes sense. DRM is bad for both consumers AND developers. It's only companies like EA, Activision and Ubisoft, while sitting on their mountain of cash that they can afford to spend it on DRM, and then have it cracked hours after, and sometimes even BEFORE release (i.e. leaked games)

Makari
Makari

@demonic_85 nothing really special - the launcher for the game does some kind of phone-home connection, or at least my Steam version did.

guildclaws
guildclaws

Ubisoft should learn from CD Projekt ^_^

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

Seems like GameSpot is filled with a bunch of people who like to leach. Congrats to each and every one of you.

Bummer88
Bummer88

@Vojtass They actually exchanged correspondence with CDP, it was posted (they had at least 2 articles about this). It's far from absolutely unfair. Thing is, they used the German law mechanic which makes the holder of an IP address 100% accountable for whatever is transferred with it's use. An IP is not like a mobile phone number. Many people often use a single IP either within a household ,office space etc. So some kid's poor grandma might be getting a huge fine with a 100 pages of legal babble just because the kid was bored while he was over at her place. There are so many ways CDP's practise in this case may've harmed innocent people.

Vojtass
Vojtass

@Bummer88 I read it. RPS had no details about the case, but they have written that CDPR is guilty. This is totally absurd and unfair.

redness19
redness19

God Bless CDPR! An amazing studio seemingly full of people who get it. DRM does nothing, NOTHING but punish paying customers. All DRM can be cracked, no DRM will stop pirating. Best to just avoid it all together and keep the paying customers happy.

Bummer88
Bummer88

@Vojass Thing is, whether they were actually the pirates was uncertain, RockPaperShotgun wrote a good piece about it.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@Rat_King The additional content is also available for pc :roll: It even says that in the article above.

Vojtass
Vojtass

@shantd CDPR hired lawyers who sent letters to the pirates with simply demand: pay 780 euros or legal action will be taken. Some people got mad, because CDPR wanted to punish guys who stole their property. That's horrible, how did they dare to fight with pirates, how did they dare to demand money for their own game! Anyway they dropped this practice.

emperiox
emperiox

I've said it many times...there's 2 companies that you as a consumer should feel ABSOLUTELY ECSTATIC about supporting. The first is Rockstar (they support their games with free DLC just to keep them going active), and the second is CD Projekt Red because they actually care about their customers.

Vodoo
Vodoo

When a game sports ridiculous anti-theft devices, it makes people want to pirate it even more. F me??!!! No, F YOU!!!!

Frankenstrat247
Frankenstrat247

"It does not protect your game." Too true. Most times, it can, and will be, cracked. Just ask Ubisoft, lol.

toddx77
toddx77

I would love to see Activision and EA read this "No DRM? Complications with legit users? DRM does not protect your game?" What are these big words I cannot comprehend? lol

eva02langley
eva02langley

OMG, 4 hours of new gameplay...? Any chance we could get to know Ciri and Yennefer? Well, let me tell you that after arriving at the end of the fifth book, I really die of eager to see CDProjeckt doing like a flashback of one of the chapter of one of the book, that would be awesome >XD

Hermes33
Hermes33

Iwinski is speaking some common sense here, bravo. Are you listening, UBISOFT?? I think you might need to take a look at this strange business model of actually earning your customer's respect and not treating us like idiots and criminals.

mortis1982
mortis1982

@axlroselm Stealing is stealing plain and simple, even if you don't plan to buy or can't afford it. I despise people who use that as an excuse to steal from people who worked hard to create something. You are not entitled to someone else's work and if you think you are you need to be smacked around a bit until you reach a decent level of common sense.

ForsakenWicked
ForsakenWicked

Excellent news! This is how every dev should treat their customers.

npkgardens
npkgardens

Wow, what a novel business model; earn your customer's respect, instead of treating them like criminals!

axlroselm
axlroselm

this numbers proves nothing. Most of the people who pirate a game dont plan to buy it or cant afford to buy it. So piracy dont hurt game sales very much.

biggest_loser
biggest_loser

If this is true I don't want to hear them ever complain about piracy again!

m4a5
m4a5

Respect basically at maximum ^_^

jer_1
jer_1

Good for them. Right here they have a pretty dedicated fan, I very much like the way they think and act. I will always buy games from a company like CD Projekt.

gix47
gix47

god bless CD Projekt Red

shantd
shantd

@Bummer88 - What did they do in Germany?

Bummer88
Bummer88

I still have mixed feelings towards CDP after what they did in Germany.

l777l
l777l

"I call BS on console versions getting free additional content when we're the ones who made the games a success." PC users will get the same content, for free, if/when they own the main game.

Rat_King
Rat_King

I call BS on console versions getting free additional content when we're the ones who made the games a success.

torres_unix
torres_unix

I will always support CD Projeckt for not castrating the games I buy from them. It's a shame that 4.5 million people don't agree with me, but I hope those same 4.5 million eventually start supporting the good development houses and send EA a strong message.