Witcher 3 dev -- "The game will be pirated"

CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwinski says game will be pirated on PC whether it has DRM or not.

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.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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701 comments
executor2
executor2

For me , i can say i pirated their games , then bought them . You can't be careful enough about this game companies , first they put nice trailers ( CGI ) , then they put some restricted gameplay , showing you the "best" parts of the game. And when you buy it , you realize it is a piece of crap ( Diablo 3 , SWTOR  , Aliens CM etc ).


So i encourage people to PIRATE the game before making any purchase .

wolfone77
wolfone77

They are just brillient, they are actually bringing the gamers who use pirated versions of their game to make them buy this game .The amount of dedication and hardwork they put is just awesome......if any one who changed my attitude to actually buy those games they are CDPR, totally respectable...


(Sorry for the bad english)

Kaixa23
Kaixa23

This is why CD Projekt Red is my most respected and favorite developer out there. That and the awesome games they make :)

gawdzila
gawdzila

CDPR is just awesome.  I wish there were more than just a handful of developers with the combination of vision, ambition, skill, and integrity that these guys possess.  I think even many people who pirate their games will eventually buy them just to support the studio.

That's how it was with me.  Admittedly, I pirated Witcher 1 at first because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to stand the kinda rough English translations.  Once I found that I liked the game -- a lot -- I went out and bought a copy.  When Witcher 2 came out I just ran out and purchased a copy, and of course W2 turned out to be nothing less than a masterpiece of RPG gaming.  The way W3 is looking it is going to change RPGs forever; I'm actually ecstatic to get an opportunity to throw money at them.

nirmalbalaji
nirmalbalaji

"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.

Probably the best quote I have read from a game developers.

rhinala70
rhinala70

I am thinking about preorder the game from good old games, digital download will give cdproject red about 60% of the price I pay while box sales only give them about 30%. thy totally deserve it.

People who will pirate the witcher are creep and i hope most of us will buy the game.

renerak
renerak

Ofcourse it will be Pirated. But you don't exactly lose sales because of piracy, maybe a very tiny % will be lost. Pirates won't buy the game even if it isn't pirated. Trust Me I know, comming from a former and partial pirate now.

Aeondeity
Aeondeity

I trust in CD Projekt Red; they haven't let me down once.

I think pirates will come around, this is such a good game that you just "want" to own it.

Seviteal
Seviteal

A bold stance, let's hope their trust in the gaming community is not abused.

Daian
Daian

These guys are awesome.

randykhoo
randykhoo

I agree with this stand. 
I purchased a box director's cut of the Witcher 1...
To discover witcher 2 much later... unfortunately it wasn't released in my country that quickly - and games are extremely expensive in my country as no dealer/retailer will EVER give you a discount.

So I pirated Witcher 2... to only crash the desktop mid way on Roche's path.

After getting a new laptop this year, got into the Steam community and finding out Witcher 3 is out next year... 
Proceeded to buy Witcher 1 and 2 from steam. (DRM, but don't mind that)

So, paid twice for witcher 1 - don't mind... but yes, make good games, treat your gamers right, and they WILL come back. 

Looking forward to witcher 3 preorder. 

gorillazzero
gorillazzero

Budget is not the only Problem Most Games this Days are Online sales What about the country's that didn't have the technology for Electrical payment for such us Visa card Master  card ...etc  Nobody consider this i for my self tired Using pirated game My sister buy them for me on London and send it to Africa which i can only play single player Offline Because the game doesn't include my country's Online gaming But it is Right atlist to consider the why gaming are pirated

hadlee73
hadlee73

If this game ends up being as epic as it looks and is therefore worth the asking price, and yet still gets pirated out the arse causing it to fail financially, then CD Projekt Red will have indirectly proven all the things the various software publishers have been saying for years regarding PC game piracy as well as the reason why DRM exists.

Paoksis
Paoksis

Thumbs up for CD Project

cheese232323
cheese232323

I think most pirates are of the mindset that there was never any chance they were going to buy the game anyway. It isnt a lost sale because those people werent going to buy the game, they were going to pirate it. Either that or they are completely broke. IMO the most effective DRM is a very strong online component. Either always online (as much as some people hate that) or a multiplayer component that makes the game feel worth buying. Like "I can pirate the game and play alone, or I can buy the game and play with my friends." Its a good way of making pirates feel they are only capable of getting half a game.

ElJefeDeMedios
ElJefeDeMedios

Shhhh .. dudes .. don't say that to Microsoft ... you might anger them!

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

Although CDPR mixes up copy protection with DRM I like their general attitude towards being pro-gamer. But in the end, the product must be good. Everything else is just surrounding sounds.

That being said, I strongly believe that Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 will be damn awesome games. They can't be any bad if CDPR just builds on the foundation of Witcher 1+2. :)

billlabowski
billlabowski

Piracy is on all platforms unfortunately. 

fyxehexyz
fyxehexyz

This dev is soo... I shall buy the original T_T I'm so touched ;) Go you awesome Dev~! *oh I should insert the joke here* "No one can stop Edward Kenway!"... get it? 

RedKingShura
RedKingShura

I got The Witcher 1 + 2 on Steam for 10 bucks + backup copies on GoG for free. And I will get The Witcher 3 at full price whenever it gets released

Razarealm
Razarealm

I only pirated games that were around 6-10 years old for LAN parties. I buy all new releases and always will.

ExplosiveChorro
ExplosiveChorro

Witcher 2 is fucking amazing. would pay $100 for witcher 3.

giocher
giocher

I used (and sometimes still do) pirate old game that aren't avaible anymore on retail or digital download, but as soon as GOG release them I buy them immediatly (I did it with Gabriel Knight & System Shock 2 for istance). I also use Steam and recognize its de facto superiority, but I think I like GOG way of handling business better, first of all they add a lot of extra to their games without charging for it, furthermore they do some great sales but they don't undersell them too much or too often. In that regard I think that this year summer sales by GOG definitely surpassed Steam counterpart even if games weren't as cheap, because they were overall better.

