The Witcher 2 Pirated "Roughly 4.5 Million" Times, Says Dev

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TheKasp:

MelasZepheos:
1 in six people (probably more) have pirated the Witcher.

4.5 million sales of a game that retails at somewhere between 20-60 GBP. This game has lost £180,000,000 (approx)

And PC Gamers wonder why no one wants to develop for them anymore? If a game was on the console (I know there is still console piracy, but it's much rarer) then it had the potential to make nearly two hundred million instead of lose it.

Maybe if PC Gamers stopped pirating 60-90% of their games people might feel a bit nicer towards them. After all it's been proven that PC Gamers will pirate a game which would otherwise cost them a single penny, so why exactly should I believe they are nice wholesome folk?

Where do you get your information that it is much rarer? It is as easy as pirating on the PC and much harder to get the actual numbers (get yor pirated copies from the guy who mods your console in 20minutes, you don't even need internet and as long as you are not stupid enough to connect the console to the internet = win)?

Also, thank you for calling me a pirate. May I call you prick for that?

It actually is much more of a hassle to mod your console and get pirated games for it. At least when compared to PC which literally only requires a connection to the internet. Also bear in mind that PSN and Xbox Live ban people for modding their consoles and most people using consoles are at least connected to online services in some manner and you have a pretty effective deterrent to modding consoles. Not to say that it doesn't happen, of course.

THANK YOU, the worst thing about this DRM stuff are the incredible hoops it forces legal owners to jump through.
Anyway, maybe I'm incredibly naive, but I'd hope that pirates still buy the games they enjoy at least to support their particular developers.

This makes me want to have money to buy more games. If I would be rich I'd bought at least 5 copies of the witcher 2... But Christmas is coming and well don't have that big budget for games every year....

And I wonder if he thinks that DRM might have decreased those numbers if they would implemented it...

However it is good to see some studios seeing that you should not punish your customers for what pirates do...

Laxman9292:

It actually is much more of a hassle to mod your console and get pirated games for it. At least when compared to PC which literally only requires a connection to the internet. Also bear in mind that PSN and Xbox Live ban people for modding their consoles and most people using consoles are at least connected to online services in some manner and you have a pretty effective deterrent to modding consoles. Not to say that it doesn't happen, of course.

Consoles are cheap. Especially a banned console. Also: Dont connect the console to the internet = win.

All I wanted to say: It is not as hard as people think, my brother used to have a modded Xbox himself and I know several people who bought a banned console just to pirate games for it.
Also: While it is easier to get a rough number on pirated copies for the PC (since the days of sharing it on lan are mostly over, amount of downloads = minimal amount of pirates [this is what people think]), pirated copies for consoles are often given out by the same people who mod the console. So one download equals many more pirates.

Piracy on the PC is big. But lets not pretend that is not big on consoles. It was back then, it is now.

The thing to bear in mind with large numbers like this for pirate downloads is that 1 illegal download does not = 1 lost sale. In fact I would guess that as few as 1 in 1000 pirated game would have been bought at retail if piracy wasn't an option, which is a drop in the ocean in terms of over all sales.

You have to remember that the reason most people pirate is because they are either unable to pay (kids and students) or unwilling to pay, thats why they jump though the hoops required to illegally download and crack games. Most of the time your average person with money to buy the game will buy the game, they are the core sales demographic and they remain largely unaffected by piracy no matter how ridiculously large those illegal download figures get.

Just their attitude toward games makes me want to rush out and buy The Witcher 2.

May I say I love these guys? The Witcher 2 is an incredible game, and they are an incredible studio.

Generally, people should stop thinkin in terms of "boo hoo, this game lost (insert ridiculous amount of money) because of piracy". That, logically speaking, I'm not much of an economics guy, isn't the case! The studio still made a good profit with their game, it's just that they COULD have made more money if there was no piracy.
The people who DID buy their game legally love the company all the more and will stay willing to pay for their products. Try to say that for Ubisoft clients.

The Witcher 2 is a game well worth it's price, unless most crap. Please don't pirate these people, all the possible reasons you may have to pirate a game cannot be applied here. Fair price, great game, free DLC, no DRM, just fair and square.

Oh, there is one reason to download it: see if your PC can run it, cause it's a demanding game. But if it does work, just fucking pay it.

