CDP On Free Witcher DLC, Next-Gen DRM Concerns

By Nathan Grayson on June 17th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Geralt’s hit the big time. He’s got his own open world, a handsomely haggard beard, and a simultaneous launch across multiple “next-gen” platforms. It’s the latter, however, that could spell his undoing – or at least make his witchy charms a lot less bewitching for a sizable portion of PC gamers. Console-makers, after all, aren’t too terribly fond of free updates, but CD Projekt’s modus operandi is handing them out like candy. Microsoft, meanwhile, has decided that draconian DRM is back in this season, and CDP’s been fighting on the opposite side of that battle for ages. Who will survive? Well, probably everyone, because we’re only talking about DLC for a videogame. But, if nothing else, PC gamers don’t need to worry. CD Projekt head Marcin Iwinski assured me that it’ll be business as usual for Witcher 3 updates on our platform of choice, even if consoles aren’t so lucky.

“A lot of people on forums are saying, ‘No, but you guys are anti-DRM,’” Iwinski admitted during an interview with RPS. “And we really are anti-DRM. But at the same time, there are people who’ll be fine with [Xbox One's online-heavy DRM]. They’ll buy the console and just want to play. Why should we not give them this option?”

“That’s our approach, but at the same time, we don’t know what the final policies are. Things might be changing. There’s a lot of heat right now. From our perspective, we’ll always choose the most gamer-friendly solution. And on the platform where we have control – which is PC – we’ll release on GOG day one and DRM-free.”

Which is a tremendous relief, but only one piece of a much larger, increasingly complicated puzzle. CDP built a reputation on its admirable generosity with DLC and updates, but console-makers have been known to favor an approach that involves a bit more needless brutality toward piggy banks. Iwinski, however, plans to stay the course as best he can.

“It’s too early to talk specifics, but definitely all the DLCs and updates will be free,” he said. “Of course, we’ll see what the platform holders will allow – what we can do for free [on next-gen consoles]. I mean, there are different business models on consoles. From our standpoint, we’ll definitely do everything we can to deliver the same experience across all platforms.”

“Should we decide to do some big expansions or something, we’ll expect gamers to pay for it. But again, it’s all value for money. I think $15-$20 for new gameplay is a pretty honest and fair deal. But additional weapons and fixes, those of course come as part of the package.”

The question, then, is what exactly that will entail. And while CD Projekt’s not quite ready to discuss specifics, Iwinski was adamant that his studio’s shiny new scythe-armed baby Cyberpunk 2077 won’t inherit all the support Witcher 3 would’ve gotten back in the day.

“We’ll be supporting The Witcher 3 for years after it comes out,” he said. “We’re also building the Redkit, and we’ll talk about modding Witcher 3 when the time comes. It’s all about a long-term relationship with our gamers. It even works from a business perspective. Abandoning our baby that we’ve worked on for several years would be crazy. The fact that we have a second game in development just gives us a better way to reallocate resources – QA and whatnot. It’s just a better way to manage the process internally. It’s better for the people and the team.”

Gameplay producer Marek Ziemak added that the grand tradition of bell-whistle-and-kitchen-sink-loaded Enhanced Editions will continue if need be. Ultimately, though, the fans will decide whether or not that’s necessary. If they think sweeping changes will vastly improve Geralt’s exceedingly lengthy ride into the sunset, then CDP will hop to it. If not, the team will direct its energy elsewhere.

So then, it’s mostly same-old, same-old from a company that would prefer to keep nickels and dimes in wallets and DRM six feet under. But we are talking about a studio that’s grown into something of a role-playing empire – or at least a very large city-state. And it’s arguable that even supporting Xbox One conflicts with one of CDP’s core values, which might seem a bit out-of-character for the studio. Ultimately, though, making games is a business, and – despite what appearances might sometimes suggest – even Iwinski has to make concessions. He just tries his hardest to keep them to an absolute minimum.

“Having said all that, we of course have to count money,” he said. “We have a whole production team and production procedures. But at the end of the day, the game [counts] – and not the money. Because the game will make the money if it’s good. Some people think it’s the other way around, and in the short run – business-wise – it makes sense. ‘I will sell this small thing for three dollars. It will make me $300,000. It’s good money. I will show more profit.’ But at the end of the day, how many fans have you lost? And that’s just a very simple mentality we try to avoid.”

