Splendid: CD Projekt To Stop Legal Threats

By John Walker on January 12th, 2012 at 3:43 pm.

He didn't pirate it, despite appearances.

Absolutely fantastic news. In December, the usually admired CD Projekt RED came under considerable fire for employing a law firm to pursue alleged pirates and demand large sums of money. The practice, which is designed to scare people into paying a considerable sum (around €750) to avoid having to go to court and potentially pay tens of thousands plus, has been viewed extremely dimly by many. Compared to blackmail, seemingly avoiding a legal process requiring proof of guilt, and with obvious huge potential for targeting the wrong individuals, it’s a practice RPS is strongly against, as we pleaded to CDP last month. We’re absolutely delighted to report that the company is to cease all such actions.

CDP have issued a statement in which they make it absolutely clear that this does not endorse or support piracy in any form, and they stress that they believe piracy is still causing them harm. They also insist that no one has been incorrectly contacted. But they also recognise that it has caused a great deal of consternation amongst their customers, and has damaged trust. It’s something they’re addressing by listening to the response, and immediately ceasing the practice.

I’m delighted by this news. It’s proof that it’s always worth making your opinions heard, and it’s an excellent example of a company with the humility to change their minds. Here’s their statement in full:

An Open Letter to the Gaming Community from CD Projekt RED

In early December, an article was published about a law firm acting on behalf of CD Projekt RED, contacting individuals who had downloaded The Witcher 2 illegally and seeking financial compensation for copyright infringement. The news about our decision to combat piracy directly, instead of with DRM, spread quickly and with it came a number of concerns from the community. Repeatedly, gamers just like you have said that our methods might wrongly accuse people who have never violated our copyright and expressed serious concern about our actions.

Being part of a community is a give-and-take process. We only succeed because you have faith in us, and we have worked hard over the years to build up that trust. We were sorry to see that many gamers felt that our actions didn’t respect the faith that they have put into CD Projekt RED. Our fans always have been and remain our greatest concern, and we pride ourselves on the fact that you all know that we listen to you and take your opinions to heart. While we are confident that no one who legally owns one of our games has been required to compensate us for copyright infringement, we value our fans, our supporters, and our community too highly to take the chance that we might ever falsely accuse even one individual.

So we’ve decided that we will immediately cease identifying and contacting pirates.

Let’s make this clear: we don’t support piracy. It hurts us, the developers. It hurts the industry as a whole. Though we are staunch opponents of DRM because we don’t believe it has any effect on reducing piracy, we still do not condone copying games illegally. We’re doing our part to keep our relationship with you, our gaming audience, a positive one. We’ve heard your concerns, listened to your voices, and we’re responding to them. But you need to help us and do your part: don’t be indifferent to piracy. If you see a friend playing an illegal copy of a game–any game–tell your friend that they’re undermining the possible success of the developer who created the very game that they are enjoying. Unless you support the developers who make the games you play, unless you pay for those games, we won’t be able to produce new excellent titles for you.

Keep on playing,

Marcin Iwinski
co-founder
CD Projekt RED

__________________

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242 Comments »

  1. Meat Circus says:

    Well, good for them, despite the fact they’re still falling for the same tired old fallacy every other muddle-brained pigopolist has dribbled incorrectly about piracy since ever.

    • Chibithor says:

      That it undermines possible success?

    • Calneon says:

      Piracy hurts developers. It’s a fact. Of course not every pirated copy means a lost sale, but a small fraction of pirates would pay the cost (or wait for a sale) if piracy was not an option, that’s not arguable.

    • Colthor says:

      The last sentence is exactly spot on as to why you shouldn’t pirate things you like, though.

      Anyway, this is good news, so hurrah!

    • Xerian says:

      Its not incorrect whatsoever, in this case. They’re not overstating it like almost every other major publisher and / or dev out there. They’re stating that its undermining possible success, which it is.
      I’d rather they poked a few pirates here and there with a red-hot firepoker instead of letting DRM hurt those whom arent pirating. (Cause they realise that DRM hardly stops any pirates, which is a good thing, cause else their games could easily be DRM’d beyond playability. (See: Many Ubi games. And perhaps Diablo III soon.))

    • flib says:

      @Calneon:
      A small fraction of “pirates” would never have purchased some games if they couldn’t try them first.

      For example: I just bought Assassin’s Creed: Revelations after testing it for a short while. I wouldn’t have wasted my money on it otherwise, because of Ubisoft’s track record of shitty ports.

    • Barrow says:

      flib, I’m right there with you. There have been numerous games in the past that I wouldn’t have shelled a dime for, which turned into full-price purchases due to the availability of a “full-length demo” to try first. While I no longer pirate due to laziness coupled with the ease of digital distribution, I probably ended up spending more money supporting the games I enjoyed over the course of my pirate-phase than I ever would have without piracy.

    • Thirith says:

      @flib and barrow: Anecdotal evidence (“Well, *I* do this!”) aside, just because you do it like that, do you think that you’re in a majority or in a minority with that behaviour? If people can get something for free with little effort, do you think a *considerable* number of them is likely afterwards to go and buy that same product if they liked it?

    • flib says:

      @Thirith: Yes.

    • Keirley says:

      @ Calneon

      Please don’t say ‘It’s a fact’ when something isn’t a fact. You can say that piracy definitely prevents at least some people from buying a legitimate copy of the game, but unless it’s been proven (and it hasn’t) that this outweighs the potential positive impact of piracy (more people trying out more games with the possibility of legitimate purchase as a result) then you can’t say the statement ‘Piracy hurts developers’ is a fact.

      You may be right – piracy may have more of a negative effect than a positive effect on developers. Just don’t assert that something is a fact when it in fact is not. It’s annoying.

    • Vizari says:

      It is more complicated than “lost sales” or “no lost sales”.

      It will largely depends on DRM and how good the game is.
      I bet The Witcher 2 found themselves plenty of bought copies after being pirated. People consider the company respectable, the game good, and without the inclusion of DRM they have no valid excuse to not buy it if they have the available money.

      Spore, for example, saw massive amounts of pirating. Many hated the drm and even hated the game, but simply pirated to take a stance. A lot of negative publicity. Had the game not been pirated so quickly then a lot more people would have bought it, as it was highly anticipated.

      Dungeon Siege 3, no idea on the piracy numbers on that. But it’s a crappy console port that left a lot of people disappointed. If it wasn’t for the demo that already turned a lot of people away from buying the game, or even canceling their pre-order, piracy would have done a similar thing.

      All in all, I think piracy mostly hurts sales on crap games.

    • nfire3 says:

      Even though they probally would not have bought it in the first place, why are they pirating it now?
      Just because you want to test the game out before you buy it and it doesn’t have a demo doesn’t give people the right to pirate it. It’s the same for any other medium, you don’t go sneak in a movie to watch the whole thing before deciding weather or not to buy the movie ticket an watch it.

      It counts as a lost sale because even though they weren’t going to buy the game they would have first had to purchase the game to find out if it sucked or not or was not worth their money.

      @Keirley

      Yes it is a fact, if the developers do not want people to test the game out before they buy it, that’s their right and people should not be pirating for that reason.

      If a car dealership doesn’t offer the option for a person to test drive the car before they buy, then you shouldn’t break in and steal the car off the lot and test drive it.

      Also it is good of them for going after pirates, if they screw up and accuse a innocent gamer then they get sued it’s that simple.

    • flib says:

      @nfire3
      “Even though they probally would not have bought it in the first place, why are they pirating it now?
      Just because you want to test the game out before you buy it and it doesn’t have a demo doesn’t give people the right to pirate it. It’s the same for any other medium, you don’t go sneak in a movie to watch the whole thing before deciding weather or not to buy the movie ticket an watch it.

      It counts as a lost sale because even though they weren’t going to buy the game they would have first had to purchase the game to find out if it sucked or not or was not worth their money.”
      That’s the beauty of it: they don’t have to give me the right; I’m seizing the right to try something before I waste money on it. Damn right it’s a lost sale if I decide that I don’t want to waste my money on Dead Island.
      (Actually, I did end up wasting my money on it and remembered why I should testdrive my games before I buy them. Steam support was kind enough to credit me back for it, though.)

      “@Keirley

      Yes it is a fact, if the developers do not want people to test the game out before they buy it, that’s their right and people should not be pirating for that reason.

      If a car dealership doesn’t offer the option for a person to test drive the car before they buy, then you shouldn’t break in and steal the car off the lot and test drive it.”
      If they don’t want people to try their game/car before dropping fullprice for it, then I’ve gotta wonder what’s wrong with it! Why would I pay for a game/car without making sure it actually starts first? (especially a car)

      “Also it is good of them for going after pirates, if they screw up and accuse a innocent gamer then they get sued it’s that simple.”Yep, simple as that. There’s no way it could be more complicated.

    • Keirley says:

      @ nfire3

      I don’t understand how the developers not wanting me to test-drive a game before I purchase it somehow means I’m harming the developer when I do so, especially when I haven’t taken anything from them (it’s not like I’m even using their bandwidth by downloading the pirated copy from the developer’s site).

      That’s all hypothetical. I don’t pirate games at all, but I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with someone pirating a game to test it out before a purchase.

      -GAHH- Please stop just asserting that things are facts. That is not how arguments work.

    • jrodman says:

      Don’t assume.

      With music, it’s more or less been found that the largest pirates are the largest customers. The data strongly suggests that piracy often *leads to* sales.

      That could be *interpreted* to mean that piracy helps the publishers of content.

      Maybe game piracy works like this too. It’s not clear. why not do some studies to figure it out?

    • Ritashi says:

      Piracy undermines the entire gaming industry, for the simple reason that it undermines the whole concept of copyright. Games are a creative work – making the first copy of a game is where all of the effort, money, and skill come into play. Making additional copies in this day and age is so close to free that it can be considered such (referring to digital copies, of course – although a copy on any medium is still ridiculously cheaper than developing a game, obviously). The reason copyright exists is so that the people who put all of the time, skill, and money into actually developing the game also control the right to copy their game, and therefore they can sell these later copies at a much higher price than they directly cost them, thus offsetting the cost of the original development. It’s the same way all easily copy-able creative products, such as books, are profitable, without needing a patron to pay for the development like in the past. It really doesn’t matter whether piracy does or doesn’t reduce or increase sales – it still undermines the fundamental principle allowing games to be profitable. I understand the reasoning of pirating a game for a demo of it. It seems totally reasonable – you want to be sure you like a game before you buy it. On the surface, it’s similar to playing your friend’s copy of a game to try it out. And there’s nothing wrong with that – I believe that games on some level ought to be considered a good that we own, just like a book, and that we should have the right to lend or sell our games as we please. But there’s a significant difference between loaning a book to a friend and photocopying it and sending it to that friend. In the first case, you are temporarily allowing a friend to use a good you own. But in the second, you have created a new copy of that good, and have given that to your friend while keeping your own copy for yourself. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong about that, but that situation is exactly why the whole idea of a copyright came into existence. Because suddenly you have created a new creative good which you did not develop, and the author has received nothing from this. Breaking away from the example, now. It doesn’t matter what you think developers should be doing in terms of distributing their game. It doesn’t matter if you think their game would sell better if they released a free copy of the game alongside the purchased one. It doesn’t matter if you really want to buy it, but just want to try it first. It doesn’t matter if you bought 500 copies of the game after pirating it. Because you do not have the right to decide how the game should be distributed – the developers do. That’s what this whole issue ultimately comes down to. It isn’t about the money, not directly. It’s about rights. Ultimately those rights exist for reasons of money, but you cannot defend piracy without attacking the validity of those rights on all levels, because if they can be ignored in one case they can be ignored in all cases.

      TL;DR – The issue of whether piracy is ok is about rights, not money.

      Also, this doesn’t mean I support the practice of shaking down suspected pirates for money. Punishment is for a court of law, not the whim of a frustrated developer. I also don’t support DRM (although personally I don’t mind it too much), because it’s not useful.

    • nfire3 says:

      Ok yes there is a need for every game to either have a trial or a demo.

      I guess it’s ok to pirate it to test it out but, then you have the FULL game and thus why would you pay money for it.

      Also if CD Projekt can 100% prove that the person is pirating the game then it’s fine if they go after the person.

      But, I still stand by my argument that if the only way to play the game was to buy it and you circumvented that and pirated it then it would be a lost sale. There is no “well I would not have bought it anyway” or personal preference, you have the full game with paying for it and it was a lost sale.

      When you go to the developer and publisher of the game you want to play/buy they decide what you do with it. If they do not want you to try it out first, that is there right. YOU have to oblige by that and if you do not like the practice of their not having a trial then don’t buy the game. If you do not want to take the chance that it is a bad game and a waste of money then don’t buy it.

    • Keirley says:

      @nfire3

      “I guess it’s ok to pirate it to test it out but, then you have the FULL game and thus why would you pay money for it.”

      Because a lot of people are more than willing to pay money for something they enjoyed, even if they don’t need to. It’s why the guy who made Dwarf Fortress can make something of a living despite giving his game away for free – people will often pay, and actively seek to pay, for things that they gain value from.

      You could just as easily ask – ‘why do so many people buy games when they could pirate them easily with little risk?’ and though a lot of people don’t pirate because it’s easier to purchase a lot don’t do so because they simply want to support the developer/author/director/etc.

      The same applies to people who pirate to try something out – many will want to pay if they enjoyed it even if they don’t need to.

    • flib says:

      @nfire3:
      “I guess it’s ok to pirate it to test it out but, then you have the FULL game and thus why would you pay money for it. “
      Because when I like something, I want to own it.

      “But, I still stand by my argument that if the only way to play the game was to buy it and you circumvented that and pirated it then it would be a lost sale. There is no “well I would not have bought it anyway” or personal preference, you have the full game with paying for it and it was a lost sale.”
      It’s only a lost sale if I decide not to buy it. In that case, it probably means that it’s something so bad that I don’t want to play it anymore, so I definitely wouldn’t reward them with money.

      “When you go to the developer and publisher of the game you want to play/buy they decide what you do with it. If they do not want you to try it out first, that is there right. YOU have to oblige by that and if you do not like the practice of their not having a trial then don’t buy the game. If you do not want to take the chance that it is a bad game and a waste of money then don’t buy it.”
      I don’t accept that. I won’t accept that I have to gamble with my money when I buy a game. I refuse to support companies that implement illicit practices. (draconian DRM, shitty ports, etc)

      @Ritashi:
      I don’t give a shit about their rights as long as they continue to ignore mine.