I'm sure those 4.5 million were merely trying to see if the witcher would work on their pc.
Or were using the game as an extended demo and went out to buy it afterwards when they had their taste. Or Witcher was unavailable for their country or just...

Meh I hate pirates, they ruin gaming for the rest of us :(

Matthew94:
This guy has the right idea, they don't try to fuck over consumers *cough*ubisoft*cough*

How is this the right idea when it leads them to being pirated like silly?
Sorry but Ubisoft has the right idea here and circumstances seem to be vindicating them, as much as I despite their DRM and have fallen afoul of it, their point of view is fully understandable.

Ubisoft tend to make seriously high quality games (at least for my tastes, settlers+anno2070 have proven to be great products so far) and is understandable why they have the DRM equivalent of a stone wall with barbed wire, doesn't make their games unpirateable but means most simply don't seem to bother with ubisoft games as much, they are just a pain, especially as when you do install a pirated ubisoft game, you stillm need to be connected to their servers still to be able to use a good amount of the games features (things that would be DLC becomes freebies for loyal customers, ubisoft does a good job here in rewarding loyalty and patience) and this is the one thing ubisoft can be given credit for as much as its popular to bash on them.

While I do think that DRM has gotten way out of hand like these guys, going completely away from it isn't the best move ether. I think that it hit it's best with a one time code check and while there are those that would happily mess up that system, it at least keeps the more casual out there a bit more honest without being too much of a hassle. At least we are not back in the days of DOS where the game would ask you for the 20th word of the third page of the comic book that it came with, or spin some code wheel to find the code you need to start the game every time you started it up. Both of witch you likely lost if you don't play the game for a few months.

The main thing these companies need to look at is not "How much will this get pirated on the PC?" it's "How many will pay to play this on the PC?" and judge it to how much it will cost to get it to run on it. In the end it is a business and if it really will cost too much then be honest and say "We don't beleave we will pull a profit from the format" rather then wine about how the pirates are going to kill them. It just sounds more honest.

Iwinski is a man who is making the right decision even though it sometimes can cost you, hopefully gamers who actually have a little respect for games will purchase from them in the future. You can say not using DRM is bad business but the problem is they don't stop there, they add codes you need to type in and all sorts of other ways to keep their products inaccessible for people who paid for it and THAT is bad business. Make your game worthwhile, include incentives to buying it and you'll have an audience of respectable gamers to support your product, sure you'll also have a bunch of leeches sucking away without paying a cent but that is just the world we live in, suck it up and accept that while you might not get quite as much money, you are still most likely doing pretty damn good.

I can't believe this. I have huge amounts of respect for the developers, and I really hope what they're doing will help lower the amount of games that have DRM, and perhaps the amount of pirated copies of future titles. I haven't yet bought The Witcher 2, though, as I've never played the first one. Going to have to buy both later.

4.5 million people are smarter than me, because I paid for the damn thing before I even tried it.

Everyone else liked it and you love RPG's I said to myself. Who cares if you hated the first, they changed the combat! Oh no demo, well that sucks, I guess just buy it on faith.

If they had a demo, or accepted refunds, I wouldn't own this game right now.

FUCK. OFF. PIRATES! Seriously these guys are genuinely nice, and seem like the type to try and bring the industry forward, instead of bleeding it dry. By pirating games your as bad as EA in my book, and that's saying something.

Kahunaburger:
Well, all I know is that I bought Witcher 2, and specifically did not buy Battlefield 3 because of Origin. (And TF2).

Same here. Don't fuck with me and I will buy your game.

Im genuinely angry at the people who pirated this game, way to blow our chances at proving to the rest of the gaming industry that we aren't a bunch of fucking thieves.

I know a bunch of people will say they just wanted to test to see if it would work on their computers but guess what? Developers put some little thing called 'System Requirements' in the description of their products for just that purpose, you damned morons.

Now that that little rant is over with; im glad CD Projekt are still sticking to their guns here and not putting DRM on their games, they're definitely a developer i'll be buying from in future and I hope more people follow suit next time; CD Projekt should be rewarded for their efforts.

XDravond:
This makes me want to have money to buy more games. If I would be rich I'd bought at least 5 copies of the witcher 2... But Christmas is coming and well don't have that big budget for games every year....

And I wonder if he thinks that DRM might have decreased those numbers if they would implemented it...

However it is good to see some studios seeing that you should not punish your customers for what pirates do...

