The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on PC will be pirated, CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwinski has said, but that's not pushing the developer to reconsider its staunch stance against DRM.
"Whatever we do, the game will be pirated. Whether it's DRM-free or it has DRM," Iwinski told GOG in a new video interview. "If you look at it in a very simple way, putting the DRM on the game just makes the life of the legal gamer more difficult. So the guys who really trusted us and went out and bought the game, they have a more difficult life than the guys who didn't bother and pirated the game. I really think it should be the other way around."
The Witcher 3 on PC will not have DRM of any kind whatsoever. Iwinski explained that though this decision leaves open the possibility for piracy, it is ultimately the best way to encourage users to obtain a legal copy someday.
"And we strongly believe that this kind of approach will encourage people to go and buy the game," Iwinski said. "Trust us because we trust them. And it will make the gaming experience without obstacles."
Also in the interview, Iwinski said piracy is an inevitable component of the PC gaming world and that CD Projekt Red will no longer pursue pirates in court or through other legal manners.
"For some people, piracy, it's in a way trying the games because...some people treat it [like] some kind of a trial. Some people just cannot afford it in the full price. And ultimately, I believe that if we treat these people right, then at some point, be it mid-price or maybe budget, they will go out and buy our game," Iwinski said.
Iwinski said CD Projekt Red's recent announcement that The Witcher 1 and 2 have sold over 6 million units is "great proof" of this strategy working.
"We made our mistakes, we learned our lessons in the case of The Witcher 2. We'll not repeat it and this chapter is definitely behind us," Iwinski said, referencing that game's use of SecuROM DRM.
More than 1.5 million copies of Witcher games were sold in 2011, which pales in comparison to the 4.5 million copies of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings alone pirated during the year. CD Projekt Red has been an outspoken opponent of DRM, previously calling DRM the "worst thing in the gaming industry."
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC in 2014. In addition to that game, CD Projekt Red is working on next-generation role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077 and a "smaller" unannounced game at its new office in Krakow.