Witcher 3 Devs "Trying to Get Rid of DRM"

Witcher 3 Devs "Trying to Get Rid of DRM"

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The developer behind The Witcher series doesn't think DRM discourages piracy.

As always-online DRM in videogames becomes more common, gamers have become more and more opposed to it. On the one hand, publishers are trying to protect themselves from the very real concern of piracy; on the other, legitimate consumers often feel like they're being punished for the crimes of others, and the measures taken can limit playability. One studio that doesn't believe in always-on DRM is CD Projekt Red, the developer of the action-RPG series The Witcher. With The Witcher 3 due out next year, Kotaku asked its creators if the game would use this unpopular anti-piracy measure. CD Projekt Red's Managing Director Adam Badowski responded with a definitive "No."

The question came out of Kotaku's longer interview about The Witcher 3, and the development team's opinions about DRM are certainly worth noting. Lead gameplay designer Maciej Szczesnik said "We are trying to get rid of DRM," explaining, "If someone wants to pirate a game, eventually he will." This isn't the first time someone has voiced that particular thought, but it's not often we hear it from the development side of gaming. Of course, CD Projekt Red isn't in favor of piracy; Badowski acknowledges that it's bad, "but you can't do anything about it, so. We want to give the best user experience possible." Interestingly, removing DRM might make The Witcher 3 and other games less likely to be pirated among certain crowds: "When we removed DRM, people on those torrents were actually asking people not to download our game."

To be clear, piracy sucks, and obviously no publisher or developer wants to see a game on which it has worked hard for many years be easily stolen by jerks on the internet. But it's also becoming increasingly apparent that online-only anti-piracy measures may be punishing the people who actually spend money on games, not the ones intending to steal them. There aren't really any good answers about how to stop piracy, so I can understand a publisher's need to feel like it's doing something, even if that something will upset gamers. Hopefully more game creators will realize that DRM isn't the answer and start working towards another solution.

Source: Kotaku

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Other possibilities:
"Do you plan on using always-on DRM for the Witcher 3?" "Yes, because we paid absolutely no attention to what happened to SimCity. Also, GoG is clearly just a joke."

Seriously, asking CD Projekt if their game will have DRM is like asking Valve if their next game will be the start of a series of yearly releases.

There aren't really any good answers about how to stop piracy

There are a ton of good answers, most developers are just really really too stupid to look into them.

Now if you want to make an accurate statement..

There aren't really any good answers about how to stop piracy that publishers are willing to embrace

Sarah LeBoeuf:
"If someone wants to play a game, eventually he will."

If you want to adress piracy, you need to remember this. DRM is only adress part of the overall cause of piracy. Just like with all crimes, whether or not an individual feels that such action is justified. Publishers give people the motivation to pirate games by finding ways to charge consumers extra for the game, releasing region by region at the speed of a glacier (or not even releasing them outside a certain area at all), and by restricting gameplay with things like always-online. You'll never get rid of piracy all together, but you can make buying the game more appealing. A good place to start? Be like CD Project Red here. Respect is a two way street.

A more pertinent question would be "Will you be distributing The Witcher 3 in other regions via publishers who'll just slap DRM on anyway (or have you learned your lesson from your distro deal with Bandai-Namco)?"

Sarah LeBoeuf:

To be clear, piracy sucks, and obviously no publisher or developer wants to see a game on which it has worked hard for many years be easily stolen by jerks on the internet.

Except, of course, those who do.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/122231-Anodyne-Devs-Hit-It-Big-With-The-Pirate-Bay-Promo

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119499-Pirate-Bay-Promotes-Indie-Game

Though that's quite a paradox to begin with, letting other people "steal" your stuff. :P

I love you CD Projekt...... marry me.

OT: I really wish this mentality would catch on, but Spore was years ago and no one learned their lesson from that, like closing their hand in a door, thinking "ow, that hurt" and then doing it 12 more times.

