Witcher Dev Explains Good DRM

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CD Projekt Red doesn’t just make gritty fantasy games, it also has a very clear idea of what makes for good DRM.

DRM is a touchy subject right now, and people often have strong feelings about it. So strong, in fact, that Witcher developer CD Projekt Red has decided to publish its DRM and patching policy in order to ease fans’ fears about the copy protection for the upcoming Witcher 2.

There are three key points to CD Projekt Red’s policy: Gamers should be encouraged to buy legal copies of games rather than punished for pirating them, that copy-protection should never impede the use of legitimate copies of games, and that all patches should be free of charge. CD Projekt says it doesn’t believe in forcing people to be connected to the internet all the time when they play, limiting the number of times that a game can be installed, or online registration for its own sake.

“Being a player myself, I’m always surprised to see how many companies focus solely on preventing piracy instead of thinking about how they might encourage players to acquire original game copies,” said Marcin Iwiński, CEO of CD Projekt and head of gog.com, in a statement on the CD Projekt Red website. “The assumption is that protection is the only way to prevent piracy, but a glance at any file-sharing site demonstrates that this is pure fiction. This assumption is also a good way to forget one of the keys to this business: taking good care of your customers”

This isn’t just some pretty speech from CD Projekt Red either. This is the same company that offered the Enhanced version of the Witcher – which was a pretty significant overhaul of the game – for free to those who had bought the original game. DRM is an unfortunate and unavoidable reality of PC gaming, and CD Projekt clearly wants to make it as painless as possible.

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