“I think it’s in a way our trademark. People buy our games on day one because they trust us. And if we screw that up, it’s the end of the story pretty much.”

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91 Comments »

  1. dmoe says:

    Looks like I’ll need to upgrade before W3 comes out. Good timing really :)

  2. Didden says:

    I hope they make it like Crusader Kings 2 DLC. No no, I’m just kidding. Kinda feel that Paradox went a bit, to deep on the 99p malarky.

    But hats off to CD Project. I’ve bought every game they made and the model is a simple one. Make a good game.

    • felis says:

      Actually the CK2 variant of dlcs has lead to all users getting updates without buying any expansion packs – unlike earlier paradox games. No more splitting the userbase and free gameplay improvements for all. I think thats a win.

    • Fiatil says:

      CK2 DLC is fantastic! As the guy above me said, you get a bunch of the new features in the DLC for free in a patch. As an example, The Old Gods patch gives everyone the new religion system and updates all of the Pagans, the DLC just allows you to select an earlier start date and play as them. The debut at $15 was slightly too pricey for me, but only because of the ridiculous amount of content added in the previous DLCs. Before they release a new one, they tend to have a fire sale on the base game and all of the DLC; just before The Old Gods came out I grabbed the complete package for $10 on Amazon.

      All of the music packs and portrait packs are pretty silly on their own, but they get bundled together for basically nothing fairly frequently. Considering each DLC adds hundreds of hours of gameplay I’m having a tough time complaining about their policies.

  3. BobbyDylan says:

    Simple. Make it free on PS4 and PC, and charge Xbone users the cost that MS charge for the update. Another nail in the Xbone.

    • Cinek says:

      PS4 also charges. Only PC is a free platform.

      • welverin says:

        Depends on the game and DLC, it’s up to the publisher.

        Microsoft however is opposed to free DLC and insists on a fee for everything, which is why the DLC for LfD2 was free for PC, but not for the 360.

      • Flopper says:

        PS4 has a fee to play your games online. Read the fine print at the end of the commercial with the little Japanese guy and the big white nerd trading their game.

        • Wedge says:

          Good thing they scrapped multiplayer ideas for Witcher 3 then. I don’t believe we know what their policy on updating games or giving out free DLC is, though I don’t recall it ever being an issue on PS3 like it was on 360 where developers had to find sneaky ways or exemptions to do it.

  4. wasabi2k says:

    The more I hear from CDP the more they seem to be decent, intelligent people. I hope I am not horribly wrong.

    I also hope they are wildly successful with Witcher 3 – though I will have to finish 1 and 2 first.

    • solidsquid says:

      If you’re horribly wrong then you’re not the only one. I’m not hugely interested in the Witcher series, but whenever I read an article about CDP it generally makes me want to buy something of theirs to show some degree of support. Will probably pick up Cyberpunk at least partly because of this

    • gekitsu says:

      i agree. no matter how much interest one has in the witcher series (i always meant to give them a try…), the way these guys talk has a very down to earth and no-nonsense vibe to it. no tons of buzzwords or trying to sell bullshit as sliced bread (xbone *cough*), just a normal guy making a point.

      and its also damn smart. when you dont tell people bullshit, it cant come back and bite you. if you make a decision that could make you look bad, why not treat people like they are capable of understanding stuff and tell them the actual reason behind it.

      the only obscene thing is that this stands out.

  5. Haysoos says:

    Brilliant. Love these guys.

  6. Terragot says:

    I’m honestly fine with paying for additional content, as long as it’s not intergrated into the development time of the core game (and is fairly priced). I’ve heard horror stories of CD Projekt’s working conditions, which isn’t a surprise really given the budget ($8 mil?) they managed to get The Witcher 2 out on.

    There’s a compromise I‘m willing to make here. I’d like to avoid both gamer entitlement and publisher greed.

    • beejee says:

      Do you have a source on that? I can’t find anything about it and think you might be mixing up with the stories about the metro2033 devs.

    • aryman says:

      you are wrong. i’m from Poland, you should know it’s not China and guys in CDP Red are not makeing t-shirts :) working in games bussinesgives you good salary and many people would really like to work for CDP. you should also know, that they have many employees from different countries (USA, New Zeland, GB) – you think they would travel to cold eastern europe to work for “bowl of rice”?

  7. Lexx87 says:

    Keep us up to date with the Witcher 2 new combat mod guys! Holding off on the game waiting for that.

