CD Projekt RED Ceases Hunt For Pirates

CD Projekt RED has announced that it will be ceasing all action identifying and contacting people who downloaded The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings illegally, after concerns were brought to the company by gamers.

Marcin Iwinski, Co-Founder of CD Projekt RED, has released an open letter to the gaming community which you can read below.

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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

 

I think the most important part of this message is highlighted in the final paragraph. Piracy in the games industry is a complex issue and there is no easy fix that will make everyone happy.  It must be remembered, like stated in the letter, that devs rely on the income from their games to produce new titles. It will be interesting to see what effect this announcement will have on the sales and piracy rates of The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings.

 

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12 Comments

  1. “what effect this announcement has on sales and piracy rates of The Witcher 2”

    Personally I don’t think it’s going to do sod all to the sales/piracy. Pirates are still gonna pirate games and the more, honest people let’s say, will buy it from legit sources. Unfortunately though as you stated, there is no way to please everybody.

  2. Fantastic letter in my opinion. Always nice to see with your own eyes developers listening to the consumer.

    Also, it’s nice to see a reasoned and calm argument against piracy. The guy speaks sense, and anyone reading that will know it.

  3. If i was a pirate (aar!), i think them doing/stating this would be seen as almost permission to go ahead & pirate as they will now know that there will be no consequences to the action.

    However, i am not a pirate & have a lot of respect for the following statement;

    “we value our fans, our supporters, and our community too highly to take the chance that we might ever falsely accuse even one individual.”

    Not sure i would have laid all my cards on the table in this way though & i probably would have added something along the lines of “if clearly & correctly identified, pirates will still be subject to compensation schemes” (or something) to at least keep the pirates on their toes a little more.

  4. Shame that this will be a green light for more people to pirate, but am genuinely moved to read that letter.
    The games industry is going through a rough patch for developers. Studios are closing almost daily. A lot of people are losing their jobs and a lot of potentialy fantastic games wont get made. Piracy is not helping this. More people should speak sense like this to actual fans and gamers and perhaps people will think twice before downloading a free copy of a game that might be costing somebody their job.

  5. I’m not sure it’s so easy to sort people into “Pirates” and “Non Pirates”. I own all the current gaming systems, and I buy someting like 2 full priced titles per month on average, which is close to £1k a year on software.

    I will always support developers that make quality titles, even avoiding pre-owned as much as I can. But at the same time, I’d be lying if I said I’ve never Yarred anything.

  6. I think Pirates couldn’t care less about the developer as long as they get the game free legally/illegally. :( I really hope this doesn’t result in more people pirating The Witcher 2.

    I wonder if they could have put in a gamebreaking bug that ruins the game for all pirates but doesn’t affect those who legally own it? If i was a dev, i would be tempted to code in an offencesive message to pirates before causing the game to crash for those who pirated it.

    • Whilst perhaps not the most eloquently put, I actually agree – I have a great respect for those devs that are able to implant difficulty increasing triggers for pirates or set free the hardest boss in the game, upped to the nth degree to wail on their backsides. I like this approach as not only does it p*ss the pirates off, but it also doesn’t punish those that bought legitimately.

  7. Proud owner of the collector’s edition of The WItcher 2. CD Project has been great to the community so far. They removed the online verification during the installation and delivered updates and fixes post release. I hope people realize how kind they have been and value that with a legitimate purchase of their great games.

  8. I found this out recently, which put me off buying some games over christmas. I can’t really find words to quite describe how awesome the open letter is, but I think i’ll have to rectify that situation now :3

  9. I’ve yet to buy it but have never been tempted to like download, if you have spare cash? go for it…for the special edition I think? all the stuff is amazing for just £20. I’d love to buy it in stores one day..

    *dreams*

  10. Piracy will never cease to exist. I think not having any DRM is the way forward many people pirate games because the DRM means you have to always be online and in many cases its a much smoother experience to pirate it.

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