WantYouBad
WantYouBad

Love this guy, he cares about the games he makes, can't wait for Cyberpunk.

banana23man
banana23man

Can't say all the games that have ever been installed in my PC are legit but those that I've kept are also the ones for which I've legally purchased. 

Zacmaccraken
Zacmaccraken

At the very least... pirating isn't really stealing.. it's more like duplicating something. Steal is when you remove the "object" from others to have. Pirating is to duplicate something not removing the possibility for others to obtain it.

rarson
rarson

By the way, the vast majority of people who pirate aren't lost sales. For most of those people, if you removed any possibility of pirated software, they just wouldn't buy the game. So by pirating it, they're not causing a lost sale, they're just getting the chance to try something without paying for it.

It's an ethical question as to whether that's wrong or not, but I still don't think it's any reason to punish paying customers.

rarson
rarson

They're absolutely right! DRM punishes your paying customers while doing nothing to stop piracy. It also adds to the cost of the game (DRM isn't free). There simply is no logical argument for DRM. It does nothing but piss your customers off.

soulfractured
soulfractured

I am a big fan of CDPK and they did great with the previous 2 Witcher games. I will always play their games and I buy all games i play. I just wait till there are reviews out so i can make an educated decision before I buy each game. If you are a gamer then supporting the industry is crucial.

Pupchu
Pupchu

Well... They are realistic. W3 will make money nonetheless. Anyone who played the previous games is bound to pick this one up.

RAD_RADIO
RAD_RADIO

@Seviteal 

It's a stance PC gaming had for a long ass time before CD-keys, and open sharing is basically free ad space. I'm not sure what company wouldn't want free hands on advertising. People have a natural desire to own things, and they will eventually buy things they like, in droves. Even if someone does pirate a game and not support the company directly, even if they did enjoy the game, there's an incredibly high chance they were never going to purchase it in the first place. So to me, there's a fundamental difference between 'pirating' a copy of a video game, and directly stealing a good.

rogthepirate
rogthepirate

@hadlee73 Yes. If.

But we all know that's not going to happen, because CDProject is right. The other publishers, especially the big ones, only spout that bullshit because piracy is an easy scapegoat. Justification to place more and more restrictions on the paying users, to keep them from doing certain things, like re-selling the game (which they would have every right to), that would mean that those publishers might make a little less money. 

I think piracy is based on many factors, among them also being the fact that the rising prices for games are plain ridiculous (especially when you only get part of the actual game even then and have to buy day-1-DLC that was snipped out of the game before release to make MORE money) and the fact that the big publishers treat their players like shit.

I'd pirate an EA game any day, because I see no reason to give them even a single cent. If they don't respect the players, the players won't respect them, it's as easy as that. CDProject, on the other hand ... they respect their players and fans, making all DLCs free and not using DRM as well as being generally awesome guys. I support this kind of behavior, so I'd never pirate one of their games, because in my eyes they *deserve* the money. Respect breeds respect.

randykhoo
randykhoo

@cheese232323 I disagree with that... 
If the game was a really great game... I don't mind dropping cash on it. 
This does work with older games - which you will feel a sense of nostalgia... 
But for newer titles, unlikely to happen. 

ItsTheSasquatch
ItsTheSasquatch

@ExplosiveChorro If they release a really nice collector's edition (high quality packaging, lots of extras like concept art books and soundtracks, etc.) I'd be willing to pay that much. Maybe a little more, even. A lot more if it was a set of all three games--I have digital copies of the first two, and I like them so much I'd be willing to buy them again for the physical package.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@giocher GOG + Steam are all you need...  Both are stellar supporters of classic games.  I've bought online copies of dozens of games that I still have packed up in the basement from the 80s & 90s.  (...it beats trying to dig up the old disks/discs!)

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@Zacmaccraken 

No it is still stealing because you are taking something without paying or compensating the rightful owner or distributor. 

meatz666
meatz666

@RAD_RADIO @Seviteal I agree. But the publisher's moto now is imposing embargoes, so the only thing we know about the game came from their marketing department.

rhinala70
rhinala70

@rogthepirate  I agree with you, treat your player base right and thy will treat you the same, on the other hand treat your player base as a possible criminal with intrusive DRM like steam and thy will treat you at the same way.

executor2
executor2

@rhinala70 @rogthepirate  Guys , steam is not DRM by choice . They have hooks into their games for features like : 

- who of your friends played what game

- achievements

- stats on what games are being played.


I have never viewed Steam as a DRM only service. You should do the same ...


You can always pirate a game on thepiratesbay.se :D

rogthepirate
rogthepirate

@hadlee73 @rogthepirate Well ... of course not *everyone* will feel this way. There are assholes who will just pirate it regardless, but they're still a minority. Witcher 1 had no DRM, either, and it worked out fine.

And I would call it idealistic instead of naive =P but yeah, I hope so, too ^^

hartattk
hartattk

@smitten10 @leviathanwing @WantYouBad @dlCHIEF58 @Zacmaccraken 

It's not stealing/theft because it doesn't fit the convention of removing something from someones possessions. The crime is having possession without a license and is more akin to fraud than theft.

Really the correct term should always feature the word software: software theft/ software piracy, as to differentiate between taking and copying.

smitten10
smitten10

@leviathanwing @WantYouBad @dlCHIEF58 @Zacmaccraken People love to rationalize everything they do with nonsensical comparisons.  An image is in the public arena, it is fair use, it does not come with a license agreement.  Duplicating a game without paying for the license is stealing.