    • Cinek says:

      Personally I hope for a good combat mod for the first Witcher. Combat out there was horrific. One of the worst, if not: The worst combat mechanic I ever seen in any RPG. It was an endless QTE sequence. Horror of horrors.

      • Lexx87 says:

        I’m pretty sure there is one:

        http://en.thewitcher.com/forum/index.php?/topic/19890-list-of-mods-for-tw1-updated-3-april-2013/

        I’ve not tried it yet but there is a full Combat Rebalance on there.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          It really improves the game, though it does make it more challenging!

          • Lexx87 says:

            I’ve just read it was made by the same guy who is doing the one for Witcher 2 :-) Definatley worth a go.

      • kament says:

        It wasn’t QTE. It was some (fairly clunky) cross between action RPG and H&S. They rectified it somewhat in W2, but its core remained the same: build sequences with timed input.

        • Cinek says:

          it’s different where you simply got combos of moves and different where you need to smash a button when cursor turns yellow.
          W1 is QTE-based combat with semi-free movement.

          • kament says:

            Okay, let me put it this way: M1+M1+M1 timed combo in W1 is essentially the same, mechanically, as M1+M1+M1 timed combo in DmC. And I don’t think it can be described as QTE.

            I’m not saying that W1 combat is great. It’s realy not. You don’t have on the fly choice of combos, which is bad, but it doesn’t make it QTE.

          • Strangerator says:

            QTE is where you respond to flashing prompts onscreen, which tend to be different each time.

            Witcher’s combat system has far more in common with a rhythm game, if anything. It was all about developing a feel for the timing in each of the different sword styles, and before too long you can quite easily time things right without staring at the icon. I’d also say that Witcher 1 was closer to a traditional RPG, whereas Witcher 2 is undeniably an action RPG. In Witcher 1 it was all about stacking potion and sword buffs to boost stats for a fight, whereas with W2 is more a game of razor’s edge combat… though I’m a short way into W2 so my opinion may change. Both games are excellent in my opinion.

    • Nova says:

      Is one in the works? If so, I’m looking forward to it. Didn’t like the combat in TW2 at all.

    • Wut The Melon says:

      There is a release date for that mod now! 20th June, so three more days.
      http://forums.cdprojektred.com/threads/255-Full-Combat-Rebalance-2/page7

  8. Skeletor68 says:

    Is it true that the Xbone won’t be available in Poland? or is that just for launch? Can’t imagine CD Projekt Red agreeing to that.

    • scorcher24 says:

      Yeah would be cool if RPS could get a statement about that from CDPR.

    • GameCat says:

      Poland isn’t one of these 21 countries which will got Xbone first. But who cares. CDP games (PC versions) are very cheap here in Poland.
      Witcher 2 was for ~90PLN at launch so it was ~$27.

      Wow, I checked price of X360 version, it’s the same as PC version. I’m surprised, because other X360/PS3 games are 2x more expensive with price 200-220PLN at launch.

      Here’s the whole list of Xbone supported countries:

      Australia
      Austria
      Belgium
      Brazil
      Canada
      Denmark
      Finland
      France
      Germany
      Ireland
      Italy
      Mexico
      Netherlands
      New Zealand
      Norway
      Russia
      Spain
      Sweden
      Switzerland
      United Kingdom
      United States

    • luukdeman111 says:

      microsoft has said they’ll want to support poland among others in 2014… but still, it’s fucking ridiculous.

      http://gamingbolt.com/cd-projekt-red-reacts-to-lack-of-xbox-one-in-poland <— this is a very brief reaction from CD project on the matter….

    • Cinek says:

      Why “agreeing” of CDPR would have anything to deal with Microsoft policy of releasing consoles?

      Besides – xbox is pointless when you can have easily 8 times more powerful PC with Kinect 2 support.

  9. Logeres says:

    Wait, the same guys who sent alleged pirates letters threatening them to pay around 900€ unless they want to go to court are anti-DRM? Huh.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Anti-DRM =/= Pro pirating their games

      It means they don’t believe in punishing their genuine customers while the pirates get a DRM free experience anyway.

      • Bhazor says:

        Except those were sent out en masse often to people who never pirated it. Who knows how many innnocents would have paid out in fear of going to court. Don’t know about you but I’d rather put up with DRM.