If I was rich i'd simply invest in CD Projekt. (If they take investors, that is)

I seriously SERIOUSLY doubt 4.5 million people played the game let alone pirated it.

Didn't look that great anyway.
As far as i remember the review from this site wasn't THAT positive about it.

I guess that's just what you get for making a brilliant game.

Jaeke:
Didn't look that great anyway.
As far as i remember the review from this site wasn't THAT positive about it.

Please don't pass judgement by "what it looked like" or what a site said about it in a review. I thought I was going to despise Arma 2 based on the concept and What reviewers were saying about it. But I bought it and played it, and I absolutely adore it.

even when i never will get this game since im not in to this fantasy stuff but its good to hear that they dont do this stuff like ubisoft etc, by forcing honest customers to go through a DRM.
for this, the company gets my respect. but i still will not buy it or pirated it :P

I feel like publishers and consumers are caught in an escalating cycle.

They transformed from creative enterprises (think 1980s or 90s) into these monolithic corporations of unlimited greed (EA, Activision), constantly seeking out new means of revenue generation without neccessarily providing quality in return.

We've evolved into tech-savvy pirates who digitally steal anything we can get our hands on because we're sick of all their bullshit.

They've responded to our piracy with crackdowns on (only) legal customers and extreme risk aversion (only safe bets).

We've responded with even greater apathy and propensity for theft.

It's all pointing to a crash, unfortunately. Or some heavy-handed lawmaking aimed at the internet, which will have the nifty side-effect of potentially destroying our most important information resource.

didnt even enjoy the witcher 1 but will buy no2 at some point if only to support the studio, kudos to them.

I like honesty from people, and it's rare in the business world it seems. DRM is stupid, and most people know it. Pirates are gonna pirate and continue to do so no matter how much protection you put in there. They'll always find a way around it.

Is no one questioning the fact that there is no way they can confirm any of those numbers?
I mean honestly, people spew about pirate Ratings and so on, but how do you prove that, do they go around on warez boards and count the downloads?

Do they get a number of downloads on Portals like Rapidshare and so on?
Because normally those numbers are made up and unrealistic, but everyone seems to take it for a given, even if there is no way they can identify a pirated game.
Maybe someone can enlighten me on how they find those kinds of numbers out, but I guess any news is advertisement.

CD Prject looks like one of the dinosaurs, the game makers that still has sense left into them but will be soon pushed out of business by other giant idiots.
DRM doesnt work, just like he said, it gets cracked very fast. The longest working DRM was that of GTA4 - 2 weeks. And frankly, illegal downloaders really can afford waiting 2 weeks. DRM only cuase problem for legal owners like you and me and does not stop illegal ones at all.
Also the guy seems to agree with me that most games are overpriced, so kudos for that.
and i agree with "vote with your wallet" part. i havent bought any Ubisoft or EA game in 2 years. And im very sad that they introduced the origin with BF3, since that was going to be a success no matter what, and now they have precedent.

Kopikatsu:

They have bad business sense is what they have. 4,500,000+ copies pirated is kind of a large number. A really large number.

Bad business sense, in what way? It's bad only when assuming 4.5 million are lost sales. Someone who pirates, isn't going to buy a game, no matter how much hoops you make them jump through. They either, A: Have no money. B: Do it because they can. or C: All of the Above.

Their business sense is that they decided to give their customers, some of which hate DRM, an outlet to purchase it DRM-free. The philosophy being, "Why harass our paying customers with corporate Orwellian control-measures, when we can just offer an alternative."

What are we supposed to do in this situation. With the current model, there is absolutely no way whatsoever to stop piracy. Pirates don't have to jump through any hoops, they play ripped versions of the retail game, meaning it's void of any DRM or annoyances. They also get it earlier or the same-day as everyone else. The people who pay for it, jump through all the hoops. Pretty bizarre, isn't it?

Like what... for justice? We have to do something or we're all gonna die? For the children? They hate us for our freedoms?

It reminds me of that scene in Judge Dredd where Stallone and Assante scream, "HE BETRAYED THE LAWWW?!?, LAWWWW!!" at one another. Notice how everyone lived in utter terror and squalor in that stupid movie? Yea. Life's little lessons, they're everywhere.

Kopikatsu:

They have bad business sense is what they have. 4,500,000+ copies pirated is kind of a large number. A really large number.

