Good Old Games now allows the user to select the region, but that change has nothing to do with the recent Australian censorship of The Witcher 2.
We reported last week that Australia requested some changes be made to CD Projekt’s highly anticipated sequel The Witcher 2 in order to receive a rating to be legally sold in the country. Now though, CD Projekt’s online retail arm Good Old Games no longer automatically detects a customer’s location based on IP address, allowing the customer to choose their location from a drop down menu. This change allows people to buy games that may not be available “down under,” but a representative from Good Old Games says that the change has nothing to do with the recent censorship.
“[The policy change] has nothing specific to do with Australia in particular,” Trevor Longino from Good Old Games said of the change. “Our new policy simply reflects the way we think global digital distribution should be.”
Longino admits that GOG is aware of what some people in Australia will now use the new system to do. “We’re not stupid, of course and realize that some users may abuse this to obtain a version of a game that is not approved by their local Certification Board,” he said. “GOG.com has always been about giving our users the power of choice; if they willingly choose to violate their local censorship laws, we can’t condone that.”
People against the censorship of videogames in Australia are all for the change in policy. “[It] highlights the absurdity of the current system,” said Colin Jacobs from Electronic Frontiers Australia.
Longino said that the policy is all about treating PC gamers how they would like to be treated which is why GOG no longer records customers’ IP addresses. “We don’t make money by spying on our users,” said Longino. “As part of this, we’re no longer keeping their IP addresses geo-IP information on record. We don’t need the info, so why keep it?”
Not only that, but users will now be able to choose “to be from” the region with the lowest prices. The cost of PC games in regions outside the U.S. are generally higher due to agreements with publishers but customers at GOG.com will now be able to circumvent those agreements in addition to any censorship.
If someone had told me five years ago that a company would make money selling good old games with no DRM or copy protection at cut rate prices, I would have spit my jack and coke in your face. But maybe GOG.com and CD Projekt have stumbled on to a novel idea: treating customers with respect can be profitable, too.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go play The Witcher in giddy anticipation of all the boobies I will see in my un-censored copy of the sequel. Mmm. Boobies.