        That was an absolute dick move. It’s tarnished everything they’ve said since then.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          I’m not disagreeing that it was a dick move, I just disagree that:

          1) There were significant number of people who left their torrent software running on someone else’s IP

          2) That every person who claimed they received this letter and were innocent did in fact receive this letter and were in fact innocent.

          3) That anybody who doesn’t require care and support for cognitive difficulties would pay that sum of money for something they didn’t do.

          4) The company were aware of the legal teams actions prior to the letters being sent, given that they renegotiated their contract shortly after.

          • Bhazor says:

            1) You never used a wireless connection? You never used an IP mask?
            2) One innocent is one too many.
            3) You really think so? What would your grandma do if she received a letter like that? She would have no idea what it means and getting legal advice could cost five times as much. She might think it’s better to just pay up.
            4) Bullshit. A legal team does not just run out on their own like that. Besides, CD Projeckt accepted it was company policy. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/01/12/splendid-cd-projekt-to-stop-legal-threats/#more-88808

          • Anthile says:

            I have been a victim of one of those kind of letters as well. It was, of course, completely unjustified so I went to my lawyer (always do that, never sign anything) and with that the whole thing was off the table.
            These kind of letters are usually sent from incredibly shady lawyer offices, sending out thousands at a time complete with xeroxed signatures. The profit margins are enormous.
            It’s not about catching pirates, it’s all about bullying and intimidating people into paying ludicrous sums of money.

          • Aedrill says:

            Here’s the thing: CDPR wants to protect their game from pirates while avoiding DRM. They talk to different developers and publishers and find out that many of them are sending letters to the pirates. They think “Well, this might work. It’s been tested by other publishers, so it works.” So they do it, and it doesn’t work, and they make their fans angry. They decide to quit it because it’s not worth it any more.

            Meanwhile, all those publishers who were doing this thing, keep doing it, and absolutely no one is angry at them, because they simply don’t talk about it in public.

            CDPR made a mistake and decided to fix it. And now, gamers such as you lot send a message – if you want to do anything even remotely controversial, keep it quiet, because if you communicate with us, we’ll rage till the end of time. Well done.

          • basilisk says:

            Aedrill:

            They talk to different developers and publishers and find out that many of them are sending letters to the pirates.

            Could you give some examples, please? Also, “everyone else is doing it” has never been a legitimate excuse for anything, ever.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @ Bhazor –

            Of course I have used a wireless connection, don’t see how that’s relevant – are you asking if I’ve used someone elses wireless to illegally download a game, no.. no I haven’t. Yes I understand that it is possible, even easy, but do you know one single person, even anecdotally who bothers to travel to a random persons wireless (because your neighbour will be able to easily finger you) network, hack it, download a game before returning home. No because it does not happen. People pirate over their own internet connection using an IP mask… which does not point to a random IP, but the server address of the provider of the mask e.g. if I use spotflux to illegally download a game, spotflux would have owned the IP address that CDP traced. Not a random member of the public.

            While I agree that one innocent is too many, hence the dick move bit, it’s a letter, made from words. Words which even a simpleton knows will have no legal repercussion if ignored if you have not actually illegally downloaded a game. If you receive one of those letters and you genuinely believe that either the police are going to come barging into your house or that a court will award damages based on a singular piece of the most circumstantial evidence that could ever be, I hold you in the same low regard as alien abductees and government conspiracy theorists (the tin foil hat ones).

            Which grandma? The one who receives social care because she is not mentally competent enough to live safely on her own or the one who would laugh at a letter like this and throw it in the bin? Neither by the way would just pay up and I maintain that anyone who would is not fit to live alone. Do you know of anyone who has paid 900 euros because they received one letter saying they did something that they didn’t just to make it go away? I asked you this when the news was first announced and you came up with a grand total of 0 people you can say did pay innocently, so you are still blowing the same arrogant hot air you were back then as well, assuming people are that weak. People for the most part are strong and are not pushovers. Also, why grandma, not grandpa? Are women weaker and more likely to be bullied?

            How many studios do you know where legal action is agreed on by all members of staff? None. How about all the senior members of staff, say project leads and above. Also none. How about just the company owners… still none. Those decisions are left to qualified legal teams. How many companies do you know who require their staff to publically support all decisions made by that company, whether the member of staff was involved in said decision or not… All of them.

