CD Projekt RED ends legal action against pirates
Posted: 12.01.2012 17:30 by Comments: 11
Developer CD Projekt RED has decided to stop pursuing individuals who pirated their epic roleplaying game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, demanding exorbitant sums in punitive damages, with payment requests of €911.80. The negative reaction by the community forced them to reconsider their own.

The developer has also written an open letter to the gaming community both apologizing for the legal action, but also subtly warning them that continued piracy of their game - which they released DRM-free on - will have negative repercussions in the future.

The open letter reads:

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.

The message is clear: if you keep stealing from us, it'll be financially untenable for us to release games. They also give lie to the idea that people pirate a game to "test" it, and later buy it if they like it, since they're stating quite explicitly that's not what is happening.

In short, piracy is killing the golden goose.
Source: RPS
Game advertisements by <a href="" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.


By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Jan 12, 2012
The problem does not lie so much with the individual downloader, who does quite honestly do so to "test it" (putting the health of their PC in the hands of unknown, faceless Internet Pirates). The ones who download in bulk, only to burn-to-disc and sell are the real problem. Go to the Arab Emirates and you can pick up any new game for PC at the hefty sum of .80 cents, or Vietnam where it might cost $1. They don't always work, but most times they do.
I'm afaraid attacking the gaming community who really are not responsible is not the way to fix this. While there is the Internet, this will not stop.
Adapt or die, unfortuantely.
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Jan 12, 2012
Well, you know what's piracy proof?

Facebook and social networking games. Browser-based games. MMOs.

Even console games, while suffering piracy, are much less and more difficult, since you have to mod the console, stay off Xbox Live, etc.

PC piracy is just bittorrent.

CD Projekt wants to make money. They're not making games just to please gamers - they need to get paid. If they feel the Xbox 360 is the better platform for The Witcher 2, well, there you go. If they decide they'd rather make iOS games for 99 cents because that's more profitable, there you go.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Jan 12, 2012
Basically, adapt or die (the old Borg mantra), as I said. All media face the ease of use of bittorrent and many provide their games and patches using bittorrent. To try hard to fight against simple piracy is a waste of time and money. So yes, CD Projekt RED must come up with another strategy. Like it or lump it, piracy is not goung to go away.
Degradation of grahics, features that fail to work - these are the best idaes to implement in pirated versions, until the pirate adapts. It's still a brave downloader who is willing to open his/her rig up to the potential harm the downloading of this software can do, and exactly who is tracking you anyway?
Most internet users who now have the nasty Google Redirect Virus caught it using P2P. While there is still no real cure for that one, be sure that worse is on it's way.
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Jan 12, 2012
Or, maybe developers will decide to let AAA gaming on PC die, and stick with consoles, MMOs and casual games, which make money. That's already the direction PC gaming is headed in.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Jan 12, 2012
It is, I agree.
By unsilviu (SI Core) on Jan 13, 2012
The PC could also go with AAA multiplayer-focused titles, those are quite hard to pirate too.
By Kres (SI Elite) on Jan 14, 2012
PC is superior and more dynamic then consoles so it will never really die out. If you're a developer and have a potential market reach of like half the world you can neglect that fully. Even with pirates. But if consoles are making more money, they will of course at least move the focus on it. So we might see an increase in console ports. Not like it isn't already happening. I'm all for DRM as I'd do that as well in their position. They're not doing games to please people but to earn money. But to release a DRM free game and then hunt people that downloaded it... silly.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Jan 14, 2012
Shows you can't live on goodwill alone. Yet the game made good sales so I believe more companies have to find a balance, or simply stop bothering too muchwith pirates and try to get as many "good guys and girls" to pay as happy consumers as possible. Also, I think we will see more of EA and STEAM services in the future. Log in to authenticate, download patches etc. Also, like many othet businesses have found out, you need to work with loyalty programs to make buyers feel special and ensure they are happy and prepared to buy more/again. As it is tyofay the loyalty program is shit. Pre-purchase and get a stupid none-essential DLC that will be available to all later on and a few months later go for a heavy discount? Why be loyal, why be first? When you already fail with your paying customers, how ever will they be able to answer the question "why pay at all?". CD Project listened and released the game DRM free from then patched it away, but the community is still not satisfied. Perhaps then the community isn't all made up by the fans that actually pay... A membership and discount voucher for each owned game would give a benefit for those paying etc... Computer/console games as business have to mature and stop thinking that they are in a goldmine. The gold is the customers, and they need to be happy - and happy customars are the once satisfied with their bought product knowing that when they play it the next day they won't get "ha ha, if you had waited one week you could have saved 20$ and still get the exclusive DLC's".
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Jan 14, 2012
The other way companies are trying to combat piracy is shoehorning multiplayer into single player games that really don't need it.
By YouriRevenn (SI Veteran Member) on Jan 18, 2012
If PC gameing die, here comes a new pirate guild, who solve the console "crackpatch" problem. There're many console pirate game out, what dont need hardware configuration.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Jan 18, 2012
If you break down the games available as illegal products, it's actually now pretty even between console and PC. Linux and Ubuntu are about the only OS's not yet breached.