The Witcher Developer, CD Projekt Release Open Letter On Piracy
Polish developer, CD Project RED, took matters into their own hands last year when The Witcher 2 was suffering in sales because of mass piracy. Gamers were peeved when news came out that CD Projekt RED weren’t going down the DRM route and instead, were going to track down the people who illegally downloaded the game and seek compensation from those individuals. Co-founder of the studio, Marcin Iwinski has released an open letter about the situation – see below – and has stated that CD Projekt have ceased their efforts in tracking down pirates.
Personally, I think gamers get uppity about an awful lot of things sometimes. Some are justified to a certain degree, like online passes. Some aren’t, like a developer looking to get paid for the game they have released to the public. In the letter below, Iwinski says that even though they’ve stopped tracking these people down, CD Projekt doesn’t condone piracy. He said, “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”. Hear, hear.
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.
Keep on playing,
CD Projekt RED