    • sogeking99 says:

      They absolutely deserve compensation form the pirates. They make the Witcher 2 DRM free and are repaid by been one of the most pirated game of the year. Why the hell can’t they get some compensation? These bloody pirates are the reason developers steer away from PCs, or at the least delay games to avoid piracy during launch.

    • nfire3 says:

      Whatever, I am just trying to give developer/publisher more rights to their own game and to give them control over the distribution of their game

    • Kaira- says:

      @flib
      “I don’t give a shit about their rights as long as they continue to ignore mine.”

      So, what legally given rights of yours they aren’t respecting? As it happens, none of us are entitled to demo. Sad but true.

    • Kent says:

      I think you put far too much faith into the court system. You can’t just ‘sue’ a PC game developer in Poland for blackmailing you cash. Why? Because it’s not a crime in most first world countries. It would be a really tough case if that were to happen to someone unjustly.

      Also, I don’t think there should be legal consequences for distributing intellectual property or at least that the current laws should be rewritten. In D&D you can barely take source material from the books and publish them online because that would break these copyright laws. Only problem is that you cannot play real, standard D&D on open sources that way. That is a case of copyright going too far.

      Another problem with DRM in general is that you’re not allowed to buy stuff for the household, but only for yourself personally. That’s a way the pubs and devs are controlling the distribution in a bad way – only to increase sales. If you got a copy of a game, a license if you will… you should always be allowed to do what you want with it, because it’s your product now. Steam doesn’t allow that just for the sake of minimizing pirate threats. That’s a violation of intellectual property that millions of users are suffering every day. I think that pirating these types of games should be done as part of rebellion against violation of our right of property. And don’t come with any bullshit about user agreements. There’s no agreement. It’s just steam saying that I cannot sell my shit if I buy them there which is just like buying a car that you cannot take any passengers in and need to take back to the carshop… or risk legal threat.

      Thank you Capitalism.

    • Ritashi says:

      @flib:
      “That’s the beauty of it: they don’t have to give me the right; I’m seizing the right to try something before I waste money on it.”

      First, let me preface this by saying that you do not have a right to “try before you buy”. You do have a right to receive a product you pay for, as advertised – so if you bought SW:ToR but it turns out they gave you Bejeweled 3, you have a right to recompense. Try before you buy is intelligent consumer practice, but not a consumer right, and as such no one is required to give you the ability to follow that practice. If they don’t, it is entirely your right not to buy their product. No one is forcing you to buy anything before trying it – you can easily not buy it.

      So, might makes right, if you can do something then it doesn’t matter if you have a right to do it? I just want to point out how terrible that argument sounds, and also bring up exactly what it is you are claiming. You are claiming that because you have the power to do something (pirate a game) and it benefits you to do it, even if it might trod on someone else’s rights (the developer’s copyright), you are fine with just going ahead and doing it. This goes beyond piracy – such an assertion challenges the foundations of a rights-based society (what today we like to call “Democracy”, even though that’s a bit of a misnomer). Which is fine, and you are more than free to challenge those foundations – just be aware of what you are saying. Just because something is in your best interests does not by default make it acceptable under the ideological foundations of most civilized society, particularly western democracy.

      “If they don’t want people to try their game/car before dropping fullprice for it, then I’ve gotta wonder what’s wrong with it! Why would I pay for a game/car without making sure it actually starts first? (especially a car)”

      If you think something may be wrong with a product you are considering purchasing, or rather that you don’t think it will be something you enjoy (getting to the other case in a moment) – then don’t buy it. If you are suspicious of whether a product is really quite as good as it’s made out to be, don’t buy it without testing it out first – by which I mean, if they won’t let you test it, then don’t buy it at all.

      If a product actually does not work as you were told it would, you have the right to get your money back. If the car doesn’t start when you were told it would that is fraud, and punishable by law at least in America (I’m not familiar with European laws, but I suspect there are similar consumer protection laws there). If you are buying a car from a shady dealer, you are free to demand to test it out or walk out, and usually they’ll oblige you. But if they don’t, you don’t get to try it out anyway. You leave, and they don’t get your money – you go to a competitor whose business practices you like better.

      In summary: If you aren’t sure about a purchase, your options are buy it anyway, negotiate with the other party, or don’t buy it. You have no right to an informed purchase of a game, but you have every right not to buy something you don’t believe you have enough information about. If a developer loses your business by not giving you a free demo, then you have just utilized your power as a consumer, and if enough people didn’t buy a game for that reason then you’ve just shown a developer that they’re an idiot. But if you go and pirate it, you are claiming that your desire to play a game is more important than the developer’s right to control the distribution of, and thereby profit from, their game. It doesn’t matter if you buy it later. It doesn’t matter if you get 200 friends to buy it because you pirated it once. You claim that not allowing people to download their game for free is stupid practice by a developer – if they would make more money that way, then that’s what they should do. And if they wouldn’t then they shouldn’t. But either way, it’s their call – they are free to squander opportunities to turn a profit if they choose, and you have no right to go around their decision.

      EDIT:
      “@Ritashi:
      I don’t give a shit about their rights as long as they continue to ignore mine.”

      What right, what possible right, could you think they are ignoring? NO ONE is forcing you to spend your money on anything. The game developer is making you an offer – they will give you a copy of their game (I’m not getting into licensing and whatnot, I hate most of that idea, games in general ought to be considered a good, imo, but that’s offtopic) in exchange for some amount of money (usually). They may try to entice you with advertising, showing their product off in the best light, they may give you a demo to try it, they may not, they may offer some extra, like a map or whatever, they may not, they may train a monkey to do backflips to try and convince you to buy their game. But, no matter what they do, you as the consumer have the final say. You decide yes you can have my money, or no you can’t. That is your right.

    • IDtenT says:

      @Thirith. It’s not anecdotal. There’s been past papers on this. Including a recent one commissioned by the Swiss government to see if it’s worth it to police shared media.

    • HothMonster says:

      I am in no mood to involve myself in another one of these but I must say, this has been one of the most adult piracy/anti-piracy threads I have seen on the internet in a long time. Bravo

      When this first came around I made some comments about how piracy has ups and downs and until both sides honestly weigh both of these against each other we will never know if piracy really hurts developers or if is actually leading to more sales. But of course both sides are overly childish and keep repeating proven falsehoods and this will never get us anywhere. So of course I was called a pirate fuck.

    • Wulf says:

      Oooh… I think I know what Mr. Circus is talking about, but I wouldn’t have put it nearly so harshly.

      It’s that piracy exists as an immutable force – it’s human nature. No methods to combat piracy are ever going to work, because at this time it’s impossible to actually track the thief, and the attempt to do so would be so pervasive it would be grossly abhorrent and it would make a negative impact upon our quality of life, collectively. Since the only answer to this is omnipresent monitoring. No one wants that.

      At the same time, you can’t stop the pirates. Again, at the same time, what does stopping the pirates do? Questions come to mind, here: Has Ubisoft really seen an increase in sales? They did so much to stop piracy, but at the end of the day, they failed. They failed so hard that they’ve given up on their DRM for a number of games (as is my understanding). They made the most earnest attempt to attack piracy, but it just wasn’t going to work.

      People who want to pirate are going to pirate. People who want to pay are going to pay. And I genuinely believe that these two are mutually exclusive. If a person doesn’t want to pay for something then they’ll get their hands on it one way or another or they’ll just ignore the product. If you want to pay, then you’re going to pay. We all recognise what paying does – it supports the development of future games that we like. It also means, in general, less buggy games, and the ability to redownload a game at any time in the future without worry. So by offering a better service than piracy, you can convert people from the sort who’d only pirate things, to the sort who’d pay.

      I mean, before ComiXology, I used to pirate comic books. I won’t lie about it. I did. It was a thing that I did. This was because it was ridiculously hard for me to get certain comic books. And it involved me going out frequently, which I don’t like doing. I’m not physically healthy, not at all, and not just in common ways, either. Usually, people with sharp elbows in crowds don’t give a shit about that, so I don’t like going out much. And it’s hard to get people to travel to the nearest comic book shop, which is tens of miles away, just to pick up some comics. And even then, the smaller comic book shops that could be considered ‘local’ often don’t carry what I want.

      However, ComiXology came along. It’s like Steam for comics, and now I buy a hell of a lot of comics. I’m also more than happy to support more indie efforts, like Atomic Robo. (Atomic Robo is amazing. Check it out sometime.) And that’s where you can convert people. If you can provide a service which is relevant to them, then you can convert some people from the ‘pirate only’ to ‘purchase only’ fields, and Valve holds that view. Valve have also said that they’ve enjoyed a great amount of success, and I’ll bet you that Portal 2 sold really, really well.

      Another thing is is that there’s so much dross out there that people might just not be interested in buying it. An example? I feel that after the first game, the Assassin’s Creed series degenerated into dross. Even if it wasn’t for the DRM, I wouldn’t have picked it up anyway. I got a chance to play it on a console, and frankly, each one was more terrible and corny than the last. There is a lot of dross out there. Mainstream dross, and even indie dross. Now sales lost there are attributed to piracy, but no, I’m sorry, the games are just fairly crap. Either that, or you’re not marketing them properly at the correct demographics.

      See, there is the logic that every pirated game is a lost sale, and that’s fine. I won’t dispute that. THINK before hitting reply – I’m not disputing this. But what I will say is that there are a number of developers and publishers who believe that every instance of poorly selling games is down to piracy, so every lost sale that occurs is because of piracy. Your game only sold thousands rather than over a million? PIRACY! Your game had a bad launch week? PIRACY! Your game went completely unnoticed? PIRACY! I hope you can understand why this is a problem.

      There are rules, here.

      1. Be invested in making a game, be passionate about it, love your game, and make a truly grand game. If you can’t do that, then don’t expect grand sales.
      2. Focus on a certain demographic, the more you aim at the lowest common denominator, the worse your game is going to inevitably be.
      3. Market the game aggressively at that demographic so that they know it exists.
      4. Provide the game via methods which are considered services, not balls-and-chains. (Gamer’s Gate and Steam, rather than UbiPlay and GfWL.)
      5. Consider the price-point of your audience. Sales, offers, and promotions may help you.
      6. Addendum to the above: Price your game after launch based upon critical and public acclaim.

      Really, the value of simply ‘a good game,’ and correct focuses on demographics and marketing towards them cant be understated. Can’t afford an expensive marketing studio to do some mass media brainwashing for you, so that even the worst of dross will sell (Modern Warfare 3 et al)? Then take those points to heart.

      Demographics are stupidly important, too. Hand your games out to people related to the demographics that you want to notice your shit. One example here (and I am tempted to poke them about this) is Shadow Era. I recently discovered Shadow Era solely because of TB’s WTF of it. And it was seeing a werewolf in the midsts of it that caught my attention. Had I known from the outset that I could play as a Wulven hero in Shadow Era, then I would have been all over that.

      And there’s a thing. A few mails shot off to the likes of Werewolf News and the Werewolf Cafe would likely result in a few hundred more players at least. A main page article on RPS would likely result in the same (hitting on the gaming/card demographic). I only discovered Shadow Era completely by chance, and that’s a shame, because I’ve fallen completely in love with it. It’s a brilliant little thing, and addictive. I like it so much that I’ve even thrown my money into the ring to get some of their physical cards. I really dig the art of their cards, so I’m up for that.

      But it’s sad that sometimes it’s just word of mouth. I mean, the other day I saw someone mention Dawn’s Light, that was the first time I’d heard of that, and I’m sure that there are lots of games like this. One more example? Rochard. That it hasn’t had barely any coverage on RPS is a crying shame, since the consensus about it on the forums is that it’s an incredibly fantastic game that comes pretty damned close to the charm and wonder of portal, and that it has the best use of anti-gravity one could see in a game. And yet it’s barely been mentioned. That is a bloody shame.

      Sometimes I wish that there was a site dedicated to digging out strange games and highlighting them for people to see. Sort of akin to what TB does, but in the format of RPS. Just to get the eyes of people on stuff like this. I’ve come to follow TB religiously now BECAUSE he finds all this weird stuff that I’ve never heard of. And it’s often incredibly good stuff, too! You see the problem here, right?

      Piracy as a problem is a myth, it’s just a phenomenon, but not a problem. The problem is people either not being passionate about the games they’re making, not marketing them properly, not understanding their audience, or creating games that there’s not a viable enough demographic of people who’d want to play it. The list above, essentially. These are far, far more pressing issues than piracy.

      So really…

      ROCHARD DEVS, SHADOW ERA DEVS, TALK TO PEOPLE DAMN YOU. I mean, your games could really use some publicity, pester the likes of RPS and any other sites you think MIGHT have an interest to post about you! Do it! And be vigilant, try to get your name out there as much as possible. And this goes for any dev who feels that the game they’ve put so much love and effort into just isn’t doing so great.

    • vagabond says:

      Copyright is a limited time right, granted by society, to the creator of a work to allow them to profit from the creation of that work, yes?

      If it is the case that 9 out of every 10 copies of a game is pirated, as reported by some developers, or the ~5 in 6 reported for the witcher 2, then surely the inescapable conclusion is that the overwhelming majority of society have looked at the current state of copyright and decided that greedy rent seeking corporations have abused the political process to ensure a never ending lock on the creative works of others, and have engineered a situation where the vast bulk of the profits do not end up in the hands of those creators.

      Faced with the impossibility of a single issue grass roots political movement not only winning against lobbying by wealthy and powerful corporations who stand to lose substantial profits, but also needing to overturn something that is locked in by virtue of being in International Treaties, they have decided to simply ignore copyright law.

      Based on a lack of support from 80-90% of the population copyright law, as it currently stands, no longer has any moral standing whatsoever, regardless of its legal status.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Fallacy? I don’t see any fallacy in what they’re saying. The effects of piracy are not well known, but it’s a perfectly reasonable assumption to think that a fraction of egotistic people who really want to play the game would pay for it if they had no other way of getting it. They have the money, since they can buy a beefy system capable of running The Witcher 2.

      To see for yourself a sample of the immature egotists I’m referring to, go suggest on the Pirate Bay torrent page of any popular game that people should pay for the game.

