Witcher dev: DRM is 'worst thing in the gaming industry'

Project lead says DRM limits gamers' rights to play the titles they own; Witcher 3 won't have multiplayer or quick time events.

The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red believes digital rights management (DRM) is the "worst thing in the gaming industry." Speaking to Forbes, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt project lead Konrad Tomaszkiewicz said such measures negatively impact gameplay experiences.

"In my opinion, DRM is the worst thing in the gaming industry. It's limiting our rights to play games owned by us," Tomaszkiewicz said. "Let’s imagine that you have a game that requires Internet connection to prove that you actually bought it. What if you lose your connection because of your Internet provider? You can't play anymore."

The Witcher 3 is DRM-free.

Tomaszkiewicz claimed that DRM does not stop piracy and is instead only a "real pain" for legal users. He said fans appreciate CD Projekt Red's long-stated anti-DRM stance and that these users--on forums and elsewhere-- actively attempt to persuade would-be pirates to purchase a legitimate copy instead of downloading a game illegally.

Battlefield and FIFA publisher Electronic Arts previously referred to DRM as a "failed, dead-end strategy."

Also in the interview, Tomaszkiewicz confirmed that The Witcher 3 will not feature a multiplayer component. He explained that CD Projekt Red "strongly feel that this final saga of Geralt has no place for meaningful multiplayer." A multiplayer component was never confirmed for The Witcher 3, but the studio teased last month that it was exploring opportunities.

Another game element that will not be featured in The Witcher 3 are quick time events. Tomaszkiewicz explained that these moments in past games "usually frustrated players" and that they will not appear in the upcoming game.

The Witcher 3 is Geralt's final story and reportedly has 100 hours of gameplay. The role-playing game is due to launch in 2014 for PlayStation 4, PC, and other "high-end" platforms.

For more on The Witcher 3, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Written By

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

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Discussion

896 comments
yasso
yasso

100 hours of gameplay, no DRM, speaking out for the true interests of honest gamers, regular updates and improvement and patching...I would freaking buy The Witcher 3, even if I were not going to play it! Just to encourage producing games with passion and making a reasonable profit while on it, rather than producing games with greed and fanatic obsession over profits.

banderweir
banderweir

testing new avatar

holy shit, it works now

ryangcnx-2
ryangcnx-2

I will buy the Witcher 3 day 1 for sure, well, I also loved the first 2 is another reason. As soon as a release date gets announced I shall pre-order it. And hopefully they do the deal with retail again just like the Witcher 2 and the retail version will get all extra the goodies with it :)

tizmond
tizmond

This is the type of encouraging comments you hear from a developer that is run by GAMERS and not shady businessmen.

Tiago Lehuby Jordão
Tiago Lehuby Jordão

I'm glad with this and I'm not even intending on playing this game (my computer wouldn't be able to run it)

DEATH775
DEATH775

Seriously if you people want to fight piracy DRM isn't the way to go. DRM is like a double edge attack on piracy. You destroy piracy but in the process so does yourself. There is always other methods to deal with piracy. If you can't think on how, then I suggest you people quit your job and let someone else with a brain do it.

insanem0nk
insanem0nk

great developer studio. i just wish someone would make a good rpg multiplayer game, there are none out, the only one i play is Dark Souls multiplayer and even that is just an afterthought addon. theres plenty of great singleplayer rpgs, i just need 1 good multiplayer rpg, anyone got any suggestions (not MMOs, not planning to blank out 1 year of my life again lol)

ewjiml
ewjiml

CD Projekt Red is one of a dying breed of developers.  They listen to their fans.  They don't put unnecessary DRM laced games on the shelves.  They put out kick-ass games.  After playing The Witcher 2, I immediately bought Witcher 1.  Not because it was a good game but because I support them.  Even though I hated the original Witcher, I want this developer (along with Valve) to survive in this crazy world filled with Diablo 3's, and Simcity's.  The day they put online DRM on The Witcher 3 is the day I will hang up my controller....or mouse. 

Igal-Ze
Igal-Ze

This is just one reason I`ll buy Witcher 3 and never again pay for Diablo titles.

lyncer777
lyncer777

CD PROJEKT RED IS the VOICE of TRUE GAMERS!

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

Witcher 1 SPOILERS :

I think the reason why these screenshots have so much ice in them is a hint for us . Remember they mentioned about threat to humanity in their gameinformer interviews .? I think Wild Hunt is not the main threat here . I recently played EE of both Witcher 1 and 2 again and noticed very closely each and everything .

I think former Grand Master of the order in The Witcher 1 was right about Earth will turn into icy hell , he wasn't mad after all . Besides the quote in the end of The Witcher 2 EE outro "The World as we know is near to it's end , yet past remains key to the future" seems to confirm it . What you guys think .?

BTW CDPR are best devs out there .

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

Someone please give Mr. Tomaszkiewicz a medal for "getting it".
CD Project Red did what all developers and publishers should do - realize that DRM only annoys their customers and get rid of it - all of it. ("Buy -> Download -> Install -> Play, restriction free" is what it should be)

Basically Witcher 3 is already a must-buy for me and now where it's comfirmed to be DRM free, there's no doubt I'll buy it unless they majorly screw up gameplay wise, but I'm confident they won't.
Recently they also confirmed that there won't be forced-in multiplayer or QTEs in Witcher 3, so I'm basically pretty much in love with them at this point.

Wesleypipes777
Wesleypipes777

CD Projekt Red... one of the few devs that have a f*^%$#g clue and stick to their guns when they know they are right. I will gladly continue to give them my money as long as they keep it up. :)

atn98
atn98

Talk about knowing what RPG gamers and gamers in general want. I'm happy to read not all devs are slaves to MBA idiots who think market studies should drive the creative and decision process behind a game.