If those people paid even a single penny for the game, that's still $45,000+ lost. More than what most people make in a year.

I don't see how it's bad business sense.
I'm assuming from this comment that you reckon that if they had implemented DRM the number of pirated copies would have been lower?

People will pirate the game regardless of DRM.
All other games with DRM are pirated - even the ones with "great" DRM like Assassin's Creed are cracked.

The strength of the DRM does not influence the illegal downloaders (in this case the 4.5 million). Downloaders are just people (who apparently hate gaming and want it to die :[) who go to a torrent site for example, download the game and install the crack. Finished. They never even experience or get to feel the strength of the DRM.
If anything it hinders the crackers (compared to the downloaders, a minute number of people). But eventually every game gets cracked. I've never heard of a game who's DRM was that good that it was not cracked.

So installing DRM hinders a minute number of people(the crackers). On the other hand it also aggravates and can hinder the paying customer (in this case 1 million) so omitting it makes good business sense as you're keeping your paying customers happy and making them a potential returning customer.

Why invest time and money in something that's aimed purely at a few people? (And which will be nullified mostly in a matter of days anyhow, making your original time and money investment void and just to provide a bit more of a challenge to a handful of crackers)
That would be bad business sense.

[edit] semi-ninja'ed in the post direct above me :|

MonkeyPunch:

So installing DRM hinders a minute number of people(the crackers).

Actually, it encourages them, because the tougher the DRM, the bigger the e-peen of whoever cracks it. Nobody would bother to climb Mount Everest if it was only 3 feet high. Unless companies find a completely uncrackable DRM (which they won't, since DRM is pretty much where Murphy's Law and Gödel's incompleteness theorems intersect), all they're doing is providing more of an incentive to crack it.

Edit: also, it encourages people to download the cracked version, because then they won't have to put up with whatever asinine "anti-piracy" measures the publishers put in.

This is a great attitude by them, the idea of giving people value for money is one I fully support. Sadly I wish that they would make games which I enjoyed.

"DRM does not work and however you would protect it, it will be cracked in no time," he continued. "Plus, the DRM itself is a pain for your legal gamers - this group of honest people, who decided that your game was worth the 50 USD or Euro and went and bought it. Why would you want to make their lives more difficult?"

Sound reasoning? WTF?! shocking

Anyways, I bought this game because the demo said to please buy it and that the game will have no DRM. The thought immediate went like this: WTF no DRM!?! O i am so buying this game! ...wait huh? no thats right they are doing right by me therefore i should do the same!

Yeh go figure that it actually works to just ask politely

One of many reasons GOG gets my business. Thank you, CD Projekt!

(And, EA? If you want my business on Mass Effect 3, it had better be possible to get a version without Origin!)

Kopikatsu:

LiquidGrape:
They have good policies regarding DRM. That's as far as my praise of CDP will stretch.
But yes, excellent attitude regarding value of product.

They have bad business sense is what they have. 4,500,000+ copies pirated is kind of a large number. A really large number.

If those people paid even a single penny for the game, that's still $45,000+ lost. More than what most people make in a year.

I'm probably talking out of my ass here, but isn't that kind of.... wrong? If anything, wouldn't it be profit that wasn't gained, rather than profit that was lost? It's not exactly a good thing either way, though.

OT: Sucks for them, I guess. However, I think that this is a very good step. They've shown people that they're willing to get rid of DRM. That has definitely garnered some good will, both from paying customers, and pirates.

In order for piracy to be limited, or at least diminished, publishers and developers are going to have to take an initial hit. Instead of looking at the short term, they need to look at the long term.

I think it must have been pirated about 7,000,000 times surely - no it's more like 8,246,321..and 3/8ths where someone didn't finish

*rolleyes*

Seriously - WTF

I can make up numbers all day long, and even at say $30 a pop that's still $30,000,000 made...so go you! Yeh It's been pirated a lot, DRM free or not at best you prevented the 'evil' hackers and crackers about 1/2 a days head start....so basically people will vote with their wallets and I know most of my friends and me do pirate stuff we also support good developers - those of us who can run it all own Skyrim - one person has the collectors edition of witcher 2....

This makes me sad. Someone on our side and they're taken advantage of :/

4.5 million times? Eh, I'm sure they were all just "trying" it. As in playing it to completion. Multiple times. But they wouldn't have bought it, oh no.

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