          • Aedrill says:

            @basilisk
            I won’t give you any link, since it was a long time ago, but some warez site published a list of publishers who do this letter thing. And it was a long list, with very big and serious companies on it. IIRC RPS reported on that, but I might be wrong.

            I never said it’s ok, because everyone is doing it. But put yourself in CDPR’s situation. You’re a young game company, with only one game published, not without problems (e.g. The Witcher 1 was supposed to be released on Xbox, but a company who was doing the port screwed up and CDPR lost a lot of money and time because of it), and you’re looking into ways of fighting piracy that don’t affect legitimate customers. You don’t want DRM, because you get it. So you go around and start asking publishers. And some of them say “just hire lawyers from XYZ, they will track the pirates and fine them. It works great as both the scare tactic and source of revenue”. And you keep hearing that from many sources, each of them much more experienced than you are, so you’re thinking “If those guys are doing it, it must be well researched and fair method of tackling piracy!”. So you go public with this decision, because you’re young and stupid, and forgot how Internet works, and everyone goes mental. You back off, but it’s too late, as long as your company exists, there will be people like Bhazor, who will remind everyone of this single event, during every single fucking conversation about your company or your games. Meanwhile, those very same Bhazors of the Net will never mention any of the big publishers who were doing it for years, and ARE STILL DOING IT, because they kept it quiet.

            Now, I’m not saying that what CDPR did was right. By all means, it was a bad decision. But it wasn’t malice, it was bad research and gullibility. What’s more important to me, is that CDPR will always try to do what the fans want, because they feel it’s the best business model for them. However, this situation shows, that this strategy can backfire, and fans can rage for ever over any mistake, real or otherwise, even if you’re trying to be honest with them.

            EDIT:
            Also, everything that Sheng-Ji said.

        • Thoric says:

          @Bhazor I’m pretty sure that if they knew about the controversy surrounding Reichelt Klute Aßmann and other law firms like them, they wouldn’t have immediately gone in front of gaming media all “HEY GUISE WE FOUND THIS AWESOME FIRM THAT STOPS PIRATES ISN’T IT COOL” before the game even released and letters started being sent out.

          They legitimately thought of this as an effective anti-piracy tool, not as a way to make some quick buck off the backs of innocent people.

          • The Random One says:

            Yeah, it was a massive dick move, but didn’t even register in the Richter scale of publisher dick moves. Honestly if CDPR didn’t have that massive black spot in their history I wouldn’t believe they could be so flawless.

      • Belsameth says:

        Yes, punish pirates. Its not at all a mass extortion scheme. No sir!

        But, credit where credit is due, they did back out of it. I can’t help but remember it tho, whenever they’re saying how awesome they are for their customers :)

        • WrenBoy says:

          As jerf says below, they apologised as well as backed out of it. Based on the rest of their pro customer behaviour and the consistently pro customer behaviour of Gog, its not hard to take the apology as sincere.

          After all, if everyone constantly reminded me of that one time* when I was a dick I would start to shun society.

          *ahem

    • scorcher24 says:

      Your comment makes no sense. Just because you don’t have any DRM does not mean you have to stand by and watch how others steal your work.

      I do open source programs and I have asked several bigger platforms to credit me, if they offer my stuff for download.
      So just because my work is free does not mean I stand by and watch others getting credit for my work ;).

    • Orija says:

      Every other publisher doe this, or so I’m told. CDP were just decent enough to say it publicly, that is if they aren’t the only ones doing it.
      Secondly, they hire a law firm to send all those letters for them.

    • jerf says:

      They rather quickly abandoned this decision, and apologized: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/01/12/splendid-cd-projekt-to-stop-legal-threats/
      You can never see this from the likes of EA when they make a dick move.

      So this didn’t hurt my very high opinion of CDPRed much, in the end.

    • arccos says:

      Which they stopped doing, apologized, and haven’t done since.

      • El_Emmental says:

        But then that would mean Bhazor (and a few others) would have to hold balanced and complex opinion about a person, company or event, by properly following a story and its later evolution – unlikely to happen.

        I’m being quite unpleasant on this one because I’ve noticed that behaviour way too often, and only from a few people. It’s unfairly spreading ‘lies by omission’ (or ‘intentionally partial truth’), because some people desperately desire revenge and ultimately turn to pure bad faith to achieve that goal.

        A negative experience happened, they hated that moment, and decided “that’s it, I hate them forever !”.

