The Witcher 3 abandons DRM
CD Projekt RED said that they “are trying to get rid of DRM.” Maciej Szczesnik said to Kotaku that “If someone wants to pirate a game, eventually he will.”
Managing director Adam Badowski stepped in: “Which is bad, of course. But you can’t do anything about it, so. We want to give the best user experience possible. When we removed DRM, people on those torrents were actually asking people not to download our game, because we weren’t using DRM.”
CD Projekt RED took a lot of flack from the community when it was uncovered that the publisher/developer had planned to pursue members of the public who they considered to have pirated copies of The Witcher 2. The decision to chase such cases was later dropped, when the community of both pirating and paying customers pointed out the fact that evidence to suggest individuals had pirated the game was not strong enough, and that their tactic was too heavy handed.
Both The Witcher and The Witcher 2 can be found DRM free on gog.com, where games are sold completely DRM free.
Very few games go uncracked, but some notable challenges are Serious Sam 3, where pirates would be eternally chased by a humanoid red scorpion, and ARMA, where aiming and difficulty settings would become compromised. Publishers have tried to push for “always on” solutions, even in traditional single player games, but these have proved unpopular, causing Ubisoft to rethink this strategy.
Blizzard and EA are now known for creating games that conveniently incorporate always online DRM into their design decisions.
CD Projekt Red are in a unique position where they’re quite clearly a PC oriented development and publishing house. They are committed to PC gamers, and have shown that they are reasonable as with the case of The Witcher 2. It’s time to see if that level of respect is mutual. Whether a game is made available by Skidrow, Reloaded, FTL, or CD Projekt Red for free themselves, someone is going to do it – at least CD Project Red are wearing their hearts on their sleeves, and I’m sure they expect to yield good results.