      CDP are spot on in saying that the key is education: there’s a real danger that a majority of users start considering software as a free commodity, and start spending their limited entertainment budget on something else they can’t get for free (like hardware, MMO subscriptions, multiplayer games, movie tickets, etc.). This doesn’t really have an impact on the economy overall, as a recent study by the Swiss government showed, but it *does* have an impact on the games industry. This is why we must constantly strive to educate people to support the games, music, movie, etc. creators they appreciate, otherwise such content will slowly die off.

      @vagabond I think your argument is correct: the last thing the corporations want is a referendum on piracy. Current copyright is definitely not democratic anymore. However, people do enjoy their multi-million TV shows, movies, games and stuff, and I think most of them don’t think of the issue as deep as we do. Most people would need to see the effects of a copyrightless world to decide if they really like it, and I bet most of those valued medias would disappear at first in such a world, until users realize they need to voluntarily shell out money if they want that content to exist.

    • vagabond says:

      Oh certainly some stuff would have to go, but then, I’m not convinced that those multi-million dollar blockbusters actually cost near as much to make as Hollywood accounting would have us believe.

      And anything that does away with the current situation where marketing spend seems to convert directly into profit regardless of the actual quality of the game in question has got to be a good thing, so if we lose the AAA market, I’ll be sad, but I suspect not for too long.

    • canonfodder says:

      Ok firstly. At work and could not afford the time to read every single response. Holy Zombie Jesus there were a lot of words.

      My own 2 cents, 5 people at work actively pirate games and then ask me why I would buy them when I can get them for free. These are games ranging from Minecraft through to CoD, these people don’t ever intend to buy them unless they are on a console and they can’t be bothered getting it cracked. They don’t play Cod Multiplayer cause they have cracked versions (whether I reccomend they play multiplayer is not the point :P )

      I have pirated games in the past and I do intend to buy most of the games I have pirated, others (Spore for example, from way back) I never will buy because they are games not worth my time.

      So for every person who says they pirate and then buy there are at least 5 (in my case) that question why I would buy something when I can get it for free. (and they use bittorrent which then helps others like them pirate…. so you know)

      #Side note.
      I also have several closer friends who used to pirate (when we were all 13-14 years old) and who know only buy games, mainly through steam sometimes through GOG, so I suppose there is both sides.

      tl;dr about 50% of my friendship groups pirate and don’t intend to buy said games.

    • piwgfsya says:

      You do realize when you buy a used game, none of the money you spend on it goes to the developer; not a penny. The money goes to the person who is selling the game and to any middle-man involved in the transaction. The developer receives money when the game is first purchased and never again after that (excluding DLC and the like). http://zxc9.com/yKs101

    • Ritashi says:

      @vagabond
      First, don’t try that whole discontent of the masses thing – even if 90% of all copies of all games were pirated, that’s still only 90% of people who buy games, which isn’t necessarily that large a percentage of the population as a whole. And you forgot to mention that many of those same people probably read books that they bought, and watch TV, and read sites like RPS. All of which are examples of them holding to the idea that copyright matters. Just because someone pirates a game does not mean that they actually want a world without copyright – it just means that they are either too stupid to understand the consequences, or too self-centered to care. There is the rare exception, like you apparently, that apparently takes an ideological stand against copyright, and believes that developers should only be paid whatever people choose to, whenever they choose to. I promise you that you are the exception. Most are simply selfish, and the more intelligent selfish ones of those are fully aware of the potential consequences of their actions, but also know that so long as other people pay they will be fine. Those more intelligent selfish ones at least would certainly not want to get rid of copyright altogether, because then no one would pay, and we would only get games from people who could afford to make them in their spare time or from developers sponsored by some patron.

      I honestly want to know how on earth you believe that copyright law means that
      “[...]greedy rent seeking corporations have abused the political process to ensure a never ending lock on the creative works of others, and have engineered a situation where the vast bulk of the profits do not end up in the hands of those creators.”
      Seriously, I want to know. Because I don’t recall anything in copyright law that involves publishers. (I assume that MUST be what you mean by “greedy rent seeking corporations”… I still don’t know what you mean by that phrase. “greedy” is something that applies to EVERYONE, including you, and if you’re mad that companies make money then I suggest you move to a country that doesn’t support capitalism. “rent seeking” I have no idea what you were trying to say there.) Developers of creative works CHOOSE to give the copyright to the publisher, in exchange for the money to fund such work. But there is no “engineered[...] situation” which forces any developer to use a publisher’s money. I direct you to Minecraft, and the entire field of independent games which use a variety of methods to gather the funding they need for their development. Your entire post is a misguided attempt to blame some big bad corporation for why you pirate things. There are plenty of problems with capitalism, but the point you foolishly try to raise is actually an example of capitalism working perfectly alongside copyright law.

      Even if you were correct (which you certainly are not) that a huge majority of people are ignoring the law (not protesting the law, or protesting by ignoring, but quietly ignoring it because it benefits them to) this does not remove any moral status it may have had. And I don’t even care about the supposed “morality” of it, I care about the extremely practical issue of rights – unless you want to say that no one has any rights unless the majority gives it to them. And these rights are critical to the existence and distribution of games. I like games, you know.

      Marketing spending converting directly to profit (I’d like to see you try to prove that one, but because it doesn’t matter I’ll just assume that you are absolutely right and that there is irrefutable evidence that the amount of money spent on marketing is the primary factor in the profitability of a game) has nothing to do with copyrights. All that means is that the majority of consumers of games (us, gamers) are idiots. If we really only care about marketing, then most gamers are just too stupid to determine what a good game is and go and play those. Copyright has nothing to do with it. If you get rid of copyright then yes you will no longer get high production value games. You will no longer get any games that right now are developed by anyone as a job. You will only get whatever someone can put together in between working on some other job because they can’t make any money off of the games they create, no matter how good they are. Sure you won’t see any marketing for games anymore. But that’s because you won’t see any games anymore.

      In conclusion: try to avoid anti-capitalist drivel, you otherwise appear fairly intelligent. Try to consider consequences, not just vague feelings and conspiracy theories. If you honestly think we would have a better world without copyrights, then you either need to get a way better grip on what that would mean, or you need to realize that your view is radical and rare. If that is your view then I’ll respect it, but only if it’s an informed view, which from everything you have said it is not.

    • Jim Dandy says:

      Lured out of years of RPS lurking to comment on a piracy/anti-piracy thread, feels a little dirty…

      RPS comments pages are a usually a beacon of sanity and wit in a dark sea of testosteroxic drivel, and this thread is no exception. I am a little surprised by how binary the argument seems to have become, how easily people seem to come down on one side of the fence or the other.

      People, there is no fence – it’s more like a wide swathe of no-man’s-land, strewn with qualifiers and exceptions.

      For example – piracy is a natural extension of the urge to hack. I recall as a kid using a modded piezo stove-lighter to zap free games of ‘xevious’ and ‘qix’ (I’m an old, old man) from the local arcade. This devious behaviour inspired a whole group of us to delve ever deeper into the guts of gaming and computing generally, resulting in passions, skills, degrees and in some cases careers. I reckon there’s a bunch of coders, artists and modders out there who fanned their creative spark from tinkering where they weren’t supposed to. There are also those who’ve invested in a lifetime of hardware upgrades to support their nefarious habits, providing a significant source of innovation-driving revenue without ever spending a cent on software.

      In addition, there’s a question I rarely see asked – who’s profiting from piracy? It’s not the pirate networks, they do what they do out of some weird combination of anti-capitalist ideology and nerdboy dick-waving. The ISPs, however, make quite large amounts of money squirting this stuff around the intertubes; it’s as if a fence (in this case, there is a fence…) was legally allowed to profit from the sale of stolen goods, goods provided to him for free.

      For what it’s worth, I used to pirate a lot. I don’t any more, at all. Services like Steam and GOG convinced me it was easier and more valuable to me to go legit. A narky and unenforceable letter from CDPR’s dodgy lawyers would have served only to piss me off and discouraged me from telling everyone who’ll listen (and plenty of those who won’t) how totally freakin’ ace their games are.

    • vagabond says:

      Ignoring the fact that I don’t think the opinion of anyone who isn’t remotely interested in playing a computer game actually matters when you are discussing how the creation of computer games is resourced, when you factor in the alleged rates of piracy for movies, TV shows and music, (all purported by various industry bodies to be around the same level or higher) you can no longer seriously argue it isn’t the majority of the population, unless you’re seriously arguing that 80% of the population don’t watch any movies, TV, or listen to any music.

      The Copyright Term Extension Act exists for no reason other than to increase the length of time corporations like Disney can make money from creative works. Since we are now in the realm of extending copyright further and further out from the death of the creator, it explicity cannot
      a) provide the creator with money so that he or she may continue creating such works,
      or
      b) allow the creator to be the only person creating derivative works based of their creation.
      after all, they’ll be dead.

      oh, and, while you can argue that everyone is selfish to some extent, the term greedy clearly refers to a state of selfishness that exists above and beyond that base level. If you are going to argue that their aren’t varying degrees of any given aspect of human nature or behaviour, and that they can’t have labels applied to them, then you render far more words than just greedy meaningless.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent-seeking

      Whilst the internet is changing things, if you honestly believe that until very recently anyone that wanted to make TV, movies or music had any choice but to give away the copyright to their work to a large corporation (often in exchange for a debt that their royalties will never pay off, thanks largely to the accounting tricks of the corporation in question – see the recording industry for any number of examples) then you are possessed of a naivety about what is going on in the world around you that I find terribly sad, and just a little sickening.

      Within the context of this discussion “rights” means “legal rights” not “natural rights”. No one has any legal rights unless the majority gives them those rights.

      http://www.edge-online.com/news/migs-good-marketing-better-good-game

      The majority of consumers are idiots, which is why it doesn’t surprise me that their are people willing to step up and tell everyone that paying large sums of money to investment bankers is how you reward the creative people who create games, and that to desire anything other than the status quo is to long for anarchy or communism, you filthy pirate scum.

      I’m not anti-capitalist, I just prefer that people generate new wealth rather than seek rent from now until the end of time for things that were created by someone else entirely. I also prefer that people don’t artificially create scarcity for the purposes of messing with the supply/demand curve and lining their own pockets.
      To a certain extent I’m just playing devil’s advocate against a bunch of people in this thread whose views rubbed me the wrong way. I just did a count of my steam games list and it has just over 300 entries in it if that helps establish my games pirate cred, or lack thereof.

    • battles_atlas says:

      Vagabond has a very good point. Give that piracy is almost invariably an option, not pirating is a moral choice. Thats fine, its why I don’t. Its also why I pay for music I like when artists offer pay-what-you-want. Morality needs to be reciprocated though, which is problematic when the other party is a commercial enterprise. If its a choice between economics and morality it seems a great many games companies will choose the latter. Buggy releases and lazy ports are pretty common events. For some companies this seems par for the course, but even otherwise respected companies have been known to release games before they are ready due to financial difficulties. Which is defensible in many respects, but it remains immoral with respect to the customer, the same customer of whom moral behaviour is demanded.

      At the heart of this is the weird double standard that exists in regard to corporations and individuals. I read a nice piece the other day comparing the individuals and corps in debt. People stuck with mortgages they can never pay off, but can meet the interest payments for indefinitely, are repeatedly reminded of the moral necessity that they pay what they owe, regardless that they’ll never escape the debt. Simultaneously, American Airlines, a completely solvent company with I think $4bn in the bank, declared bankruptcy because it had high debts and didn’t want to pay them. This was a smart move according to experts. It was also immoral and entirely hypocritical, but it seems the standards applied to consumers are not to be applied to companies.

  2. zipdrive says:

    “it’s a practice RPS is strongly against, as we pleased to CDP last month”
    huh?

  3. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Bravo!

    • Ruffian says:

      Indeed, tis good to hear a decent development company
      actually listening to their community and taking action fairly quickly. Right on CDP!

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      I did not expect this, and I admire CD Projekt very much for listening to us on this issue. It takes a lot of courage to act differently from every other dev/publisher out there.

  4. KikiJiki says:

    So the long and the short of it is that the money recouped is not measuring up to the money they reckon they will/have lose/lost due to the PR fallout.

    “Hey we’re good guys, honest!”

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Even if that’s all it is, that’s still splendid news. If a business can be more profitable winning over customers instead of legally pursuing alleged pirates, then that’s clearly good for the customers.

    • Drayk says:

      Come on!

      You’re not wrong but you have to admit that CD Projekt is a exemple of good behaviour as a developer:

      Free DLC/addons, lots of emprovement and support for their games. And they listen to their fanbase.

      Not to mention they release games which are truly unique.

    • KikiJiki says:

      I see them more as a fairly PR savvy business in a market where unusual forms of PR such as social media are currently king. They’re no better or worse than any other development studio in my opinion and it’s silly to hold them on some kind of pedestal.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      @KikiJiki Of course, the company is not intrinsically better or worse than any other, but if one approves or disapproves of their actions (which is the opposite of putting them on a pedestal, by the way) then it makes sense to celebrate or denigrate respectively.

      You can think of it as the cynical way the customer base manipulates companies into giving them what they want, if you like.

    • djim says:

      I really prefer these guys ways than most other developer studios. They are a business and they have never hidden it. They said multiple times that they are making free dlc and updates long after release because they believe that in the long term it will be better for them financially. Cynical, and i hope they find success this way because it is better for us, gamers.

      They also have gog.com, which is amazing.

    • Bhazor says:

      It wasn’t the GoG side of CD Projeckt behind it, they’re the side everyone loves a big huggy bunch.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      So much cynicism. I think that they’re authentically trying to do “the right thing”, while of course not putting themselves out of business. If they were just after money, they’d just go the safe way and act the same as every other developer/publisher out there.

  5. FCA says:

    Good news. They painted themselves in a small corner with the absurd amount of money they were charging. As a big(ger) company, going against individual persons wronging you always gives a big chance of you being perceived as a bully, no matter how right you are morally.
    See for example the general rage over speeding tickets (even though essential for keeping the roads safe). If you’ re a company relying on a small fanatic fan base, this could kill yourself.

    • Delusibeta says:

      The theory is sound, it’s just in practice the vast majority of the legal threats in question seemed to be sent to people who were innocent (as usual when companies adopt this tactic).

    • Unaco says:

      How do we know? That the majority of people who received the letter were innocent?