Silvershadoh
Silvershadoh

This dev gets it. I wish Blizzard would take a few notes from this guy.

Josiah David Tweedie
Josiah David Tweedie

Amen to that! I am so sick of signing up for Steam, Origin, Games for Windows Live... Just let me play the darn game!

Wula_
Wula_

After discovering GOG. I have stopped re-buying old favorites and newer games from steam and went over to GOG. All thanks to no DRM.


Sure I still support Steam fully(as seen with my hundreds of registered games). Just not as much when there is a DRM free version out there at the same price. Wish more companies offered DRM free products.

Rijo Abraham
Rijo Abraham

i'm not a witcher fan, but the above screenshot looks awesome.

Mroptimism
Mroptimism

I love this developer so much. These people seriously get gamers and they really do understand us. They're uncompromising in their artistic vision. I hereby solemnly swear to buy every game they release on day one. I have with The Witcher 1&2.

Andrew Richtmeyer
Andrew Richtmeyer

Yea, yeah it does. All companies should follow the no DRM and no QTE's in their games.

Enforcer246
Enforcer246

@DEATH775 The sad part is that scene groups fart on DRM. It does nothing to prevent piracy and all it ends up doing is giving legit customers a reason to turn into pirates.

179107199999
179107199999

@DEATH775  One developer just put in an unkillable monster that only comes out in pirated games

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

@insanem0nk "theres plenty of great singleplayer rpgs"

What the heck are you smoking?

There's a massive glut of MMOs that finally seems to be winding down.  

Most of the infrequent single-player RPGs are subpar and the few that really make the grade are made by this company and Bethesda...and they're not that many of them.

RoadStar1602
RoadStar1602

@insanem0nk I like Torchlight 2 a lot, though I'm not sure what this has to do with the article. Steam puts it on sale for ten bucks every few weeks.

RoadStar1602
RoadStar1602

@ewjiml It's funny you should say you bought the game even though you didn't like it because you wanted to support the developer. I bought both Witcher and Witcher 2 months ago just to support such a great developer and haven't played them. I got maybe 30 minutes into the first game but I have so many other games on my "to do" list that I haven't time for them all. Eventually I'll play the Witchers but even if I never do, it's still money well-spent.

RoadStar1602
RoadStar1602

@Igal-Ze I got burned on Diablo 3 as well, my friend. I pre-ordered, then waited in line at Gamestop at midnight to pick it up. Then I went home and installed the game and wasn't able to log in for almost 2 days because the servers weren't working. After that I was constantly frustrated by lag, server outages and downtimes for server maintenance ..for my SINGLE PLAYER GAME. Never again. I was mega-excited for Simcity, but I passed on it because of the always-on DRM. I will never again put another penny toward encouraging these game makers to shit on gamers.

RoadStar1602
RoadStar1602

@bloody-hell Well I prefer to have physical media whenever possible because 25 years from now I'll still be able to play from disc. From download? Maybe, maybe not. So I would say BUY > INSTALL FROM DISC > PLAY. But, I absolutely agree with the point you're making here. 

Darnasian
Darnasian

@Silvershadoh 

Yes , because CDP made as much much profit from TW2 as Blizzard made from D3. Really people , understand that some devs and publishers out there are in this for the money. Not for the good of gaming.

Silvershadoh
Silvershadoh

D3 would be a billion times better off without it, imo.

ewjiml
ewjiml

@Wula_  

Don't blame Steam for other companies putting their DRM garbage on their games.  They are just the messenger.  And I still enjoy playing games many years back by re-downloading them.   They were one of the first to do that. 

Darnasian
Darnasian

@gpasap 

There is a delete button for comments that you no longer need or want.

gpasap
gpasap

nevermind, i managed. haha

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

@RoadStar1602 TL 2 is my most favorite game of 2012 . I'll give it 10/10 . When I finished the game I was sad that the game should have been like 40+ bucks instead it was only 20 , that's too low for such awesome game but hey that's what makes PC different than other platforms . Better experience and cheaper games . Steam and GOG FTW !

cuddlyfuzzle
cuddlyfuzzle

@RoadStar1602 cdproject red is a developer not a humanitarian organization. giving them money for nothing will do nothing to ensure that they'll make a product you will love, in the future. reality check!

Igal-Ze
Igal-Ze

@RoadStar1602
Same story here. Even after the horrible launch the DRM issues were absolutely maddening. I have a baby boy and my free time is limited, so why do I have to wait for "server maintenance  to play my single player game?

To me this was like buying a TV and having to ask the vendors permission each time I wanted to turn it on. (while constantly providing access to my private data...)
The added security issues are just an icing on that s#!t cake. I still remember how I had to update 5-6 passwords after Blizzard got hacked. 

ryangcnx-2
ryangcnx-2

@RoadStar1602 @bloody-hell I too prefer physical media, but in the case of the enhanced edition they let me download since I owned a copy of the original Witcher 2, I just stashed the files my on 3tb external drive. Once I get my blu ray burner, I will also burn these to a disc so that way I can install them without ever having to download them again and have a hard copy in case my ext HDD ever dies. 

179107199999
179107199999

@Igal-Ze @179107199999 @DEATH775 no. It was an FPS.Its been a long time since I  seen it on EventStatus's youtube channel but that is the best way to deal with piracy. I know you're trying to be funny but 1st I don't think what you said was clever or funny.And 2nd I  am trying to be serious.Someone wants to pirate a game then make the game unplayable.

RoadStar1602
RoadStar1602

@cuddlyfuzzle @RoadStar1602 I do love their product. I love that I can buy games from them without them shitting on me. That's awesome. And, as I said, I do intend to play the games. Anyway, I choose to support a good company because it has good policies that I'd like to see other companies imitate...and how I spend my money is my business.