        And no matter what happen next (= the actual cause of that problem is identified, the problem is fixed, compensations are handed out, apologies are made, the people who caused the problem are punished, etc), they’ll never nuance their opinion, because they would have to face their past-self / past-ego, and show a good deal of humility to admit they were probably not 100% right about something, requiring them to ‘update’ their views.

        It’s happening on various “hot” topics on RPS (I’ll let you guess which ones), and sadly it’s doing a disservice to everyone involved: it discredits the legitimate reproaches and criticism, while hurting the targets for the wrong reasons.

        -

        About the CDP letters, by writing “4) Bullshit. A legal team does not just run out on their own like that. Besides, CD Projeckt accepted it was company policy.”, Bhazor clearly showed (s)he refuses to admit the reality of the video game industry, let alone the actual way a company works.

        A) The vast majority of companies do not have a dedicated lawsuits department (way too much expensive – these guys need to be pay 12 months a year), they often rely with a skeleton legal team (outsourcing most of the job to a contracting company in case of a lawsuit)(exceptions: giant publishers who also have to manage plenty of IPs and M&A, justifying the huge cost), and with smaller companies, getting a part-time legal team from outside, just like with accounting.

        B) A legal team can and will run out on their own, depending on the company management structure and the failure of inhouse communication, or the contract between the company and its outsourced legal team (if you outsource and don’t have a solid jurist in-house to keep them in check, there’s a good chance the lawyers will exploit your ignorance in the legal field to get more money out of your legal rights).

        It’s happening all the time with such 3rd party contractors paid by commissions on the results (the “mercenaries”), often going overboard to get a hefty bonus check at the end of the year.

        Guess what ? CDP contracted a law firm to handle their “fighting piracy” actions, like tons of other studios (and not just the AAA ones) are doing for the last 15 years, and basically asked for the “usual stuff” – which mean “we’re total newbies about it, you can do whatever you want, we won’t notice”. The lawyers rejoiced, and turned the spam-IP-adresses machine up to eleven.

        When CDR learned about what actually happened, they stopped the whole thing, explained why they hired these lawyers (CDP only wanted to fight piracy) and apologized for what actually happened. They haven’t added DRM, they haven’t attacked websites illegally distributing their games, they just accepted to endure unrestricted piracy.

        And Bhazor shows up, briefly insinuating most letters were sent to random, innocent people on purpose, that innocents paid the ransom out of fear, that it was CD-Projekt itself that did the whole thing (by not mentioning the outsourcing), that the thing wasn’t cancelled (by not mentioning what happened after the initial letters were sent), that such threats-to-go-to-courts aren’t a common thing (by not mentioning how thousands of entertainment companies (including video games companies) do that on a daily basis).

        Sure it was a dick move.

        But they’re *mostly* responsible for what happened, the lawyer firm has its share of responsibility too.
        But they realized what happened, listened and cancelled the whole thing.
        But they explained themselves and apologized.
        But they’re selling their games without any DRM on day 1, making day-1 piracy something available to anyone capable of doing a google search.

        But with these additional information, it is hard to say if we hate/love, like/dislike CD-Projekt.

        Better stick to a manichean approach and pick a side – a point of view easier to hold, remember and “defend”.

        -

        ps: Having to face that same behaviour over and over and over again, people refusing to see the complexity of problems, is really getting tiresome.

        It is such a sisyphean struggle, you feel like you’re only there to hear about how their ego feel about the discussed problem – a hidden crowdsourced psychotherapy, being exploited so they can feel better about themselves.

        I think I finally give up, even if lies and ignorance are spreading like moss around me. Let them have their “bad guys”.

  10. kael13 says:

    I wish to vigorously hand these gentlemen a portion of my income.

  11. Megakoresh says:

    Waiting for the pre-orders to kick off. I will be needing a new graphics card…

  12. BarneyL says:

    I don’t see how selling on the Xbox One “conflicts with one of CDP’s core values” any more than selling Witcher 1 and 2 on Steam does. Both are platforms that prevent resale, both require regular check ins via the internet.

    • Cinek says:

      Steam does not require checks with the internet. Only during the installation.
      Also Steam isn’t a DRM.
      XBOX IS.

      • Mfatih says:

        Steam is a DRM.

        • basilisk says:

          Wrong. Steam is a digital distribution platform. Products distributed on this platform may utilise some of its numerous features, collectively known as Steamworks. One of them is a DRM solution called by Valve Custom Executable Generation, or CEG for short. Just like with all the other features, its use is not mandatory.