    • Ritashi says:

      “The theory is sound, it’s just in practice the vast majority of the legal threats in question seemed to be sent to people who were innocent (as usual when companies adopt this tactic).”

      Wrong, on both counts. The easy one first, we have no evidence to suggest that the people receiving the letters were innocent, except for one confirmed case – there is no substantial evidence to support that anything like a “vast majority” were innocent. Claiming as fact that which cannot be known gets us nowhere. You’ll notice I’m not claiming they were all guilty or anything – for all I know all of them could have been innocent. But more to the point, the theory is not sound. The way this practice works is a threat veiled in a standard legal practice – they offer a “settlement” for an arbitrary amount of money. They say if you don’t settle, they’ll take you to court for even more money. Going to court costs money and time that you may not be able to afford. It’s nothing less than a threat to try and get people to pay them money. This is not money that any court has said they “owe”, nor is it an amount set down by any standard – it is any amount the people writing these letters decide on. They have no requirement to justify the amount – it is just an offer to settle the case. To anyone talking about “punishing the pirates”, that is the role of government, not any private organization. It doesn’t matter guilty or not, government possesses the sole authority to set punishments and deterrents. These letters verge on blackmail when sent to a private citizen with no legal expertise.

  6. Aemony says:

    “But you need to help us and do your part: don’t be indifferent to piracy. If you see a friend playing an illegal copy of a game–any game–tell your friend that they’re undermining the possible success of the developer who created the very game that they are enjoying. Unless you support the developers who make the games you play, unless you pay for those games, we won’t be able to produce new excellent titles for you.”

    I already do that, I’m quite tired of the number of times I need to remind my console buddies to buy new if they want to support the devs, instead of that riddiculous used crap that GameStop is pushing ever more than the real copies.

    • Prime says:

      I think CD Projekt’s comments are directed at pirates rather than the used/second-hand market? And what’s wrong with buying a game second-hand anyway? It works for every other commodity in existence (excepting condoms) so why must games be special and exempt?

      I don’t pirate games. I support devs directly where I can. But I’ll fight for the consumer’s right to buy second-hand until my dying breath.

    • Kaira- says:

      Well, arguably second-hand copies aren’t as bad as piracy – with second hand copies, it would take ridiculous amount of time to spread one copy far and wide, as opposed to piracy, where one copy is within matter of hours or days shared all over the world.

      But still, if you want to support developers, buy new.

      [E] Also agree with Prime above. It’s a bloody shame that we’ve allowed our consumer rights to be taken away by Steam and other such DRM-schemes which prevent second hand sales completely.

    • Shooop says:

      There’s no such thing as a used PC games market though. That died years ago.

    • bglamb says:

      Yeah. Died to piracy.

      I remember when Game used to offer a 1-week no-questions-asked refund/replace policy on PC games.

      God was that a stupid policy!

    • Arona Daal says:

      “And what’s wrong with buying a game second-hand anyway? It works for every other commodity in existence (excepting condoms) so why must games be special and exempt?”

      Because Games only slowly decay/loose Value,they sometimes even become better over Time (Patches/Mods) which strengthens supply and weakens demand.
      Why buy new when old is better and cheaper?

      And most of all,the technical/digital Nature of Games allows all kinds of aggressive marketing techniques.
      It would be much harder to get People to register,for Example,every Piece of Furniture or Clothing to an online account.

      And the Audience for games is to a large Part younger and easier to educate to these Shenanigans,than for most other Products.

    • jrodman says:

      Buying used products from other people who no longer need them is *not* shenanigans. It’s a totally reasonable thing to do! That you believe otherwise is crazy.

      If I buy a book and then when I’ve finished reading it, sell it to someone else, that’s totally normal. I don’t see why people are trying to accept anything else for say.. games, or ebooks!

      Sure, the original content creator doesn’t make *as much* money this way, but people have successfully made money to make a decent living in markets operating this way for generations. Getting the market to operate differently is an aberration, and is not required for success.

      Saying used games aren’t supporting the developer is similar to saying waiting for the price to fall a bit isn’t supporting the developer. It’s silly.

      The *usual* outcome of these used goods markets is that people who are the biggest consumers of the stuff buy a mix of used and original product, and go further with their dollars, and perhaps spend more of them in the end. They also act as watering holes where consumers learn of new titles, and spread enthusiasm for titles, which leads to further sales.

      The problems with used game markets in the US, that I’m familiar with are:

      – The largest player, Gamestop, charges unreasonable fees. Which means the buyers aren’t saving that much, and so an undesirable percentage of the money goes to Gamestop, rather than being saved to spend on more games. A more vibrant used market with more independent stores wouldn’t be so bad in this way.
      - The games industry itself has this mentality that games “go bad”, and continuously depreciate down to an unsellable value. Used games wouldn’t hurt nearly as much if product continued to steadily sell over time. There’s really no reason a decent game can’t be on the shelf for 4-5 years. If I decide to pick up one of the great games of a year and a half ago I didn’t have time for then… it’s not available in stores. This means my only options are digital distribution, used games, or piracy. The lost money — if i’m not a digital distribution type — is from the channel and market practices, not used games.

    • sqparadox says:

      You do realize when you buy a used game, none of the money you spend on it goes to the developer; not a penny. The money goes to the person who is selling the game and to any middle-man involved in the transaction. The developer receives money when the game is first purchased and never again after that (excluding DLC and the like).

      Every time a used game is bought and sold the developer receives an ever shrinking percentage of that game’s value. So you buy a $5 game directly from the developer, giving the developer $5. If that game is then passed from person to person, sold as a used game, to 50 people, the developer still gets $5. You are not supporting the developer unless you are the original purchaser. Hypothetically, a legally purchased game, that is then pirated to 50 people gives the developer the same amount of money (of course, that’s not how piracy works in the real world).

      I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to buy used, or that buying used is truly equivalent to piracy. But solely from the standpoint of supporting the developer, buying used is exactly equivalent to piracy; both give the developer no money beyond the original purchase (assuming the pirated copy was at one time legally purchased).

      I’m not trying to say buying used is wrong (I tell my friends to buy used all the time; I don’t personally, having gone all digital years ago), only that you should be aware that you are not supporting the developer; you are supporting someone, but that is not the developer.

      For some games I couldn’t care less if I am supporting the developer; but for many others, including the Witcher 1 and 2, I want to support the developer and I do. If you truly like a game enough to want to support the developer, buy new.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      When buying used, you’re giving money to the seller that will likely go straight to his gaming budget, i.e. he’ll use it to buy new games. So in the grand scheme of things the gaming industry usually benefit from it. Of course if the game is available at a similar price new and you buy it used, you’re an idiot. Give the money to the devs if you want more games made.

    • jrodman says:

      The only way that buying used and pirating support the devloper equivalently is that IN THAT ONE TRANSACTION the developer doesn’t get money.

      That’s an incredibly shallow analysis though!

      Merely along the economic angle, there’s many holes in this viewpoint.

      1 – A vibrant used market for good buoys the value of the goods, allowing them to be sold for more money!
      2 – A used market for goods gets exposure for those goods, encouraging them to viewed as popular.
      3 – A used sale now may lead to a new sale in the future

      Along the moral and cultural angle, they’re not even equivalent on the face of it.

      So no, don’t try to equate used games with piracy, at all, ever. It’s a big lie.

  7. hosndosn says:

    Well then, my (previously gone) respect for CD Project is fully restored. They listened to their customers. As game publishers do more often than we dare to admit.

    Also kudos to RPS for fighting the good fight and taking part in stopping this awful process.

    • soco says:

      Agreed. I had recently picked up the first Witcher and was excited about getting Witcher 2 during the holiday sales, but then the story broke about the quasi-blackmail letters and I decided to not purchase.

      I figured there are plenty of good games and I have a backlog, and besides I’d rather not give my money to a company that did this sort of practice.

      Now I am happy to be able to pick up Witcher 2 and support the company further.

      They may have thought piracy equaled lost sales, but I can tell you for certain that their shady practices lost them this sale of mine until now. Thank you RPS for following this up and thank you CD Projekt for changing your minds about this.

  8. Jimbo says:

    Good news for pirates.

    • Khemm says:

      Pretty much. Rejoice, pirates won’t be punished. Woohoo. Dumbest reason to celebrate ever?

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      You guys really don’t get it do you, or you really don’t want to get it. I’m all for punishing the people who don’t pay for games they should have paid for, but it is conditional on certain things:

      1. That the people they are punishing are definitely the people who pirated the game (which despite CD Projekt’s protestations, mostly anyone involved in IT (or elsewhere) simply do not believe that they can be 100% sure).

      2. That there is some kind of due process where the accused have a fair chance to defend themselves (and without racking up horrific legal bills).

      3. Where the punishment fits the crime – not some massively inflated arbitary amount that the company concerned has picked out of the air.

      I don’t think the pirates win in any case. Most who would have downloaded the Witcher 2 would have done so already, before this campaign and so there are hardly hoards of people who are now going to hit the torrent sites.

      In fact, it may well have had the deterrent effect that CDProjekt wanted, in that while they may have dropped this case, they (and other publishers) may well decide to start it up again in future if they feel like it, so anyone torrenting in future may have it in the back of their mind that they may find themselves with an unpleasant letter from an ambulance-chasing lawyer.

    • Arona Daal says:

      Every Pirate with the slightest clue knows:

      -the legal threats correctly handled are a toothless Shark

      -there are a lot of easy ways to avoid getting the letter in the first Place

      those Letters are usually paid by scared Parents and naive first-time Offenders.

      btw: DRM never has stopped a Pirate,IMHO its just there to prevent Customers from making free Copies for Friends and to a lesser degree (Registration/online Activation) to dry out the second Hand Market.

      A better way to reduce Piracy (stopping is not really an option) would be to insert very frequently a large amount of Crippled/Timed Versions into the Torrent Pool making torrenting games an unreliable,annoying Experience.

    • Jenks says:

      Based on the comments section, a great day for the RPS community.

    • IDtenT says:

      @Arona Daal: Which is why in game piracy controls are so awesome – because nobody picks it up, before it is too late. No scene will actually do quality control of their release.

  9. Dana says:

    Terrorists win ?

  10. bglamb says:

    Whilst I think that CD Project were quite correct in sending out legal threats to pirates after removing DRM from their products, I have to say I admire the size of their cajones to stand up and tell the community that they are going to stop like that.

    Big Hugz.

    • zaphod42 says:

      What about people the idiots who leave their wifi unsecured? Somebody could pirate the game off their connection, and they would have no way to prove their innocence. Except that its innocent until proven guilty, at least in the united states. Not sure what your laws are like over in the EU. An IP Address is not nearly enough to prove who it was that downloaded a file. Until you can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that someone was the one responsible, you’re blackmailing people to get them to avoid a legal battle. Your choices are to pay a few hundred euros or a few thousand euros in legal defense. Even innocents would buckle, which is a travesty of justice. This has nothing to do with right or wrong.

    • bglamb says:

      Well there are several arguments against that, at the risk of retreading worn ground.

      For a start, I have trouble with the idea that innocent people would pay out. They are innocent until proven guilty, so your argument that they cannot be proven guilty is valid and, apparently, in support of my point. If they are sharing their internet connection with a pirate next door, then whilst a large fine seems harsh, it is still a problem that needs solving, and a solution to that problem.

      I don’t know much about court costs, but I’m pretty sure that if you’re innocent (and thus cannot be proved to be guilty), that you don’t have to pay anything.

      And for people so argumentative about the use of the word ‘theft’, they are quick to throw around the word ‘blackmail’.

    • Joshua says:

      The problem is that companies like Davenport-Lyons usually send their ‘evidence’ trough the mail as well. When a law firm tells you that this is solid evidence agianst you, you tend to go for the settlement option, even though you know that is not true.
      Especially if you happen to reside in a society where it feels as if it is money that wins cases: He who can hire the most expansive laywer wins. Since the costs + the potential damages are excessively high, people tend to go for the ‘safe’ option, since they feel there is no way in proving their innocence.

    • Arona Daal says:

      “For a start, I have trouble with the idea that innocent people would pay out.”

      An old Friend of mine (lets call him Bob) once sold his Flat to another Family to buy a bigger House for his growing Family.
      The other Dude (Lets call him Bill) came back after 1 1/2 years and demanded from him to take the Flat back.

      Reason? All the other Owners in the Building had decided that the Roof could need some fixing,and that everyone had to pay his share.

      Now Bill claimed that Bob knew this before the Deal because he was the Dude paying the gardener (!) for the Rest of the flat owners in the Block,and therefore had to have extensive knowledge of the Status of the Roof (although he was never up there,and is not the slightest qualified in this regard).

      Bill was willing to go to Court,not only over the few thousand bucks he should have to spend on the Roof renovation
      ,but for a complete reversal of the Apartment Deal.

      The things Bill had going in his Favor were :
      - He threatened to produce a fake (!) Witness,witnessing Bob claiming to be unaware of any Problems with the building.
      - A wild Determination to get rid of this Deal to buy another Flat he found later.
      - a Law Insurance allowing him to get out of any Legal Conflict with a very low financial Risk (bill was quoted as saying “even if i loose ,it only costs me 130 Bucks l”).

      Bob paid off Bill.

      Why?
      - He had no law insurance
      - With the Case being about the Reversal of the Flat Sale,the “Streitwert” or Value of the Case rose to several hundred thousand Euros with the Lawyer Fees rising accordingly.
      - the Risk of loosing the Case only partially,could have easily cost several ten thousand Euro in Lawyer Fees only,forcing him to take back the Flat,abandoning his new,renovated by him,Home.
      And a lot of other Issues like home owner credits,having to resettle once more (Job,New School for Children and soon).

      End:
      Bob was innocent in every Aspect and still payed over 5000 Euros for settling the Case, far more than the Roof renovation would cost Bill.

      ————————————————–

      “For a start, I have trouble with the idea that innocent people would pay out.”

      Many People which receive such legal Threats from Publishers,CD Project is/was one of many, visit a normal Lawyer.
      Most normal Lawyers,not experienced in the complex Copyright/Internet Law,recommend to pay,
      even if you are innocent or not directly responsible.

      ————————————————–

      btw: some Things i never see mentioned which strongly imply a refined scattershot scare Tactic Scam:

      Law Insurance does *not* cover Copyright Issues.

