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CD Projekt on Piracy and DRM

An interview on PC Gamer with Marcin Iwinski is a conversation where the CD Projekt CEO comments on piracy, saying now matter how many times The Witcher 2 was pirated (which they estimate may have been as often as 4.5 million times), the game's lack of DRM was still the right call:

From the very beginning our main competitors on the market were pirates. The question was really not if company x or y had better marketing or better releases, but more like “How can we convince gamers to go and buy the legit version and not to go to a local street vendor and buy a pirated one?” We of course experimented with all available DRM/copy protection, but frankly nothing worked. Whatever we used was cracked within a day or two, massively copied and immediately available on the streets for a fraction of our price.

We did not give up, but came up with new strategy: we started offering high value with the product – like enhancing the game with additional collectors’ items like soundtracks, making-of DVDs, books, walkthroughs, etc. This, together with a long process of educating local gamers about why it makes sense to actually buy games legally, worked. And today, we have a reasonably healthy games market.

In any case, I am not saying that we have eliminated piracy or there is not piracy in the case of TW2. There is, and TW2 was [illegally] downloaded by tens of thousands of people during the first two weeks after release. Still, DRM does not work and however you would protect it, it will be cracked in no time. Plus, the DRM itself is a pain for your legal gamers – this group of honest people, who decided that your game was worth the 50 USD or Euro and went and bought it. Why would you want to make their lives more difficult?

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16. Re: CD Projekt on Piracy and DRM Nov 30, 2011, 13:38 Dev
Whoa! You mean someone understands that DRM only inconveniences legitimate customers?

Seriously, almost the only times I've had trouble with DRM is when I've purchased games and used legit copies. I used to do a lot more game "acquiring" in the past, and the DRM seldom bothered me then. Now that I get my stuff mostly from steam, DRM often causes me issues when its layered on top of steam games. My legit copies of windows bug me about calling MS when I do reinstalls, upgrades, etc (and yes, I have legit copies for each computer).

I bought a $100 student version of a math program while getting a degree, so I could be legit, and it REQUIRES the CD to be in the drive at all times, which is noisy and inconvenient in a laptop, and very impractical in a nettop. The "other" version is more fully featured and doesn't require any of that.

Anyway, I love to see developers do things like this, I liked it when stardock did similar things and offered lots of extra content in patches (the carrot instead of the stick approach) that legitimate customers could get.
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