WAKE UP! Just under a million of people didn't plan to pirate spore from day one so that they could all dodge a $60 price tag! People don't like getting abused for your piece of mind, and will react aggressively when provoked in such a way. All DRM does is turn criminals into figureheads/heros for opposing the injustice of the oppressors(hint guys, the pirates didn't mess up our game, you did and the reason why doesn't matter when we're the ones getting punished).

DVS BSTrD:
Respect is a two way street.

You mean slapping the consumer in the face with your cock after they've purchased from you isn't the way to grow your business?

It would explain why I went broke... and possibly why I'm legally barred from owning, operating or even just working in retail.

As much as they preach about DRM being bad. They themselves used DRM in the retail version of the witcher 2, SecuROM infact to "prevent leaks".

Sarah LeBoeuf:
Interestingly, removing DRM might make The Witcher 3 and other games less likely to be pirated among certain crowds: "When we removed DRM, people on those torrents were actually asking people not to download our game."

Torrenters generally have a "buy what you want to support" policy.

People shouldn't expect LOWER piracy rates just because a game doesn't have DRM, pirates will pirate.

World of Goo also lacked DRM, and when it reported a 90% piracy rate like every other game, everyone was in an uproar as if the general audience just broke some unsaid agreement about making an exception and not pirating it at all. World of Goo was still an insanely successful game among buyers, (just as it was among pirates), and turned it's devs millionares, but that 90% data is still used as a cautionary tale everywhere to the dangers of piracy, just because some anti-DRM aruments raised the expectations about "ending piracy" so high, that people look at it and see "lost sales" compared to some fictional alternate universe where no one pirated it yet more bought it.

mad825:
As much as they preach about DRM being bad. They themselves used DRM in the retail version of the witcher 2, SecuROM infact to "prevent leaks".

They later patched the game to remove the DRM. And by later I mean like the week of launch.

I know it's really popular to replace "copy", "download illegally" or "copyright infringement" with "steal" in order to make it sound better, but can you news article folks please stop doing it?

It's not stealing, it never was stealing, and it'll never be stealing. This is not just arguing over semantics. The two things, while related, are not the same. Please stop treating them as such.

That is all.

OT: It's kinda funny that I plan to buy the Witcher 3 on steam, since that actually does come with its own brand of DRM by default. I just never notice that it's there.

synobal:

mad825:
As much as they preach about DRM being bad. They themselves used DRM in the retail version of the witcher 2, SecuROM infact to "prevent leaks".

They later patched the game to remove the DRM. And by later I mean like the week of launch.

Nevertheless, DRM was used to achieve an end. They might do so again.

Just because they removed the DRM from the game doesn't mean that it's been removed from the system.

I fucking love CD Projekt. Gog is by far my favorite digital distribution service, although, it's unfortunately limited selection, especially for newer games, prevents it from becoming my primary digital distribution service.

One of these days I'm going to get Witcher 2 off of gog. I just have too much other stuff to play at the moment.

The best DRM is to remind players and would-be pirates that people built this game, not robots. Whether is was lovingly or grudgingly depends on the workplace environment, though.

Wouldn't you find doing a wrong harder if it had emotions and feelings attached to it?

DRM is like a lock on a door. Locks keep honest people, honest. But they don't stop thieves from breaking in and taking your stuff.

mad825:

synobal:

mad825:
As much as they preach about DRM being bad. They themselves used DRM in the retail version of the witcher 2, SecuROM infact to "prevent leaks".

They later patched the game to remove the DRM. And by later I mean like the week of launch.

Nevertheless, DRM was used to achieve an end. They might do so again.

Just because they removed the DRM from the game doesn't mean that it's been removed from the system.

Unfortunately, SecurROM is actually effective at preventing people from playing a game prior to launch. This is probably the one time DRM could possibly be considered OK, and that is really only because it didn't harm anyone who bought the game. In the past though, SecuROM was a real nightmare for some people.

synobal:

mad825:
As much as they preach about DRM being bad. They themselves used DRM in the retail version of the witcher 2, SecuROM infact to "prevent leaks".

