Witcher 3 Will Try to Tax Players Who Used Money Exploits

"Have you at any time engaged in the wholesale trade of rawhide in the White Orchard area?"

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CD Projekt Red has already addressed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's infinite money exploits involving cow hides and pearls. But now, players who benefited from the get-rich-quick scheme are being approached by a local tax man who wants them to pay up. Taxes--you can't even escape them in video games.

YouTube channel WhatsMyGame posted a video that highlights the encounter. During the main Hearts of Stone mission, the Deputy Tax Enumerator from the Revenue and Customs department approaches you to discuss a "Hides & Pearls Tax." He'll ask you the following questions:

  • "Have you at any time engaged in the wholesale trade of rawhide in the White Orchard area?"
  • "During the current fiscal year, have you engaged in the acquisition of bivalves with the express intention of selling the pearls therein?"

The tax man even cites a specific statute: "Whoever purchases goods at an unseemly low price to take advantage of the seller's ignorance shall be subject to a fine equaling 200 percent of the earnings from any such transaction."

You can admit to tax evasion and pay a penalty, or you can deny any wrongdoing. Choose that option and you'll be commended by the tax man; he'll even give you a "Taxpayer in Good Standing" diploma, which he recommends you frame and hang in honor.

The cowhide exploit involved killing cows and collecting their hides. Players quickly discovered that if they mediated for a certain period of time, cows in one early area of the game would respawn every time they woke up. Thus, players could stock up on cow hides to their heart's content and then sell them for a nice fee. CD Projekt Red addressed this by deploying the Bovine Defense Force Initiative, which took the form of a hulking, ultra-powerful nasty monster who kills anyone trying to cash in.

The Witcher 3's first paid expansion, Hearts of Stone, arrived this week. GameSpot scored it a 9/10. The next add-on, Blood and Wine, is coming sometime in the first half of 2016. This is a somewhat wider window than before, as it was originally announced for a Q1 2016 release.

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