          (Repeat it often enough, one day they’ll understand.)

          • The Random One says:

            Steam is a digital distribution platform that has a DRM called Steamworks so deeply integrated into it that, while it is possible for some games to be run without it, the process for 1) discovering it is possible and 2) actually doing it is so obscure that Steam the distribution platform and Steamworks the DRM are effectively the same thing.

          • Arkh says:

            Not to mention, The Random One, that adopting Steamworks Workshop integration often mean the game will be exclusively run on Steam. That’s what happening with EU4 and Arma 3.
            That kind of locking down of the game being available on other portals who let you download standalone binaries is harmful.

            I’m all about games being available in Steam and other, less intrusive portals that don’t require third part software.

          • basilisk says:

            The Random One: “the process for 1) discovering it is possible and 2) actually doing it is so obscure”
            If double clicking an .exe file is obscure, I’m apparently a world class hacker.
            You people need to get your terminology right and then you’ll see what the problem is. Workshop is not Steamworks, the DRM is not Steamworks. Both are just parts of the entire Steamworks suite. It’s not so hard.

            Arkh: Not to mention, The Random One, that adopting Steamworks Workshop integration often mean the game will be exclusively run on Steam.
            Let me once again point at the poster child, Dungeons of Dredmor, a game using the Steam Workshop, achievements and cloud saving but not the DRM component, and deliberately so. It is also not a Steam exclusive despite all that.

            I’m not here to defend Steam, just to set the facts straight. I also think exclusives of any kind are ultimately a bad thing. But the developers are as much to blame here as Steam is, and arguably more so.

          • ScubaMonster says:

            BS. Steam IS DRM. It’s just less harmful DRM with some cool features tossed on top. You can split hairs and reword it all you want, but at the end of the day, Seam is DRM. I love Steam, but let’s be realistic and stop worshiping the Valve gods for a minute. Your games on Steam cannot function without Steam. It’s not simply a distribution platform only.

          • basilisk says:

            Your games on Steam cannot function without Steam
            Some of them can. Which means your point is simply invalid. Sorry about that.
            And I’m not worshipping the Valve gods. In fact, their latest trading card bullshit pissed me off to no end, for example. I just think that any discussion involving DRM really needs clarity, and “Steam is DRM” is misleading at best. But yes, it is something of a pet peeve of mine.

          • derbefrier says:

            steam is DRM. there’s really no argument here. whether or not a very small amount of games can launch independently of it is mostly irrelevant since the other 99% cant. It may not be as rigid as the Xbone by giving the developers a choice to use the drm functionality but since most use it you cant really argue its not a drm platform. it is what it is a popular DRM\social platform(AKA: the the PC version of xbox live). I was wondering when this comparison would be made. as the xbone’s drm scheme is very close to what we already have on popular PC distribution platforms like steam and Origin, Uplay etc…

          • basilisk says:

            Sorry, that’s just scientific method. There’s at least one* example where the hypothesis clearly doesn’t apply, therefore hypothesis is invalid. End of story. “Most Steam games use Steamworks DRM” and “Steam is DRM” are not logically equivalent statements. First is objectively true, second is not. Call it nitpicking if you will, but that doesn’t mean the distinction isn’t there.

            *More like one hundred, but just for the sake of argument, let’s go with “one”.

      • Arkh says:

        Steam is as much DRM as Xbone is.

        • Flopper says:

          But Steam gives you something to compensate for the DRM. Like convenience of having thousands of games at your fingertips without having to put in a disc or go to the store. And let me know when Microsoft starts running Steam sales and I can pick up AAA titles for like 3 bucks.

          Also Steam’s offline mode has worked through the kinks. I use it all the time. Does XBone have an offline mode? Derp derp

        • xao says:

          Except for the bit where you can run games offline. And the part where you can play your games without having Steam running if the devs have enabled it.

          Steam is a digital distribution platform. It allows developers to use DRM features, but does not require it.

      • AlienMind says:

        Oh yeah? Try installing a game you bought, on a new PC, without internet. I’m using GOG and I CAN.

        • Lazarus_Soma says:

          Pretty sure I still couldn’t re-download a game from GoG if I don’t have an internet connection regardless.

          What I’m getting at is, your point is the embodiment of asininity.