      The “ISP account holder is responsible” Rule does only apply to People,
      not to a Business,for example a Bar with a WLAN hotspot.

      If it comes to a Court Case,the Complainant can pick the Court Location without a say of the Defendant,because “the Internet/Offense has/had no fixed Location”.

      The made up 750 Euro (Remember that “Streitwert” is good for Scare Value?)
      fine is for *uploading* the Game a lot of times,which statistically is Nonsense.On average everyone *uploads* a bit more than one copy.And they sure as Hell know that.

    • bglamb says:

      Yeah, I know the arguments, I just don’t buy it.

      If CD Project sent me one of those letters, I wouldn’t pay the fine basically. And from the sound of it, neither would anyone else I’ve heard talk about it. All I hear is people talking about what their grandma (or whoever) would do. Like everyone is suddenly an expert on grandmas.

      I dunno what the ‘average man in the street’ would do. You (and a lot of others) say you do, but I don’t buy it. I just know what I, my friends, my acquaintances, colleagues and family would do, since they are the only people I know. And I would be very surprised if *any* of them would settle for £750 for a crime they did not commit.

      As an experiment, ask someone (anyone) you know, if they would pay out this money when they received a letter threatening them of a crime they knew they were innocent of. Seriously. Ask your friends and family and I think they would all laugh at the idea of paying out!

      Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s the internet, so no amount of anecdotal evidence from yourself is going to convince me otherwise. You also claim knowledge of things that only an experienced lawyer would know, but again, as it’s the internet, I’m going to assume that you’re not actually an experienced lawyer.

      As far as I’m concerned, those letters were hitting pirates (except the one guy who phoned up CD Project and explained he wasn’t a pirate. They apologised to him.)

      (BTW, with torrenting, once you’ve uploaded it once, you’re then effectively responsible for every time *that* person re-uploads it after you.)

    • ZeroMatter says:

      “Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s the internet, so no amount of anecdotal evidence from yourself is going to convince me otherwise.”
      Anecdotal evidence? Far from that. YOU are presenting a lot of anecdotal evidence, but it’s a (sadly mostly unknown) fact that innocent people confess crimes they didn’t commit all the time in interrogations. And most of these crimes are far, far worse than mere piracy. It’s not really the same thing, but there is a close resemblence. You can look up psychologists trying to explain why innocent people confess if you want to know some details, but it’s far more common than you might believe.

  11. db1331 says:

    The real shame in this story is that people would steal such an amazing game. If everyone did that, we wouldn’t get any new games. I just don’t understand how people can justify it to themselves. Hell, I got Psychonauts during the Steam Holiday sale and I love it so much I feel absolutely disgusted that I only paid $2.50 for it.

    • bglamb says:

      Well some people don’t have money and wouldn’t buy the game anyway. There’s an argument that the difference between a) Not paying for a game and not playing it, or b) Not paying for a game and playing it, is indistinguishable from the point of the designer’s profits.

      Personally, I spend all of my disposable income on the games industry. I give everything I can afford to the developers I respect the most. I have a couple of hundred games on my Steam account and buy every indie title I think looks good.

      If I were to pirate a game that I couldn’t afford then I’m not sure you could argue that I would be damaging the industry, or that developer.

      But this is one hell of a can of worms I may be opening here, I know!

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      But then again the question is: If you can afford a machine that runs games like The Witcher 2, you probably can afford the game itself when it goes on sale (which happens really really fast these days if you have a look at the sales of Steam and other major digital distributors).

    • bglamb says:

      I burn through £200-£300 a month on games and I can’t afford them all.

    • Bhazor says:

      I think Chris Delay said it best:

      “[T]here were at least ten times as many pirate copies of Uplink and Darwinia as there were legitimate sales. How do we know? Patches available on our website which only work on the full games have been downloaded more than ten times the sales totals of their games. Now hard-line corporate types will tell you this means they’ve lost 10 x sales x price million dollars based on this, but thats just nonsense. Would all 10 of those 11 users have ever bought the game? No, of course not. But 1 out of 10 of them might, and that would have doubled our sales and made us very happy devs indeed. ”

      The question is what percentage of pirates would have bought the game if they had not had access to the pirate version? Even if thats only 5% that is a serious loss.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Bhazor

      Is Daley actually suggesting there that anyone that buys the game once will only download the patch once? Like most piracy estimation methods, this one seems almost custom-designed to hyper-inflate the numbers. I’m not suggesting that their games weren’t heavily pirated, but I’ll certainly suggest that patch downloads is not a legitimate means to get any kind of count.

    • Shuck says:

      @ bglamb: On the other hand, thanks to Steam sales, I can buy £50 worth of games a year, and not have time to play them all.

    • Shuck says:

      @Vinraith: It’s still one of the most accurate metrics I’ve read.
      Of course some people who bought the game will download the patch more than once, but in the context of the numbers they’re citing, that number has got to be negligible.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Shuck

      It has to be negligible? Why is that? I downloaded the patch for Witcher 2 something like 6 times, in part because I was having trouble with the update system. That would get me counted as one legitimate buyer and 5 imaginary pirates if CDPR were to implement a similar count. That’s a lot of imaginary pirates. If even a fraction of their legit buyers downloaded the patch a couple of times, that’d generate an army of hundreds of thousands of imaginary pirates by a system like Daley’s. They’re certainly not even remotely “negligible.”

      In the case of Introversion games it’s even worse, of course, because the games themselves are much older and much more light weight (and thus likely to be installed on more laptops/netbooks). I can hardly imagine a less convincing way of counting illegitimate users, they might as well just be honest and make up a high number at random.

  12. TheCze says:

    Pretty awesome from CD Projekt

  13. Chris D says:

    Hurrah! Cakes all round.

  14. Reapy says:

    I guess I can still wait for a steam sale to grab and play this game. I was waiting till a good sale and when I had time to buy and play, but after the legal crap I pushed it off my list. I can mentally add it back on to the never ending queue.

    • Llewyn says:

      If you’re in the UK, Play have the new v2 boxed release for £13, which appears to still include the map etc from the original boxed release.

    • Bhazor says:

      Don’t buy it on Steam for gods sake. Gog isn’t just selling it DRM free but with a literal shit ton of extras and at a lower price with every penny going to CD Projekt.

      The number of people who insisted on buying it on Steam instead of Gog (it outsold Gog about 3:1) astounds me

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      Who gives a shit where he buys it from? Don’t be such an elitist dipshit.

    • Kaira- says:

      GOG would be the better choice (money going straight to devs, no middle hands, NO DRM WHICH ALONE SHOULD BE GOOD ENOUGH REASON, lots of bonus stuff), but there’s the thing I talked with my friend about today. “People value conveniency above freedom”.

    • Bhazor says:

      “Who gives a shit where he buys it from?”

      CD Projekt for one. It’s an extra $10 for them. Thats the same reason I care because I want to fund these guys and their rather smashing games.

    • vecordae says:

      If CD Projeckt doesn’t want people to buy games on Steam, then they shouldn’t sell them on Steam. The fact that they do so means they consider the money they receive from the purchase to be acceptable. If they feel it is acceptable, why shouldn’t you?

    • Reapy says:

      Nobody is probably reading this anymore. But I actually do care about giving the devs a better cut. I didn’t know that GOG doesn’t take a % of sales. I’m a huge mount&blade fan and made sure to purchase it through taleworlds site rather than steam.

      I didn’t really like the first game, so despite this being a different animal, I’m still probably just going to wait till it drops to around $7.50 to 5 US $, which might take another year, so it’ll be a while.

  15. Soon says:

    I buy games with the money I save from pirating TV shows.

  16. SquareWheel says:

    Hooray! Shame I had to miss sales season because of that though, but now I will support them again.

  17. Vexing Vision says:

    I’ll celebrate the day the last free pirate is jailed and fined. It’s a shame to see CD Project stop fighting the good fight of the industry.

    We don’t want them to use DRM. We don’t want them to pursue pirates. We don’t want them to have online activation. We don’t want them to require an online activation for streaming parts of the game.

    What the fuck are we as an industry supposed to do against asshat pirates then?

    CD Project went the right way by pursuing the right people (and as far as I know, there were no wrongly accused people coming forward). I bet Witcher 3 will have beloved DRM in it, because apparently that’s the only language people understand.

    Well done, RPS.

    • Dominic White says:

      As Gabe Newell of Valve has said (and keep in mind that his store has been doubling revenues every year for the past few years), piracy is a service problem. You make a better product, you make it more accessible, and you sell it for a reasonable price and people WILL buy it. Then you can stop worrying about pirates, because you’ve converted so many over to your side that any perceived losses are negligible.

    • Enikuo says:

      I never trusted that innocent people couldn’t get caught up in this kind of action. I think it’s more plausible they got lucky than they’ve discovered some perfect method of identifying pirates.

    • Maldomel says:

      We don’t them to use shady methods to get some easy money by threatening people. Even more so considering that a contrario to what they said about their magic trick to locate real pirates, it’s based on IP search, so you can’t be sure 100% sure you get the right guy. Unless the guys they hired have some revolutionary stuff up their sleeves and they don’t wanna tell how they are sure.

    • Vexing Vision says:

      Since all ISPs (at least here in Europe) timestamp IP use, IP location is actually pretty accurate as long as you don’t use gateways.

      I understand, Dominic, but seriously – Steam is an always-online-DRM. Of COURSE they don’t have much piracy issues, especially since if you fuck up, they just ban your entire account. This is a powerful detriment for many people.

      A detriment many publishers do not have. I’m working with online games, so piracy really doesn’t affect me (apart from a few random free shards, but hell), but pirates remaind a blight on the industry even more than cheaters in multiplayer games.

      Grah. I love Pirates. I just hate software-pirates. We need more boobytrapped games to get the fear of catching a virus back into hobby-pirates.

    • zaphod42 says:

      Pirates do not equal lost sales. Pirates are overwhelmingly either people who simply cannot afford your product (and yeah, I know; if you can’t afford it don’t buy it. But that is a small minded, ignorant answer. The fact is software is a digital media, so it can be copied without stealing the original copy. If the company found it in their hearts, they could give a free copy of the game to everybody who can’t afford it, and it would cost them NOTHING. However, there’s no way for them to know who would never buy it and who would hold out for awhile and then buy it, so they opt to say, you can’t play it for free. You buy it or you don’t. Its a small minded answer.), or people who are trying out your software (and will either buy it or stop playing it), or people who don’t have the product available in their region. Gabe Newell made a big thing about how everybody says Russia is rife with piracy, and their games were getting pirated like crazy, but then they just started releasing Russian versions on the same release date as English versions, and whala, Piracy PLUMMETED. They’re now making 3x the profits in that region than anybody ever expected.

      Piracy is not theft. The RIAA is lying to you. You wouldn’t download a car because you can’t. If you could, you absolutely fucking would download a car. It is not stealing. That is just plain wrong. You’re massively oversimplifying if you think it is.

      The majority of piracy could be fixed with better business models. Look at the humble indie bundle, no DRM, and no fixed prices, and it sells like HOTCAKES. People aren’t theives, and they’re not bad scam artists looking to steal games. Its just most of us can’t afford to buy every game out there, its unrealistic. So instead we end up buying the 1 or 2 big blockbuster games, and we rent or we pirate the others for a short while. What happened to the customer is always right? (we are really big on the EVERYBODY PAYS THIS ONE PRICE thing in the west, the idea of haggling for an items is totally dead. College students who can’t afford $60 games should be able to haggle with the developer, and get it for $30. $30 > $0. And again, the costs of distribution are very low with video games, with digital sales or with pirates the cost is literally nothing.)

    • sinister agent says:

      Slightly nitpicky, but do you really mean that “jailed” bit? Because I really don’t think that any amount of piracy should warrant a jail sentence. It’s simply not that serious a crime.

    • Jimbo says:

      Hopefully the lesson they learn is to skip the settlement offer next time and take people straight to court if they believe they have enough evidence to prove their case. That’s what courts are for after all.

      Of course, it’s more likely they’ll just go back to going after legit customers with DRM, or eventually decide the PC market isn’t really worth the effort for anything other than shitty console ports – you know, like most of the rest of the industry has done already.

      Like I said, this is good news for pirates – they’re now back to having no consequences to fear at all. As a legit customer I didn’t feel like I had anything to fear from this in the first place, so I don’t really see how my interests have been protected here. The interests of pirates have been protected (again) and it’s the interests of customers who will inevitably suffer (again).

    • alundra says:

      @Vexing Vision

      “What the fuck are we as an industry supposed to do against asshat pirates then?”

      The software industry is just like an spoiled brat, they want to have their cake and eat it too. They are so high and might and think themselves better than just about every other sector of economy.

      It’s not enough that they make million upon millions already, they have paid their way into courts and have eroded customer’s legal rights for years now, to top things, they are now intent in retaining control of every bit the produce and still be charging premium to people as if nothing was happening.

      Do you really expect someone to shed a tear for this industry and what it’s becoming??

      CD Projekt did the right thing, they sided with their fanbase/customers, and in doing so they earned more than one heart out there, old and new alike.

    • Dominic White says:

      I just want to add that Steam is VERY far from effective DRM. Most games that pop up on it are pirated within less than 12 hours. Groups like THETA are amazingly industrious and will have stuff cracked, packed and even patched within hours. Updates from Steam even get pirated with impressive efficiency.

      Anyway, it’s not always-on DRM. That’s what the offline mode is there for.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      What is WITH this amazingly simplistic mentality of “TEH TERRORISTS WIN!!”?

      Contrary to what you may believe, seizing to employ borderline blackmail to catch “the dirty pirates” isn’t tiptoeing around the pirates’ feelings, this is avoiding using medieval methods against piracy that not only brings collateral damage but also brings forth an atmosphere of distrust and skepticism from both sides.

      Your mentality of “WE HAV TO FIGHT PIRACEE” is what needs to change, not CDProjekt’s actions, which should be praised by the industry and its consumers, not criticized. Enough with this silly “war” against piracy, that’s just a scam perpetrated by the big media companies to convince people that eroding your consumer rights and treating everyone like a potential criminal is “morally just”.

      Like CDProjekt, I don’t condone piracy by condemning idiotic ideological wars against them, but like CDProjekt I recognize that waging said wars is misguided, fruitless, and more hurtful to the industry than the pirates they’re trying to catch. And good for them for being one of the very few studios/publishers to realize this. People like you are the reason I’m glad that companies selectively ignore certain loony sects of consumers and not just everybody.

