Witcher 2 developer apologizes for pay-or-else scheme

By Matthew · 26 replies
Jan 12, 2012
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  1. More than a year after announcing its legal assault against pirates of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, developer CD Projekt Red is rethinking its approach. In November 2010, the…

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  2. Rasta211

    Rasta211 TS Booster Posts: 215   +32

    I strongly support this decision and if Steam offers a good deal on their games I will have another reason to support them.
  3. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TS Enthusiast Posts: 744   +12

    Why can't developers and publishers simply shut up and accept piracy isn't going away no matter how hard you threaten or how much DRM and DLC you put in your game?

    CDPR should have even less room to talk considering their game, The Witcher 1, was pirated heavily and they made a nice profit from it anyways (I'd dare say piracy actually helped them, since people are wary of new IP's from developers they are not familiar with), then updated the game again, put it on Steam, and the sales went up again.

    You've made your throne and are probably very comfortable on it, quit complaining about those who didn't help you get up there and concentrate on the ones who did, I'm sure they help you keep it polished if you keep coming through.
  4. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    i wish they would make demos or free trials for every game that would greatly reduce piracy in multiplayer games and somewhat reduce it in single player games
  5. This is just too good to be true... a whiny game's firm that produces bad till semi-bad games apologises for chasing illegal downloaders using the infamous scheme.

    After officially buying one of their games and noticing how badIy programmed it was I really regret having not torrented it.

    I have to remind myself to never buy games from CD Projekt Red ever again.
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 5,332   +101

    Care to elaborate on what you dislike about the "badly programmed" game you played?
  7. Xasrai

    Xasrai TS Rookie


    I'm sorry to say, but your dates are out. The game was only released around May 2011. The decision to sure pirates was not made by Projekt Red until late last year, sure to a large number of downloads. This turnabout had come only a month after the decision was made, not over a year. More to the point, why does your original article have a date from that long ago?
  8. Xasrai

    Xasrai TS Rookie

    I meant sue, and then due. Is there an edit button?
  9. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 5,332   +101

    My dates are fine. The company warned many months in advance that it would pursue The Witcher 2 pirates. Click the links. Thanks for the feedback anyhow.

    As for the edit button, you can alter your post on our forum (click "Subscribe to thread" below the message box, it'll bring you to the proper forum page).
  10. @ramonsterns

    Because that would send a negative message to the PC gaming community. Who in they right mind would ever condone piracy? It's nothing but screwing hardworking developers over.

    There's nothing to apoligize here for. Chances are, most of people receiving those letters were actual pirates and CD Projekt would certainly collect more evidence before suing any innocent ones.
  11. Hard-working developers? With the big name companies, that's not really the case based on the quality of the games we've been seeing lately. All the re-hashed content, the same graphics engines, the same gameplay... None of it is new or novel or exciting. Skyrim, Call of Duty 7, Battlefield 3, it's all the same old s*** with a shiny new coat of paint and they expect us to pay top dollar for it. And then they cut some content from the game, release it later, and make us pay more money.

    Did you know that a lot of musicians actually put up torrents of their own music just to show off their new material and encourage people to buy it? THROUGH PIRACY!!! Piracy can be a gigantic help for developers if they use it correctly. Most of the people that I know who have pirated games ended up liking the games and bought a legitimate copy. People pirate things because they're unwilling to pay 50 or 60 dollars for a game and get screwed on content. You're essentially renting the game out from the developers for 50 bucks. And it's even more frustrating when the developers ask the player base what they should put into the game and then don't listen. And they still make you pay top dollar for their brand new, hot, and steaming pile. And when you buy it and hate it, there's nothing you can do except sell it back and salvage a little of your wasted money. And that's assuming you can even still sell it afterwards with DRM being how it is these days.

    When my friends downloaded a game, they weren't looking to undermine anything. They just wanted to see if what was being sold was actually worth their hard-earned money, and then deleted it immediately when they didn't like it. And if they loved it, they paid for the game and supported the company. Bear in mind that a fractional percentage of the people who own these games have actually pirated them. Companies and lobbyists love to throw around huge estimated numbers to scare people and show how big and bad the piracy phenomenon is when, actually, it is hardly even a problem. When you sell 5,000,000 copies and only 10,000 of them or so were pirated, I hardly call that a problem. That kind of number and that amount of money is a drop in the bucket for big name companies. And don't forget that, of those 10,000 people, a lot of them still ended up paying for the game once they liked what they saw.

    I will freely say that I will pirate a game to see if I like it. And if I don't, I throw it away. And if I like it, I will pay them their dues. But I will NOT stand for half-@ssed titles, 20 dollar DLC, and DRM screwing the customer.
  12. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TS Enthusiast Posts: 744   +12

    Why would anyone condone piracy by accepting that ****ing over legit customers and throwing around accusations which you can't, and will not be able to prove, is not the proper course of action?