They later patched the game to remove the DRM. And by later I mean like the week of launch.

... and a certain publisher who shall remain arseholes (that'd be Bandai-Namco) sued CD Projekt for removing the DRM. Because ponies or somesuch bollocks.

Which is just one example of the shitfuckery Bamco pulled with CD Projekt.

Yes, I'm biased against Bandai-Namco but they fucking earned it.

Baresark:
DRM is like a lock on a door. Locks keep honest people, honest. But they don't stop thieves from breaking in and taking your stuff.

No, DRM is more like having to do a thumbprint scan every time you want to get inside the house you own. And if by chance you cut your thumb and it doesn't scan anymore, you're not allowed into the house you bought.

Falseprophet:

Baresark:
DRM is like a lock on a door. Locks keep honest people, honest. But they don't stop thieves from breaking in and taking your stuff.

No, DRM is more like having to do a thumbprint scan every time you want to get inside the house you own. And if by chance you cut your thumb and it doesn't scan anymore, you're not allowed into the house you bought.

Also, it's not actually protecting the house that "you own" from people "taking away stuff", or any of your physical property for that matter, but every house that you have worked on building and feel morally entitled to controlling their traffic.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of CD Projekt Red saying they won't use DRM, well not until it becomes the norm for more developers at least :P

Until then get ready for more of my money CD Projekt Red.

Entitled:

People shouldn't expect LOWER piracy rates just because a game doesn't have DRM, pirates will pirate.

World of Goo also lacked DRM, and when it reported a 90% piracy rate like every other game, everyone was in an uproar as if the general audience just broke some unsaid agreement about making an exception and not pirating it at all.

I wonder how many people pirated it and played a few levels and just decided that it just wasn't a game for them. Lots of pirated content that people enjoy ultimately ends up a sale in the end and conversely lots of people just dislike the content they have pirated.

I think they might use one-time on-line activation (download a small part of the game) to make sure pirates don't start playing before legitimate game owners. And a month after launch they will get rid of one-time activation in all newly produced/available copies.

Sarah LeBoeuf:
"When we removed DRM, people on those torrents were actually asking people not to download our game."

That is pretty much a standard comment on every single game/music torrent and has nothing at all to do with drm.

Dr.Awkward:
The best DRM is to remind players and would-be pirates that people built this game, not robots. Whether is was lovingly or grudgingly depends on the workplace environment, though.

Wouldn't you find doing a wrong harder if it had emotions and feelings attached to it?

Not not really. The emotions and feelings of some random person I dont know and dont give a shit about will never effect my actions.

To all you idiots out there who might take this the wrong way. I am not saying that I pirate games I am just making a simple statement.

Support! I pirated... I'm not going to say what (it wasn't my proudest moment anyway), because last time I went into detail, I got suspended for encouraging piracy, the POINT IS! - It was a game with DRM, and I only waited one extra week. One week! DRM only slows pirates down that long?
Jim Sterling's idea that DRM is more for the publisher to dominate its customers than stopping pirates has always been a bit too cynical for me, but given how little DRM does against piracy... Well, I dunno if a lot of publishers are smart enough to realised how futile DRM is anyway.

The whole "lock-comparison" is inaccurate, since nonbody who should be stoped/hindered by DRM actually is. The people who crack/hack the games do so for fun and sport, and the "enduserpirate" never ever encounters the DRM, since the people who hacked the game already got rid of it for them. They mostly dont even have to wait, most games are released on those websites on the official release date, or very shortly after.

I mentioned here How they not only not use DRM on their re-releases of other companies' games, but they actually have patches that remove DRM from the original releases.

A lovely sentinment, and much respected, but nope...

Sadly, there's Sim City 5, which basically forces you to get butt-holed while playing, and still it sells like hotcakes...

So it 'won' basically on all levels, because it's also impossible to 'crack'

 

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