CD Projekt Red: Publishers Use DRM to ‘Cover Their Own Asses’

In an interview with GiantBomb CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwinski says that most companies use digital rights management software as a smokescreen to cover their asses. Iwinski and his company, who are best known for The Witcher series of action RPGs, is a staunch opponent of DRM.

"It seems to me that the industry as a whole knows DRM doesn't work, but corporations still use it as a smokescreen, effectively covering their asses, pretending to protect their intellectual property in front of bosses, investors, and shareholders," Iwinski said.

"I've actually had quite a few discussions with high level executives who admit they know DRM doesn't work, but if they don't use it somebody might accuse them of not protecting their property. Whenever policy trumps common sense, the best interest of gamers is lost in the process," he added.

The PC version of the latest title in the series, The Witcher 3: Wild hunt will not contain any DRM – a point the company recently reiterated after rumblings online suggested otherwise. Iwinski thinks that the game will not be pirated anymore without DRM because DRM doesn't really provide protection against piracy but does get in between consumers and the games they are trying to play.

"Will it be more pirated than if we put DRM on it? I definitely don't think so. Practically every single game's DRM is cracked on day 0 (or even before then), so that's not really an argument for using it," he said. "With a DRM-free release, we're hoping to build more trust between us and gamers."

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and PC in 2014. You can check out the full GiantBomb interview here.

Source: GameSpot

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  1. 0
    NyuRena says:

    If we make CD Projekt profitable without all this DRM, then other companies can have the evidence to show the ignorant shareholders that it only builds anger, not revenue. (I personally feel MORE inclined to pirate when the DRM is nasty!) 

  2. 0
    merely_justin says:

    Why I have happily bought all of CD's games, will happily buy The Witcher 3, and happily support

    They do the right thing by us, we should support them and show our appreciation.

  3. 0
    GrimCW says:

    Not completely unknown though, some rough basics can be figured out through the torrent tracker numbers.

    As well as how bad/good a game does on its release month when its figured out what DRM is in it. Complaints may not be a good stat to go by, but the returns and sales numbers are easily tracked by the companies. 

    I personally don't pirate, but I also won't support excessive DRM. As such I was one of many that boycotted Ubi's UPlay always on, never touching their games until it was changed.

    I still don't have Simcity or Diablo 3 for the same reasons. Despite I admit I do want to try them. But I won't even get the console D3 due to the PC counterpart having the DRM.

    Each company (Blizzard aside) has clearly seen I'm not the only one doing this, as they've begun to work around their own DRM and remove it to an acceptable degree.  If they hadn't, and truly believed in the DRM, they definitely wouldn't be kicking this stuff to the side. 

    Hell, MS canned it on the XBone when their pre-orders slipped drastically (and never fully recovered.. )

    The sales/pre-sale/return numbers though aren't easy to fight. And these do impact future sales since people will have lost interest by the next round.

    As to piracy itself.. Most know about it, and companies making headlines for DRM and piracy make more people aware. So there aren't many that don't know how to do something as simple as load up a torrent tracker anymore. If they hadn't made such a stink and caused a media blitz, they would have had better times. But after Spore, EA pretty much notified the world.

    And as the article says, most DRM is cracked day 0, or even Before. I'll admit I've pirated in the past, and recall having Warcraft 3 almost 2 months before it released. Long since have purchased at least 3 copies (2 physical and one digital)

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Mmmm… blinding flash of the obvious.

    Though it is not quite as simple as that since DRM's effectiveness tends to depend on which users you are talking about.  For ones 'in the know' it is pretty trivial, and such people tend to have pretty high visibility within 'the community', esp where it overlaps with the professional community.  However there are also players where a non-trivial barrier like DRM is enough to stop them.

    Part of the problem, from a business perspective, of examining DRM's utility is that numbers are really hard to come by and forum rants are very poor metrics.  How many people did not by the game because of DRM? How much impact will negative DRM experiences have on future purchases?  How much of a 'release day' lag was there between initial availability and cracked versions available for downloading?  How many people obtained cracked versions who would have purchased a copy if the free version was not easily accessible?  How many people lacked the connections/knowledge to obtain cracked versions at the current level of piracy difficulty and purchased a legal copy?

    All unknowns.

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