    • onyhow says:

      …I don’t remember anywhere in GOG that you can resale your stuff…

  13. Zephro says:

    They are anti DRM but previous Witcher games have all had DRM version. The 360 version and the Steam versions bot had it.

    • Cinek says:

      PC version was patched to remove the DRM.

    • Drayk says:

      They give you the choice to buy it without DRM if you don’t want to (on GOG for exemple).

      I wasn’t a strong anti DRM guu before experiencing troubles with Rockstar..
      I had to pirate Max Payne 3 to be able to play it even if I bought it on steam before. I spent countless hours trying to fix an issue preventing me to log on their silly ‘social club’ before I finally gave up…

  14. povu says:

    I’ve seen people say that if they are anti-DRM they shouldn’t release on Xbox One at all, which is a dumb thing to say. Obviously, it’s going to be a large market and they deserve all the financial success they can get, excluding a platform for no good reason is a bad idea.

    And if it was truly a ‘this platform doesn’t uphold our beliefs’ thing then the game wouldn’t be on Steam either.

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s not no reason. If companies only release their games on console platforms with relatively sane policies, like PS4 (and I guess Wii U if they must), then the Xbox One loses value to the consumer and Microsoft will eventually be forced to backpedal on their aggressive DRM and used game policies.

      Granted, very few of the major games publishers are likely to have any problem with those policies whatsoever, so CDProjekt would probably be acting all but alone and the gesture would be effectively toothless. So I’m not saying they necessarily -should- do it, only that there are reasons to.

  15. Kefren says:

    I bought Witcher 1 and 2 just because of the DRM-free GOG support. Haven’t played 2 yet but enjoyed 1 (once I got into it, which took an hour or so).

    I think that there’s no problem with their view – make it DRM-free when you can, and if the platform doesn’t support that release it anyway, there’s nothing more that can be done. As long as there is a DRM-free option that’s the main thing. I have the same issue with e-books, I want ones I buy (or my novels, if people buy them) to be available DRM-free (e.g. the versions available at Smashwords). At the same time I’m not going to avoid selling via Amazon, Kobo etc. If people are happy buying books with DRM then I’ll sell them, I just like to make sure there are always DRM-free options for those who prefer it.

  16. Thoric says:

    I don’t see how they’re backing out on their anti-DRM policy be releasing on Xbox, considering they’re already on Steam since forever. Never mind it’s not worth screwing all the Xbox fans they made with TW2.

    But I guess this is the sort of harebrained complaints you get down to, when you avoid the common mistakes every other studio and publisher makes.

    • mrmalodor says:

      You do realize that Steam allows you to run certain games without running Steam, right? Witcher 2 is one of them, as far as I know.

      • Lazarus_Soma says:

        See I have a problem with the argument that you folks keep using that “you can run certain games offline”
        the only games that actually require that steam be running are the games that are intrinsically tied into steam itself, that being the fairly small amount of valve published games and games where the devs decided that using steams net framework for their games online functionality would be best for their game.
        seriously click offline and your good to go for nearly all of the games you have downloaded and up to date on steam, which is something steam itself does for you so there isn’t really a reason for them to not be.
        Anywho just wanted to get that off my chest, ya’ll can go back to your circular logic arguments now.

  17. Strangerator says:

    I view CDP’s anti-DRM stance as merely a branch of their overall policy of serving gamers first. If they were to come out and make a big deal by withholding the game from Xbone owners, they’d be acting as anti-DRM activists while cutting off some of their player base. At the end of the day, their mission is not to teach Microsoft or anybody a lesson about DRM, their mission is to make great games while respecting the people who buy those games.

    I think their stance of “we’ll release on all platforms with the minimum required DRM for each platform” will still make their point quite well, especially if certain consoles charge players for DLC while PC gamers pay nothing. CDP can then respond to any outrage with “well, that’s as good as Sony and/or Microsoft allowed it to be.”

  18. oldtaku says:

    They can’t actually promise free DLC on XBox One. Microsoft is pretty clear – no free content updates. That’s how it is on X360, that’s how it’ll be on XBone.

    They occasionally let people slip some new content in as a bugfix update, especially for more indie stuff, but there’s no way they’d let a major publisher slip in some huge new DLC for a major game like Witcher 3 without charging for it, because they want their cut.

    Maybe they’ll work something out, but they certainly can’t promise it’ll be possible right now.