    • ZeroMatter says:

      “Like I said, this is good news for pirates – they’re now back to having no consequences to fear at all.”

      The pirates that had half a brain in the first place never had to fear any consequences. Only pirates that are extremely idiotic and/or lazy ever have to fear anything.

      As long as the internet is free, criminalisation is not the right way to fight piracy.

    • SquareWheel says:

      “I’ll celebrate the day the last free pirate is jailed and fined”

      You’re nuckin futz.

    • jalf says:

      I’ll celebrate the day the last free pirate is jailed and fined. It’s a shame to see CD Project stop fighting the good fight of the industry.

      Ah, hyperbole.

      Let’s try a purely hypothetical question here.
      When I was a kid, I pirated a fair number of games. I would never have been able to afford more than one or two games per year, *max*. If I hadn’t been able to pirate games, I would have gone outside to play instead. But I pirated games, and because of that, I turned into a gamer.

      Today, I have a job, I earn money, and while I am still a gamer, I now *buy* them.
      So, in this case, piracy cost the industry nothing (because I woudln’t have bought the games in any case back then), and it is paying off *big time* today. If I had not pirated games as a kid, I would certainly not have nearly 200 games on Steam, or a large cardboard box filled with physical copies of games… Which I bought.

      So in this specific case, piracy has literally been hugely profitable for the games industry. Without it, I wouldn’t have been a customer today.

      So, is it really as simple as “the good fight”?

      As far as the rest of your post goes, you’re delusional. There is no such thing as “the last pirate”. It’s not a contagious disease which can be contained. It’s not some secret club with strict membership requirements. It’s not some bloodline, people all having a common ancestor in some ancient pirate king.

      It’s just a description of anyone who, at some point, uses software without acquiring a license to use it.
      You could jail everyone who has ever done that *today*. And tomorrow, new pirates will appear. As long as there are reasons to consider it advantageous to pirate software, there will be people who pirate software.

      It’s the same fallacy as the “war on terror”. There’s no such thing as “the last terrorist” either, for exactly the same reason. You could kill everyone who’s ever committed an act of terror, but as long as someone, *anyone*, anywhere on the planet, sympathizes with them, new terrorists will appear.

      So in short? You’re wrong. And being very very silly.

      As for what the industry is supposed to do?
      It could try to focus on their business: making and selling games. That’s where the money is, after all.

      Trying to distinguish between “people who didn’t buy, and didn’t play, your game”, and “people who didn’t buy, but still played, your game” is futile. *Neither group bought your game, which is what you care about*. So why should the industry spend its time and money trying to draw lines between “good guys who didn’t pay us” and “bad guys who didn’t pay us”? The only line that should matter is “people who paid us”, and “people who didn’t pay us”.

      I just want to add that Steam is VERY far from effective DRM. Most games that pop up on it are pirated within less than 12 hours

      I have no data to support this, but I would suspect that Steam is still a reasonably effective form of DRM, because it has built an *image* of being hard to pirate. When people see a game on steam, many of them *assume* that it can’t possibly be pirated because of the Steam integration. They’re wrong, of course, but they don’t know that. And so I’m sure it deters some piracy.

  18. Novack says:

    Hurra! Thanks RPS for putting your energy into this kind of things.

    And while the CD Projekt guys desperately accuse unauthorized copies of his games to damage them, other independent thinkers consider quite the opposite.

    *** Minecraft Too Expensive? Notch Says, “Just Pirate It” ***

  19. Zeewolf says:

    Good, good, good. I am happy to see my faith in CD Projekt restored.

  20. Kaira- says:

    Feeling torn about this. On the one hand, it means no false positives. On the second hand, I’d more than like to see pirates getting what they deserve.

  21. stillwater says:

    Gee you people are fussy. When a dev creates an anti-piracy solution that installs securom or requires online activation, the hordes scream “don’t punish legitimate users for the sins of the pirates!” Everyone hates the devs, and the only ones who win are the pirates.

    So, then CDP comes up with a solution that seems to solve all problems at once – a method that punishes only pirates and leaves paying customers with a completely blemish-free product. A method that is in line with the way the rest of the world works: if you rip someone off and get caught, you need to pay a fine/compensation/legal fees and/or jailtime. But everyone gets up in arms anyway. Because *in theory* they might accidentally target the wrong people, even though it’d probably never actually happen (when was the last time Steam or EA or GFWL erroneously claimed you were a pirate and made you pay a fine? Never? Me neither).

    So now, it’s back to the drawing board. Another victory for DRM schemes that punish the legitimate user. Another victory for pirates. And another victory for the simple-minded morons who’ll take any ammunition they can to fuel their belief that that “piracy doesn’t hurt the industry at all” and then wonder why all the devs are moving to consoles.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      I think it has been mentioned in one of the previous RPS posts concerning this matter that it is highly unlikely that there currently is a 100% accurate method to personally identify a person that downloaded an illegal copy of a game. So while no cases of inapplicable accusations have been reported it doesn’t mean that such cases do not exist or would have been likely to occur with continuation this practice.

    • Starky says:

      No it is the fact that any tech savvy pirate, knows that these letters are garbage, and you could get one thrown out of any court in 30 seconds flat with no difficulty at all.

      However worried mums of 13 year old torrenters, and foolish first (or few) time offenders might pay up not knowing any better.

      It’s abuse of a legal system designed to stop commercial infringement (that guy selling copies out the back of his car), and turning it against individuals.

    • RobF says:

      Can we kill this “only pirates” bullshit stone dead right here and now, please? What you actually want to be saying is “the chances of hitting someone who bought the game are smaller than hitting people who didn’t buy the game because there’s more people who walk this Earth who have no interest in The Witcher 2 than are and a relatively small proportion of them also are pirates some of whom might have downloaded Witcher 2″

      Because this isn’t hitting “only pirates”, it’s hitting people. Remember that when you’re depersonalising folks, it’s people. And given the methods employed, there isn’t any guarantee that these people pirated the work, if it’s a good hit, they might be a pirate (who might be 13 or 14 or 30 or 35 or 80, who the fuck knows), they might be hitting people who live in a house where someone once downloaded something hooky, they might just be people entirely unrelated who’ve had their IP used or, they might just be bollocks random hits for all we and you know.

      And *that* is why this is a crock. They’re not hitting pirates, they’re just lashing out at anyone who might smell like one to them with the scantest of proof in the hope of people paying. And believe it or not, even the pirates are people with a myriad of reasons for what they do and this is no answer to anything.

      And I would sooner be inconvenienced by DRM personally than always have the random chance of a corporation lashing out at me, my friends, my family or anyone with wildly punitive claims on scant evidence. Because my minor inconvenience is nothing compared to the damage these letters can cause.

  22. Greg Wild says:

    Brilliant to hear CD Projekt! I respect your right to earn your due reward – I bought The Witcher 2 in the sale over Christmas, and it seems superb so far. You deserve every sale you get, and I would encourage anyone to buy it in the hope we get more titles like it in future. But on the other hand, artificial property laws in a world of informational post-scarcity are dangerous in the long run; I believe much can be achieved through simply encouraging people to help fund the games they enjoy, rather than trying to promote a climate of fear.

  23. Velvetmeds says:

    So, they went from being awful to a little less awful. Cool.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      “Awful” in which way exactly?

    • timmyvos says:

      Suing old ladies without a computer is pretty awful in my book, but that could just be me.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      CD Project sues old ladies? When? Where? Also, this is missing the point. He said that they were going from “awful” to “less awful”. To be more accurate with my question: “Less awful” in which way exactly?

  24. Maldomel says:

    Well, that is a good news indeed. I was a bit frightened to see one of my favorite developer threatening people for money. Glad to see they recovered reason, and are making some kind public explanation / excuses for that.
    Hey CD Projeckt, I’ll keep on playing, you keep on making awesome games alright?

    Also, I tip my hat off to RPS for being awesome too once again!

  25. Squirrelfanatic says:

    Great news. I guess there are only a few companies that would have done the same thing and stopped this kind of practice.

    Now the questionis: What are the alternatives? I agree with Vexing Vision above in that it seems necessary to go directly after pirates/distributors of illegal copies if you want to limit the potential damage done to you business. Not every company can go where Valve is going and offer extensive services to keep people from pirating.

    • Maldomel says:

      About the distributors of illegal copies, my personal guess would be that everyone knows who they are (like, the big groups cracking games and all) and no one acts (or has any interest to act). As for when copies are magically appearing on the internet, someone must be putting those there. Otherwise, or could you see some games cracked and playable at the very same time of official launches?

  26. wodin says:

    I’m sure the industry would still survive if it was based on those who can afford and those who can not. You get the game and pay what you want for it. Those who have money and plenty of it and love the game I’m sure will pay probably more than a retail price and those who have little spare money can pay a token fee.

    When people say people shouldn’t pirate a game just because they can’t afford it have little empathy of others, I believe everyone is entitled to entertainment in our leisure time be they rich or poor. So I honestly believe a system as I said above would work because a vast majority of us would pay out what we think something is worth coupled with what we can afford.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      I don’t think that such a system would work, because there are just too many other things you need to spend your money on. If you don’t have to spend money on entertainment but you need to pay for your bread, cheese, kids’ clothing and diamond necklaces, the first thing that will be dropped from your monthly calculations for your costs of living will be that video game you’d like to play during the evenings.

      Even if it would work in principle, developers wouldn’t be able to calculate the costs for upcoming projects properly because there is little to no predictive value in an arbitrary price.

    • Ovno says:

      I think I’d rather buy games than diamond necklaces actually especially with the massive price difference

    • zaphod42 says:

      @Squirrelfanatic I would direct your attention to the recent trend of Humble Indie Bundles, where games that are struggling to get attention and make much money against the AAA games allowed you the *GASP* crazy ability to PAY WHAT YOU WANT.

      Did these people all starve? Did the developers lose their well being, forced into lives of poverty?

      No, they sold STUPID well. They made millions.

      People will pay money for a product given a fair chance. But every game expects to debut retail for $60. And not everybody is willing to spend that much, but there’s tons of people out there willing to pay SOME of that, but they just AREN’T ALLOWED TO.

      Imagine if companies who had lots of pirates just set up a “piracy donation”. If you pirated the game, donate some money to the devs. Whatever you can afford. What you feel is fair.
      I bet people would. I bet lots of people would.
      Are pirates evil? No. They’re poor.

    • Jimbo says:

      You live in a fantasy world. Anybody who believes that ‘Pay What You Want’ would work on a larger scale is living there with you. It’s a gimmick which works only as a gimmick.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      I didn’t say that pirates are evil, they are just unwilling to pay for something that work and expenses have gone into. The indy bundles work because a) they are bundles of games with flagships that attract people b) the expenses are much lower for an indy game than for bigger titles. Games like Skyrim, Fallout, Battlefield etc. wouldn’t be possible with earnings comparable to those peanuts the indy bundles generate. You have to think about how many people need to be paid for how long to accomplish something like Saints Row and Co. .

  27. DickSocrates says:

    I still think this was a stunt and they never had any intention of pursuing it, not this time. Consider this a warning before you think about pirating their next game.

    It’s not right to sting people that pirate games like this because practically no one sees what they are doing as even that bad. What they are doing is a crime, but they don’t see it quite like that. A not-so-friendly reminder/threat should be the first action, I doubt anyone that’s received a letter from their ISP saying they’ve been caught stealing stuff is going to do it again.

    More high profile threats might curb he problem, right now no one believes there’s any chance of being caught. CD Projekt should say: “We WILL prosecute if you steal our next game.” maybe even have it as a warning before the title screen, advising the pirate to “Buy this game now and keep your proof of purchase because we’re going to come after you.” Once getting caught becomes something people worry about, the numbers will surely drop. And no on need get stung for large sums of money.

    • Ovno says:

      Bang on mate, prosecute people, then it has to go through the courts properly, none of this give us money or we might take you for more shit, proper legal process with check and balance is the only way to go.

      Also IMO do this to the people who create the copies not the people who download them…

  28. tenseiga says:

    Good on you mates! Have a fine of 60 Euro or simply ask everyone pirating to stop cos they know you are pirating and will make it harsher next time if they dont. Good news all around!

    I have a soft spot for pirates.

  29. Shooop says:

    A rare victory for sensibility.

  30. Imbecile says:

    I’m in favour of this move, I think, but I’m genuinely curious: How *do* you stop/penalise pirates?

    • jonahfalcon says:

      Well, one way to punish pirates is to stop making games. Or just make Facebook and social networking games which make a shit ton of cash. That’ll show the pirates.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Comment threads like this one always remind me why staying in software development & not moving into games development was & still is a good idea.

  31. zaphod42 says:

    Piracy = failure in pricing. We are given one option with no alternatives. We can’t purchase the first half of the game now, the rest later. We can’t haggle, and say hey, I can’t afford $60, but I’ll happily pay $40, that’s all I can spare. And for software, which doesn’t cost them anything to distribute (digitally anyways) $40 is much better than $0. But again, in the West, we’ve given up on that idea, and instead we feel justified that a single price is just HOW MUCH IT COSTS, and if you can’t afford that, then FUCK YOU, BUDDY!

    Go look at all the steam sales. They put games massively on sale, THEY SELL MUCH MORE THAN ANYBODY ANTICIPATED. Why? Valve themselves are running around trying to make sense of the numbers. Thats why we’ve seen sale after sale after sale since then.

    Look at the humble indie bundles. PAY WHAT YOU FEEL IS FAIR. PAY WHAT YOU CAN. And they’re selling like CRAAAAAZY.

    People aren’t theives, and piracy isn’t theft. Its copyright infringement over a product we feel we cannot afford. If we wouldn’t buy it, it isn’t a lost sale. But you can make turn that into a sale by getting off your high horse and matching the perceived market value of your product.

    The problem here is that every game expects to be about $60. Which is better, selling a few hundred copies for $60 and having lots of people pirate your game, or selling millions of copies for $10?!

    Businessmen are just arrogant. RAH RAH RAH these people are stealin mah moneh!

    Your profits only exist because of you customers.

    • Kaira- says:

      “We are given one option with no alternatives”

      Wrong. Keep your eyes open and you’ll notice that the price for pretty much any given product varies from store to store.

