There's nothing that PC gamers hate more than restrictive anti-piracy measures (and bad console ports), so it will be welcome news that CD Projekt Red are completely ditching DRM for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The developer posted an open letter on their blog today to say "loud and clear" that the upcoming game will feature no DRM whatsoever in the GOG.com and retail boxed copies of the game.
For users of Steam, CD Projekt Red states that The Witcher 3 will still be available through the game distribution platform, however it will include mandatory Steam authentication measures. Despite this fact, the company stressed that "where CDPR does have control — like GOG.com — there will be absolutely no DRM", giving gamers a DRM-free option if they choose.
This announcement follows CD Projekt Red's push away from DRM in recent years. The Witcher 2 was available without DRM through certain online storefronts, and GOG.com, which is owned by the developer, offers several hundred older games without any DRM. The Witcher 3 is their first title to be available in retail boxed copies sans-DRM.
Anti-piracy measures have been largely unsuccessful at curbing PC game piracy, with almost every DRM-protected game seeing a workaround or 'crack' developed within hours of the game's release. Even the most intrusive and user-unfriendly measures, such as Ubisoft's infamous always-online DRM for titles like Assassin's Creed II, have been cracked in relatively short amounts of time, leaving legitimate gamers with the hassles of the protection system without any benefits to publishers.
Luckily, many companies have scaled back their DRM efforts in the past few years, and PC gamers are generally happy with using platforms such as Steam despite its anti-piracy measures. CD Projekt Red continues to be at the forefront of anti-DRM movements, shown here by the lack of DRM in The Witcher 3.
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