    Piracy isn't screwing anyone over, all anyone ever talks about is how many times a game is pirated, but no one mentions how the publisher and/or developer are still sitting on their pile of money.

    Yes, pirating is bad.
    No, it's not going away.
    No, it's not alright to threaten and otherwise inconvenience your paying customers because of non-paying customers.
  13. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 855   +121

    This is counter to their statements as Witcher 2 was being released without DRM. Hypocrits... they must have invested in lawyers instead of developers because Witcher 2 blows compared to 1
  14. Oh, there is. Sending letters to peoples' houses demanding over $1,200 for a game that costs about $60 without any kind of legal agreement is not only abusive, but also criminal. And it doesn't make it any less wrong just because they "claim" to be a 100% sure. Punishment should be proportional to the crime.

    In any case, court laws exist so that situations like this can be somehow properly handled. CD Project just thought: "You know what? Let's take justice into our own hands, no one will even notice."

    Sorry, we did. And now, they're the ones apologising for childish actions
  15. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    You might want to brush up on your legal knowledge.

    I can sue you for breathing up oxygen that I want to breathe. Doesn't mean it won't get thrown out the second it crosses a judge's desk, but doesn't mean I can't do it.

    All these letters represent is "give me what I demand or I'll sue you". Its not criminal, and its not taking justice into your own hands. Its how law works. The problem is that most people don't fight these things, they just pay up or ignore it, so they never get challenged in court.
  16. Why do I hear Justin Timberlake "Too late to apologize..." song in my head?
  17. The real question is, what is illegal? downloading the game from a torrent or playing a game you didnt pay for? There is a huge difference between both, I can download the game and right away delete it from my PC, am I doing something illegal?
  18. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +113

    So basically in layman's terms, CD Projekt is saying "We f*cked up, we know we f*cked up and we do not want to be put out of business from angry customers"

    If they go out of business, it won't be because of piracy.
  19. Because you have shite taste in music..?

    Anyway... I have to agree with ramonsterns, piracy is not going away and DRM and other intrusive copy protection methods are not going to stop it.

    This is simply not about piracy, it's about stopping "sharing". By sharing I mean people installing a game several times for friends, lending the game out, or getting it from a torrent site, etc. This is what according to games publishers hurts their profits.

    Piracy is a separate issue - i.e. cracking, which to date they have not been able to solve. Every game worth cracking has been cracked and will be cracked. The developers/publishers know this, thus the "piracy" thing is merely a smoke screen - it's about milking people, mainly kids, for as much money as possible.

    The whole thing is based on the Microsoft fallacy of equating pirate copies to "lost sales". It may, with some stretch of the imagination, apply to MS, with their virtual monopoly over the "desktop gaming OS", but it certainly doesn't apply to the games industry. If someone downloads a game torrent file, it is not automatically a "lost sale" as nine times out of ten that person would never have bought the game anyway. If games companies took more opportunity to make use of bittorrent as a means of distribution and provided more real playable demos, it would get more potential customers interested - the problem with this approach is that devs have to produce quality merchandise, not just hype and fancy graphics to get the player wanting more of the same... as I said that's the problem.
  20. In layman terms darkshadoe, they will go out of business because you didn't buy the game.
  21. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TS Enthusiast Posts: 744   +12

    Downloading a NOCD crack is as illegal as downloading the game itself.
  22. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    Your right its like photo radar speeding tickets. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty. Even the photo radar tickets are more reasonable, around 200$, also they send you a letter stating if you did not use your car, who did. With open wifi connections thats hard to say.

    The obscene 1200$ charge is whats really nuts, if you stole a game from a store I doubt you'd be charged that much for a 60$ game. The funny thing is its not being taken from anywhere just copy pasted.

    What I dont like the most about it all
    No trial
    Insanely high fines
    Given their power to do this by lobbying which is legal bribes to political officials
  23. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +113

    You are right. They will go out of business if I or no one else buys the game. Illegal downloading is a whole other matter entirely.
  24. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +113

    "The obscene 1200$ charge is whats really nuts, if you stole a game from a store I doubt you'd be charged that much for a 60$ game. The funny thing is its not being taken from anywhere just copy pasted.

    What I dont like the most about it all
    No trial
    Insanely high fines
    Given their power to do this by lobbying which is legal bribes to political officials"

    Exactly why the game companies handle this civil court instead of criminally. Using the old "You would not got into a store and steal it" argument, If you actually did go into the store and steal it, depending on where you were caught, and being a first time offender, the person would probably only get a small fine and limited jail time or probation.

    Piracy is a business model for companies to capitalize. It is a scam. There has not been one AAA gaming company that has went out of business solely because of piracy and they complain about it the most.
  25. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    I'm going to guess that they weren't 100% certain on all their cases and instead of dealing with bad PR which would likely cost them more in the long run than the net gain from these individuals they decided to drop the whole thing.

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