      “We can’t purchase the first half of the game now, the rest later. We can’t haggle, and say hey, I can’t afford $60, but I’ll happily pay $40, that’s all I can spare”

      As is the case with most of products on Earth. It’s up to those who provide the product who give us the terms, and up to us whether we accept those terms or not. If we accept, a sale is born, if not, no sale and product doesn’t change hands.

      “We can’t haggle, and say hey, I can’t afford $60, but I’ll happily pay $40, that’s all I can spare”

      Yes, because software price is mainly distribution, not multiple year production with even 200 men teams and buying licenses for technologies and libraries.

      “But again, in the West, we’ve given up on that idea, and instead we feel justified that a single price is just HOW MUCH IT COSTS, and if you can’t afford that, then FUCK YOU, BUDDY!”

      That’s how the market works. If enough people deem that the terms are unfair, something is bound to happen – either the provider of product will go out of business or they’ll try to adapt.

      “Go look at all the steam sales. They put games massively on sale, THEY SELL MUCH MORE THAN ANYBODY ANTICIPATED. Why? ”

      Because they are cheap. It isn’t excactly rocket science. Cheaper price equals larger potential customer base. Same thing with Humble Bundles. I wonder how many pay the absolute minimum of 0.01$.

      “People aren’t theives, and piracy isn’t theft. Its copyright infringement over a product we feel we cannot afford. If we wouldn’t buy it, it isn’t a lost sale. But you can make turn that into a sale by getting off your high horse and matching the perceived market value of your product.”

      There’s a saying, “situation makes a thief”. Then again, not all people are thieves in the dark. And yes, you can turn the copyright infrigement to sale by changing the terms of the sale, but not everyone is willing to do that. Why? Perhaps they’ve calculated that the current terms are good enough, or lower price could mean that the product becomes unprofitable.

      “The problem here is that every game expects to be about $60. Which is better, selling a few hundred copies for $60 and having lots of people pirate your game, or selling millions of copies for $10?!”

      There is no guarantee to sell millions of copies for 10$. Hell, to some people that seems to be too much for indie games! And with the lower price comes the implications – “our product is only worth 10$, we don’t think it’s that good that we could ask you 30$ or 40$”. Everything affects everything.

    • jonahfalcon says:

      I love that bullshit argument about how games are too expensive.

      For one, videogames are a LUXURY ITEM. You don’t need games any more than you need a sports car or a diamond ring. This isn’t bread to feed your family.

      You know how you can afford games? Get a job. Make money.

    • Jimbo says:

      @jonahfalcon

      Correct.

    • jonahfalcon says:

      And by the way, games are CHEAPER THAN EVER. I remember Ultima IV costing $74 in 1984 – that’s over $100 in inflation. Some NES and SNES games cost $60 in the 1990′s.

    • IDtenT says:

      *yawn* Supply and demand doesn’t work on software. You can’t practice your knowledge of market economics on it Kaira-. It’s a completely different product. There is no manufacturing cycle.

    • Kaira- says:

      @IDtenT

      Sure supply and demand influence even software market. Without demand, who are you going to sell your product? Even without manufacturing cycle, if you want to stay in business, you calculate costs of development per sold copy (or at least, how many copies you think you will sell), and set the price according to that. Of course you might also price yourself much lower than that and luckily strike big, but building the foundation of your business upon luck is idiotic. And besides, the same terms of making the deal still apply – supplier offers a product at certain price with certain terms, and it’s up to the customer to decide whether he wants to agree to those terms. Even if we are talking about digital products here, the customer hasn’t magically become the one who dictates the terms to supplier.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      “We can’t haggle, and say hey, I can’t afford $60, but I’ll happily pay $40, that’s all I can spare.”

      “The problem here is that every game expects to be about $60″

      But you CAN pay for less! Games go down in price with time, and so you fork out $60 for they privilege of playing the game sooner, or you can wait a few of months. I would buy almost no games if all games were sold for $60 all the time, and they never went down in price. If you don’t think a game is worth $60 just WAIT.

    • IDtenT says:

      @Kaira-. There is no supply! It’s infinite! It’s purely based on false scarcity. It’s something I cannot and never will get behind. It’s no better than a someone selling products as a monopoly. The only economic philosophy that could work in this case is pay what you want. That philosophy completely subverts the idea of supply and demand and is absolutely essential for an abundant commodity. Something the world will learn in the next 50 years or so, as scarcity dwindles.

    • Kaira- says:

      @IDtenT

      You still seem to act as if there is absolutely no costs involved in the producing of the product. Multiple year product cycle with large teams, even if the product is digital, is far from free. It costs money, and lots of it, which has to be recouped or the business will go under. Even preferable than that, you make even more money than that to be able to expand your business, or you will go under.

      “The only economic philosophy that could work in this case is pay what you want”

      Why? Because you want it so? Nothing has fundamentally changed – copyright holder puts a product on sale for multiple places, you can choose whether you accept these terms or not, and buy or not buy (and via that, influence the markets). The market works this way because WE want it to work this way – we support it, even if we don’t explicitly understand it.

      “Something the world will learn in the next 50 years or so, as scarcity dwindles”

      Maybe, time will tell us.

    • IDtenT says:

      The supply is still infinite. Our current theory of economics is dependent on supply not being infinite. To reduce the supply from its infinite roots into a false scarcity scenario is disingenuous and imo, morally reprehensible and should be legally dealt with as an antitrust issue.

      If the issue is developers going under, then they need to change the paradigm of how the financing work, to keep up with the fact that their end product will have infinite supply.

  32. bear912 says:

    Hurrah CDProjekt Red! I for one, will continue to support you!

  33. RyuRanX says:

    Consumer respect is the best DRM.

    • jonahfalcon says:

      Respect is a two way street. Pirates don’t respect developers, much less the law.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      Surely pirates don’t count as consumers?

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @jonahfalcon:

      A person who pirates despite CDProjekt making every effort to garner the respect of the consumer fails to recognize the “two way street” that you’ve mentioned, and thus are really scum that shouldn’t be bothered with in the first place. At this point trying to catch that particular brand of pirate would only be doing it out of spite.

      Now you tell me, why would a company want to waste money, resources, and consumer respect (all of which has a REAL effect on that business) to go after a band of thieves simply out of spite? It makes no sense.

  34. magos says:

    I’m not sure if anyone’s read All Tomorrow’s Parties by William Gibson, but the ending is, I think eerily prescient in a way.

    **Spoilers**

    Basically, a big oligarch sets up a suite of nanotech replicators as ‘hole-in-the-wall’ devices attached to every branch of his global convenience store franchise. Each one can effectively fax objects from one location to another, and each one displays the output of a video camera placed at the last location from which it recieved a transmission.

    The impact of this is pretty much left to your imagination (though you are left with the image of one person who has just faxed a duplicate of themselves across the world.)

    As our luxury commodities increasingly become intangible – as weightless and transportable as bits in an electric machine – so their creators increasingly lose control of their creations.

    And it’s clear that a lot of traditional commodity creators just have no clue how to deal with this revolution. Some have (think Gabe Newell & as much as I hate to admit it, Steve Jobs), but the likes of Ubisoft are heading for a serious fall.

  35. wisnoskij says:

    Seems pretty reasonable of them.

    The one problem I have with their response is “But you need to help us and do your part: don’t be indifferent to piracy. If you see a friend playing an illegal copy of a game–ANY GAME–tell your friend that they’re undermining the possible success of the developer who created the very game that they are enjoying. Unless you support the developers who make the games you play”

    “Any game” should be “our games”. as many developers have outright told their fans to pirate their games if they do not have the money tot buy them. Hell, a few hours ago Notch told a fan to pirate his game. So obviously Cd Project has no right to tell gamers what they should do with other peoples games.

    I also have always wondered what happens to the people who pirated the game and then bought it, before being contacted by the legal firm? Or do they still consider those lost revenue.

  36. Bhazor says:

    “Who gives a shit where he buys it from?”

    CD Projekt for one. It’s an extra $10 for them. Thats the same reason I care because I want to fund these guys and their rather smashing games.

  37. Vinraith says:

    Good on them. I certainly understand wanting to discourage piracy, and I agree totally with the last line of their letter, but this was clearly the wrong way to go about it.

    • jonahfalcon says:

      And what’s the right way of combatting piracy? They already tried DRM-free gaming, and they got f’ed in the ass for doing it.

    • Vinraith says:

      I don’t know the right way, I just know that punishing your legitimate customers is always the wrong way.

    • Prime says:

      It’s possible there IS no way to combat piracy. All content creators can hope to do is mitigate it as much as they can. Building mutual loyalty and respect with your customers is currently the best way I know of to do this.

    • jaheira says:

      “And what’s the right way of combating piracy?”

      Keep code server-side maybe? Just turn everything into an MMO. See Diablo 3.

    • Vinraith says:

      @jaheira

      That would definitely constitute punishing your customers.

    • alundra says:

      That would definitely constitute punishing your customers.

      This +10.

      Ask any Dark Spore user how does it feel to not being able to use the game they just purchased in any way because the servers are not available for whatever the reason, and before anybody comes with the silly “licensing” argument, it still stands that the user is not able to use in any way the thing they spent their money on.

      Talking about severely undermining the perceived ROI for a product, ah, but what do I know, game software is the product of an alien dimension, exempt of all economic rules belonging to this world.

  38. AMonkey says:

    Good, it was an utter waste of time what they were doing.

    • jonahfalcon says:

      And when they decide that the expense of making games is a waste of time? You do know what they’re saying, right? Stop stealing our games or we’ll stop making them. Period.

      Or at least make games that are more difficult or impossible to pirate. Like free-to-play games that microtransaction the hell out of you. Or social networking games. Or 99 cent games for iPhone.

      Anything where they have less worry about people ripping off something that they released DRM-free because they thought it would help the customers.

    • Starky says:

      Personally I think it would be a GOOD thing if the gaming industry crashed again, like a forest fire it would clear up the massive bloated monoliths that block all light, and allow for new, interesting growth.

      It won’t happen, the industry is too big now, inertia alone would carry it though any trouble spots.

    • jonahfalcon says:

      Because, in this global recession, we need more people out of work.

      Nice attitude, stupid.

    • Starky says:

      That is a straw man and you know it.

      People always pull out the “what about the poor folks jobs”, it’s bullshit. It’s crap when horrid abusive companies close (such as team Bondi) and its crap when good (but flawed, both in business and game execution) companies die (like Pandemic).

      Smart people get new jobs either in the gaming industry or another – no good coder, artist, or skilled and educated person is going to be out of a job for long unless they want to be.
      New companies would rise – and the health of the industry for both workers and gamers would probably be better than it is now with abusive practices, endless crunch and the majority of profits for the entire gaming industry going to rich investors who have fuck all to do with the industry, except for the fact they were rich and wanted to get richer.

    • Starky says:

      Oh and just to be clear when I say gaming industry, I mean the AAA gaming industry – the big publishers, the stock market listed, bloated creatures that currently exist.

    • Brun says:

      Agree, Starky. The industry is long overdue for a crash – not so much because of its stance on Piracy, but because of a number of unhealthy trends that are becoming increasingly prevalent among the largest of publishing houses.

  39. jonahfalcon says:

    CD Project RED is basically calling bullshit on people who claim they only pirate games as a way to demo them, since they clearly DON’T buy the game anyway.

    What makes me annoyed is that they released the game DRM-free on GoG.com. As Ubisoft discovered with the PC version of Prince of Persia (2009), release a game DRM-free means pirates will say thank you for making it easier to rip you off. Give an inch, they’ll take a mile. It was after Prince of Persia was financially unsuccessful due to all the stealing of it that Ubisoft went in the completely opposite direction of always on DRM.

    And CD Projekt RED is pointing out another thing: they’re not making games for your sake. They’re doing it to MAKE MONEY. They make the games you want to play because they hope to MAKE MONEY on it.

    Keep stealing from them, and they’ll just decide they can’t afford to make games.

    In other words, piracy is killing the golden goose – hope you like Facebook games and streaming games, because that’s what you’ll be getting in the future if this keeps up.

    • alundra says:

      In other words, piracy is killing the golden goose…

      Yay, that’s why steam has outgrown itself with every passing year, yay, that’s why every big publisher claims earnings bigger than last year’s, yay, that’s why the indie market is a thriving one.

      Ah these industry shillers, the jokes they try to pull on you.

    • jonahfalcon says:

      You do know that PC sales of major AAA titles are still dwarfed by console, right?

      Much of those Steam purchases are games that are old and have had price cuts, indie titles, Valve titles, etc.

    • Arglebargle says:

      JohnF, I think that dwarf is larger than you think. Not to mention that those ‘sales of old discounted games’ are still sales, and still profit. Something you don’t see nearly as much on older console titles.

    • Starky says:

      You do know that PC sales of major AAA titles are still dwarfed by console, right?

      So? That has sod all to do with piracy.
      PC games sales have been pretty stable for the past 10 years or so.

      The fact that PC games are outsold by console games has nothing to do with piracy and everything to do with the fact that console gaming has exploded in popularity – and there are a LOT more consoles than there are gaming PC’s (as in a PC with a beefy graphics card).
      PC gaming hasn’t shrank, console gaming has just grown to the point that makes PC gaming small in comparison.

      Hell, you can buy a PS3/360 AND a decent enough laptop for the cost of a gaming desktop (say £700 for a medium spec gaming machine + monitor), and both of them will last you 5-8 years easily.
      Where that PC will need upgrades in 2-3.

      I’m a hardcore PC nerd, I’m fine with spending more on my machine a year than most people spend on a holiday – but your average person isn’t.

    • jonahfalcon says:

      Uh huh. The truth: games don’t sell on PC like they do on console. Not even close. End of story.

      (Hint: There’s a reason The Witcher 2 is coming to 360.)

    • Starky says:

      Again 10 million or so 360′s, probably the same in PS3′s. probably only 10 million gaming PC’s (that is gaming PC’s owned by people interested in AAA games on their PC – such as those capable of running the witcher 2).

      There might be 100 million PC’s capable of playing WoW, indie games other older games, but that isn’t the same thing as a hardcore gaming audience.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      As an aside, I mostly wait until a game is cheap to pick it up. Surely that’s not a problem? Last year I bought 3 games at full price. All the others were at least discounted 50%.

      Am I killing the industry by acting as a consumer who doesn’t want to spend any more money than I absolutely have to?

