What follows is somewhat of a rant...and somewhat of an Open Letter to Marcin Iwinski...
Frankly, I am disappointed in CDPR because this entire policy they've had up to now relative to how they handle piracy is really stupid--almost incomprehensible, in my estimation. I'll list a few reasons why I think this way...
First a disclaimer...;) I am not a software pirate-I buy the software I run--always have, and that is not about to change. IMO, there's no excuse for pirating software. I'm what's known as a "good customer"--a "loyal customer," even--and I am really sick and tired of the fact that many software companies today spend several times the energy and time on invisible, inimical, and supposedly ubiquitous software pirates as they do on customers like me. Whether it's the RIAA, the MPAA, or various software developers, the fact is that all of these entities feel entitled to use the convenient phantom of the "software pirate" as an excuse to manhandle their paying customers. I'd prefer to be treated much better than this--I'd prefer not to be insulted every time I turn around, for starters.
Does Marcin Iwinski really think that there is one living soul on this planet who is unaware of what a software pirate is and why the activities of same are harmful to software developers and game publishers? Why this constant lecturing and posing? Why the pretense of being "on board with gamers" even while he's claiming to sue bit-torrent users by way of dubious IP addresses? That activity has nothing whatever to do with being "on board with gamers"--gamers *buy* your software, Marcin. Gamers are *not* your problem. Please try and distinguish your customers from your pirates. I think you can do it if you really try.
First order of business is to own up to the fact that all of this publicity you've generated about "watching bit torrent" is melodramatic and has not been cost-effective for you in the slightest, and so you have wisely decided to drop the pretense and the sham while posing as a "friend to gamers" when the real reason you are dropping it has little to nothing to do with popular opinion (if popular opinion was ever your goal you'd never have implemented this policy in the first place.) You are dropping pursuit of these activities, assuming you ever did actually pursue them to any notable degree in the first place, because they cost you more than they net you and would have continued to do so in perpetuity. Dropping this foolishness was very wise--fibbing about your reasons for doing it is very unwise, however. It does nothing to enhance your public-relations profile. People are not so gullible--especially your *paying customers,* who are intelligent enough to have been able to amass the disposable income necessary so as to purchase your software--like me, for instance.
If piracy is a real concern of yours, though, allow me to make a couple of simple suggestions that would be immeasurably more effective that anything you have done to date:(1) Come out of the starting gate with a software MSRP
at least $10 less than the $49.95 that software developers and publishers have enshrined into a kind of religious mantra over the last 25 years. Why? You'll sell more copies. When game software MSRPs originated @$50 ~25 years ago, the entire worldwide computer market was ~2-4 million computers sold each year. Today's computer (not counting consoles) market is ~100x that size, with sales volumes approaching 400M a year. Does you a lot more good to sell 2M copies @ 39.95 than to sell 1M copies at $49.95. Do the math. The only certainty about it is that you will without question sell more copies of your software at $39.95 than you will @$49.95, and more copies at $49.95 than you will at $59.95, etc. Yet this simple point seems to elude so many. (2) Go Steamworks 100% for your next launch.
You can still sell your software through GoG, boxed retail, as well as Steam. Didn't Skyrim do exactly that--go 100% Steamworks? Their sales numbers were through the roof
as a result. I cannot believe you missed that.
If you followed the above two steps I'll wager that you would have cut down dramatically on piracy during the first critical month of sales, and that you could have done so without suing, or claiming to sue, a single bit-torrent user anywhere. I'm really baffled that I can think of these things as a paying CDPR customer--but the co-founder of CDPR apparently cannot.
But really, it all comes down to greed, doesn't it? I'll take brains over greed any day, but that's just me...;) It's greedy to, like the RIAA/MPAA, fantasize that every single pirated copy on earth is a lost sale
, is a retail customer
whom, if he could not pirate the game, would have bought it and would have paid whatever you asked him to pay for it
. That is not true--and it seems everyone except the people who would benefit most from this information already know it. Greed blinds.
Secondly, dropping the MSRP out of the starting gate means "lost money" to the greedy, because the greedy wholeheartedly believe that MSRPs are irrelevant and that just as many people would pay $49.95 as would pay $39.95--were it not for their ability to pirate software. Of course, every known law of economics disproves this lamentably erroneous theory. But that's what greed does--it blinds people.
Greed is also the main reason CDPR would not wish to do a 100% Steamworks game release--CDPR would not wish to sacrifice revenue to Steamworks. Greed makes people foam at the mouth in thinking about all that dough
slipping through their fingers. Brainpower, however, would cause a developer/publisher to look at the kind of first-month volume a Steamworks release allowed Bethesda to rack up with Skyrim, and imagine that it could just as well be his game, too, breaking all kinds of volume sales records.
My copy of Witcher 2 was purchased through Steam, btw. Software piracy is an evil that will never be entirely eradicated. Instead of opposing this reality at every turn, as is true of the RIAA/MPAA in the US, it is far more productive for companies to concentrate on how they can sell more copies of their software
! Instead of spending 50% of your time wringing your hands in frustration and weeping about "the sale that got away," (you think, maybe), far better to implement a strategy that will wind up breaking volume sales records
--as opposed to suing bit-torrent users! Bethesda had the right ideas--CDPR, unfortunately, did not. I think the sales volume numbers categorically prove it.
Seriously--I wish CDPR the best of luck as I love the Witcher games and have bought W1 and W2, as stated. I have to tell you though that all of your posturing about being "against DRM" and being a "friend of the gamer" is sounding utterly ridiculous at this point. OF COURSE you are a "gamer's friend" because the product you are selling is a GAME...;) Heh...;) I mean, what? You want it known that you are not the gamer's enemy?
Eh? Let's hope not!
Here's hoping you guys get your heads in the right place because CDPR is every bit as capable as Bethesda in creating record-breaking, jaw-dropping, sales numbers for its games! But if your head stays in the RIAA/MPAA space of "look what we're losing" (only possibly) instead of "How can we sell the most copies of our software it is possible to sell?", CDPR is unfortunately never going to get there in my opinion. Stop the condescension and start using your brains, is my sincere advice...!...;)
It is well known universally that I do not make mistakes--so, if you should happen across an error in that which I have written, please be assured that *I* did not write it!...:)