      For the record: those games were The Witcher 2, Skyrim and Brink. All of them worth the admission price.

    • Starky says:

      No, you are a consumer, it is your duty to get the best deal for you, screw the companies if you can, feel no guilt – that’s just business, and you can be sure companies would gouge you if they could.

      It’s a problem for an industry that produces work with no actual material value, I’m an engineer, I make something i know how much it costs down to the last screw, I can then put a reasonable mark up (around 20%) on every “copy” and know that if I sell 1000, or a million, I’m making money on each one.

      Software doesn’t work like that, so the industry sticks these randomly high values on their products and hopes they sell enough valueless copies to meet costs. The problem is most companies don’t price their product to make a reasonable return, they price it at the standard and cross their fingers for unlimited profit.

      Witcher 2 sold 1 million copies, if that isn’t enough that the company made more than a healthy profit, then they’re bloody terrible and fully deserve to go bankrupt.

    • alundra says:

      @jonahfalcon

      Uh huh. The truth: games don’t sell on PC like they do on console. Not even close. End of story.

      (Hint: There’s a reason The Witcher 2 is coming to 360.)

      No, it is your truth, and it is your story, hint, nobody believes the bullshit you’re trying to shill unto us, and you obviously are speaking from a really biased perspective, another hint, at which point did the PS3 sales exploded?? None of Sony’s cost cuts, which have only undermined the console usability, did the trick, at which point?? Damn straight, when it was cracked and pirated copies started flowing.

      Don’t give us that bullshit consoles are 100% secure or have less piracy, you obviously have never, ever, used a console.

      And about that witcher 2 bit, what?? can’t they think of expanding their market?? it has to be because the PC is a piracy ridden flying piece of shit?? To me, you are the voice of those publishers who have an ecomonic interest on seeing the PC gaming market die than make the effort of releasing quality and bug free titles.

      Wanna use terrorism tacticts on us PC gamers?? Buy our flawed and pathetic warez or we will leave you?? Hey, have a nice trip!

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @jonahfalcon:
      Uh huh. The truth: games don’t sell on PC like they do on console. Not even close. End of story.

      This is the stupidest thing I’ve read all day. Your incredibly weak attempt at linking the niche market of PC gaming with piracy is one of the biggest leaps in logic constantly perpetuated by clueless armchair industry “analysts” like yourself.

    • rocketman71 says:

      @jonahfalcon: “What makes me annoyed is that they released the game DRM-free on GoG.com. As Ubisoft discovered with the PC version of Prince of Persia (2009), release a game DRM-free means pirates will say thank you for making it easier to rip you off. Give an inch, they’ll take a mile. It was after Prince of Persia was financially unsuccessful due to all the stealing of it that Ubisoft went in the completely opposite direction of always on DRM. ”

      I’m going to call that an enormous load of bullshit. Prince of Persia was unsuccesful because it was a pretty but extremely bland follow up to the series that presented absolutely no challenge and took your hand so strongly during the game that you couldn’t let go pressing Alt-F4 10 times.

      Still, I know of a lot of people (me included) that bought it BECAUSE it didn’t have DRM. Pirates?. Those that pirate games don’t give a shit about the game having DRM or not, they just change a couple of files and poof!. DRM free. And the ones doing the cracks?. Believe me, they aren’t happy about the lack of DRM, since it presents no challenge to them. In fact, Ubi’s DRM was like Christmas to them, since they could wave their e-peens trying to show off who cracked it first.

      I don’t know why Ubi went so taliban with DRM, but I don’t think it was because of Prince of Persia. But, unlike you, I won’t call my beliefs a fact.

      @jonahfalcon: “Uh huh. The truth: games don’t sell on PC like they do on console. Not even close. End of story.”

      Wrong again. Call of Duty doesn’t sell on PC like it does on console. You could put a turd in a box, write Call of Duty: Shit on top of it, and sell 10 million units for both 360 and PS3. You’ll never be able to do that on PC.

      Many devs have discovered that their games sell tons more on Steam than they did on XBLA. And PC is more than profitable. It’s just that you can’t take a console game, do a shitty PC port, add over the top DRM and release it 6-12 months later on PC, and when it sells 10K max shout “PIRACY!!!!”.

      Piracy isn’t killing shit. Idiot publishers are the ones trying to kill PC, and apologizers like you are the ones helping them. So, please, STOP.

  40. Marcin says:

    Great. Now can you re-issue the horribly broken CDs that Witcher 2 came in on? Still haven’t been able to play my purchased copy (tried on 4 different machines now).

  41. codename_bloodfist says:

    Good, now I can start buying their games. A shame they didn’t publish this before the Christmas sale was over.

  42. TheComputerGamer says:

    If they would have timed the announcement with a Witcher 2 GOG sale, it may have nudged the hold-outs.

  43. MrPo0py says:

    Kudos to RPS for their part in this. More of this kind of Journalism, please.

  44. jrodman says:

    To celebrate, I started purchasing games on gog.com again.

  45. Synchrony says:

    I would have prefered that they drop the threatening letters that could cause innocent people to pay through fear and actually take pirates to court instead. Let the courts do their job. This way pirates still have a deterrant and innocent people aren’t scared into paying.

    Also piracy does result in lost sales, not at the 100% rate some publishers claim, but I dont think anyone can argue that every single pirate wouldnt have bought it. And regardless you reasons ALL piracy is illegal. If you cant afford it play a different game theres loads free to play, if you want to know what it is like try a demo or read some reviews, if you see it as rebelling against drm or a poor port just dont play it.

    The best way to reduce piracy though is through sensible pricing, having a demo, offering good service and a well made product.

    edit for stupid phone making a mess of the post

  46. cHeal says:

    While the practise employed by CD Projekt was not something I support, at least it was aimed at the actual pirates. I have no problem with the demand for compensation if the proof of copyright infringement was more credible. That, as far as I am concerned was fair game.

    However I really do hope that this backtrack does not lead to the inclusion of DRM in their future releases. Because DRM hurts the customers, and not the pirates. It hurts the people like me who spent money on their game, and I do fear that with this backtrack, publishers may be more forceful in their attempts to push DRM on future products and CDP Red may be less inclined to fight the corner of us genuine customers.

    Personally, regarding the article from December I think RPS were wrong. If somebody pirates their game then I do not give a monkeys if they get a threatening letter looking for compensation. Call it blackmail if you want to get tabloid-y about it, but for me, it is a fine. If the government can administer fines for breaches of social order, why can a company not administer a fine for a breach of their property? Especially when the state in which the breach took place is unable or un-interested in fighting such law breaking.

    Where the real concern should have always lied is in the un-reliable nature of the IP tracking. It was always a joke to use IP addresses to prove one off offenses of this kind. The real problem is that people who had never even heard of the Witcher 2 may have been receiving these letters. That is abhorrent.

    I have long argued against DRM (going back to when steam started up) and warned that if people did not take a stand now, that it was the thin end of the wedge and it would only get worse and we would be slowly lead down the garden path until a point where we are all but renting the games we pay £30 for. I have long argued that individual downloads were not lost sales. That piracy is the result of a failing business plan and most importantly that DRM has always hurt the legitimate buyer more than the pirate. CDP RED gave us Witcher 2 DRM free. And took aim at the actual people who are hurting their sales. Yes the method they used was flawed and wrong, but at least they were aiming at the right people.

    I hope this community backlash does not cause them to re-align their aim for future products.

    • jonahfalcon says:

      They’re already realigned. CD Projekt Red is moving into the console space because that’s where games like The Witcher 2 can make money.

    • cHeal says:

      Well going on your previous posts, you seem to be positively delighted that this is case? I don’t even see the angle your playing. Your not a console-tard, because you probably just wouldn’t be on here. I don’t feel like you really care about CDP RED or their products. You seem to have a crazy hatred of pirates, but I still can’t see much point in a Publisher shill getting involved in this.

      SO what? So you make sh*t Facebook games?

    • Starky says:

      It’s stupid for any company to exclude 70% of their potential market.

      I’m a PC gamer, but realistic is realistic – CD project SHOULD release multi-platform, any major developer looking to make profit on a large budget project should.

      It would be like a Hollywood studio refusing to release a movie in Europe and Asia because they can’t be arsed spending the time and money doing localization – when 60-70% of most films income comes from those markets.

      I’m an engineer it would be like me refusing to make my design work on a 110 V US power supply, just because I designed it originally for 230 V.

    • cHeal says:

      Yeah I fully support CDP RED moving to consoles, provided they port PC –> Console. However I know that this is actually the harder way to do it :(

    • Jimbo says:

      Except you probably wouldn’t end up significantly altering the functionality of your design just to accomodate a different power supply.

      Once a developer decides that the place to make money is on console, then they become console game developers. It’s not as simple as saying ‘so we’ll just make a game for every platform!’.

    • Shooop says:

      If that’s the case jonahfalcon, then were the reports about very positive sales for The Witcher 2 all lies?

      Or were you simply unaware of them?

    • Starky says:

      @Jimbo – Yes, but I’d argue that a developer who can’t make a 3rd person action focuses rpg like the Witcher 2 function on all 3 platforms without significantly damaging the game, is a bad developer.

      Obviously some titles only work on a certain platform (MMO’s RTS, etc), and that is fine – but developers need to know that their total sales is limited and set reasonable targets and budget choices, not bitch about pirates when they don’t sell 5 million copies (when their total market was maybe only 1-2 million).

      Only Blizzard and valve are really capable of pushing 4 million sales on PC these days (probably not even Valve) – and except for the odd freak of nature (like minecraft) even the best of the best PC games might only sell 2 million – the market just hasn’t grown at the same pace as the console market.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @Shooop:

      Wait, you mean to say that people can actually make money on the PC and that the platform isn’t a financial cul-de-sac? Surely you just.

      Blizzard? Valve? What the hell are you talking about?

      @jonahfalcon:

      You should feel proud of yourself, because you’ve now perpetuated TWO incredibly ignorant urban myths about the state of the PC platform. #1 was “PC is a niche because of RAMPANT PIRACEE”. #2 is now “Consoles make more money because there’s no RAMPANT PIRACEE”.

      Please, continue parroting these logically defunct myths. What next, sir? PC gaming is OMG SO EXPENSIVE that you have to spend $1000 on graphics cards every month? Every PC gamer ever is a RAMPANT PIRACEE? Let’s go, out with it. You know you want to spew more ignorant preconceived notions about the platform. Better to just lump them up in one post so everyone can just laugh at you once instead of peppering that spew all over the comments.

    • kud13 says:

      A company can’t administer a fine, because we reserve that right for the government.
      because Government can be held accountable for its actions by the society. Corporations, not so much.

      you want to see where giving companies power to fine leads us? look at SOPA.

      it’s not a hard concept: if CDPRed feels their copyright has been infringed, take the infringer to court. When companies try to go and exert some vigilante justice on pirates, be it via legal threats, or DRM, it never ends well.

    • kud13 says:

      jonahfalcon says:01/12/2012 at 19:03
      They’re already realigned. CD Projekt Red is moving into the console space because that’s where games like The Witcher 2 can make money.

      I suppose this is why Witcher 1 never saw a release on consoles, right? despite the fact that the idea floated around endlessly.

      CDPRed is a CEE developer (that’s “central Eastern Europe–former communist countries not part of the USSR). their home countries are still PC-centric. their primary income comes from europe, they have to bank on PC to make ends meet.

      Any non-western publisher (and Japan is West for these purposes), will develop their title for PC. why? because PCs are being used everywhere, because PCs aren’t just for gaming.
      Consoles, otoh, are only for gaming. they are a luxury, in developing countries especially.

      And once I see witcher 2 make money on the playbox, then we can talk.
      As of right now, we know it was a PC title. that’s supposed to come out on the playboxes later.

      if CDPRED keeps porting stuff from the PC later on, i’ve got no issues with them trying to get extra cash of that.

  47. Lobotomist says:

    Respect – CD Project RED !

    Respect RPS !

    This is a great victory for our community and for gaming in general.

    And my hopes that CDR will have many profitable and creative years. I myself will do all I can to support them with my wallet.

  48. Devan says:

    I don’t see why we’re having a complete replay of the comments thread from the previous article.

    Way to go, CD Project! Thanks for listening to the concerns of your customers!

  49. try2bcool69 says:

    Aarrrr!

    You people are such hypocrites. There’s not a single one of you that hasn’t pirated SOME sort of media in your lifetime, and probably didn’t feel an ounce of remorse, so get off your high horses!

    I think these developers need to understand that the actual sales numbers are the only ones that matter. Pirates are going to pirate, you can’t count them as ‘sales we lost’. Even a pirate buys what they can afford, or what they deem worthy.

    With Witcher 2, it was mostly the fact that it didn’t get the kind of attention it should have from big gaming websites, and it wasn’t advertised enough to get people wanting it. I visit several sites a day, and never saw any coverage that made me go “WOW, I’ve got to have Witcher 2!” Hell, I never even remember seeing the first one come out, so maybe that’s the problem, ya think?

    It was a case of a little-known game simply being overwhelmed by a glut of high quality, highly anticipated sequel releases around the same time that caused their sales to be lower than expected. It’s called COMPETITION. Keep trying.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Have you discovered RPS only recently? Nearly all of the RPS blog posts about The Witcher 2 were extremely positive and there was an abundance of coverage.

    • SiplNico says:

      “You people are such hypocrites. There’s not a single one of you that hasn’t pirated SOME sort of media in your lifetime, and probably didn’t feel an ounce of remorse, so get off your high horses!”
      That’s a logical fallacy. Being a hypocrite doesn’t make their arguments less right or wrong.

      “With Witcher 2, it was mostly the fact that it didn’t get the kind of attention it should have from big gaming websites, and it wasn’t advertised enough to get people wanting it. I visit several sites a day, and never saw any coverage that made me go “WOW, I’ve got to have Witcher 2!” Hell, I never even remember seeing the first one come out, so maybe that’s the problem, ya think?”
      As you’ve already been told, The Witcher 2 was covered in many gaming websites and magazines.

  50. Gabbo says:

    Good to hear they’ve stopped, but this sentence: “While we are confident that no one who legally owns one of our games has been required to compensate us for copyright infringement.” does make it seem like they might have missed part of the point being made by those against such tactics. It’s not that paying customers may have been targeted, but people completely removed from online piracy based on flimsiest of evidence (thanks German law).

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