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Post by Dan @ 04:49pm 15/03/11 | 33 Comments
Not all video game developers see Digital Rights Management (DRM) as a reasonable solution to piracy, particularly when over-bearing copy protection methods make for a greater hassle for for legitimate customers than an obstacle for pirates that may very-well have never have played the game if they had to pay for it anyway.

Poland-based developer CD Projekt RED are among those that think otherwise and today they've put their money where their mouth is, announcing that the digital-download version of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings to be sold via their sister company GoG.com, will be DRM-free!
“DRM is not an effective way to combat piracy,” said Managing Director Guillaume Rambourg. “Our main concern has always been the user’s experience with the titles they purchase, and DRM effects that experience in a negative way, which is why we’ve been absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to distribute CD Projekt RED’s incredible RPG. We’re also pleased that we’ve been able to stick to our guns with The Witcher 2 and release it DRM free to all of our customers around the world.”
GoG.com -- an online retailer for "Good old Games" -- has a no DRM policy, meaning they will not retail any games through the site that include DRM protections. They've carved their niche by offering a wide stable of popular classic games from years past, so The Witcher 2 being a brand-new upcoming game isn't exactly appropriate to their catalogue, but given GoG's ties to CD Projekt, it's presumably the only outlet in a position to offer a DRM-free solution.

With recent reports of users losing access to their purchased games for violating online terms of service agreements, it's refreshing to see a popular game developer actually offering the consumer a more respectful "honor system" approach -- being confident that the quality of their upcoming game will be enough to make people want to pay for it.

Freedom from DRM is worth supporting, so if you were considering ordering The Witcher 2 online, we recommend going for the GoG.com option and doing your part for the cause. Pre-Orders are free and now open at http://www.gog.com/tw2. There's also no regional pricing disparity on GoG.com, who are offering The Witcher 2 for a worldwide price of USD$44.99.

You can find out more details on The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings in AusGamers recent hands-on preview and our interview with Senior Producer Tomasz Gop.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is due for online retail on May 17 2011 (presumably Central European Time), with the Australian retail release following on May 19th 2011.



the witcher 2drmcd projektgog





Latest Comments
Hogfather
Posted 04:51pm 15/3/11
F*** yes!

Well played GoG!
carson
Posted 04:59pm 15/3/11
Awww yeah.

I love CD Projekt.
Martz
Posted 05:02pm 15/3/11
goo Polska!
Mantorok
Posted 05:02pm 15/3/11
I thought they announced this back in November?
Dan
Posted 05:14pm 15/3/11
They announced that GoG would be selling it, but not that it would be DRM-free. They probably hadn't worked out whether it would fire up all the other retail outlets for the game or not back then.
ravn0s
Posted 05:17pm 15/3/11
i thought they only sold old games...
Midda
Posted 05:18pm 15/3/11
That's all well and good, but does the DRM on Steam ever really cause people grief? It's not really something that's every been an issue for me.
Dan
Posted 05:24pm 15/3/11
That's all well and good, but does the DRM on Steam ever really cause people grief?
Ask this guy

I know Steam are generally seen as the good guys, because they have always operated in a nice benevolent manner. But the fact of the matter is that they do have the legal right to take away your access to everything you've bought for trivial violations of their terms of use.
Crakaveli
Posted 05:27pm 15/3/11
That's all well and good, but does the DRM on Steam ever really cause people grief? It's not really something that's every been an issue for me.
I've never had a problem with it.
Crakaveli
Posted 05:28pm 15/3/11
and dan

Update: A post on the Steam Users' Forums from Valve says: "The article doesn't mention that the account has been re-enabled."


The guy tried to sell his account and got banned... What's the problem?
Hogfather
Posted 05:35pm 15/3/11
That's all well and good, but does the DRM on Steam ever really cause people grief? It's not really something that's every been an issue for me.

I think Obes had his Steam account locked for doing the ?cc=us thing?

Also, if you suddenly lose your internet I don't think you have access to offline mode, you have to prepare in advance?
Dan
Posted 05:37pm 15/3/11
The guy tried to sell his account and got banned... What's the problem?
For a start, not being able to sell something that you own.

But that's just one example. Who is to say that Valve are always going to act with such benevolence? As Hogfather points out, people have also faced the threat of losing everything they've paid for just from trying to dodge regional price-gouging.

I agree that developers/publishers should be able to ban users from the multiplayer services that they operate, but they should not have the right to disable a copy of a singleplayer game that someone has paid for in full. You should at least be able to download it and operate it wholly independently of the download service.
Crakaveli
Posted 05:38pm 15/3/11
I agree 100% Dan, but it's clearly in the Terms & Conditions which was signed when you create an account.
Hogfather
Posted 05:41pm 15/3/11
That's my issue with DRM and why I'll buy this game from GoG rather than Steam. I like the digital download, I like the server repository of my games, but I hate having my access to them being subject to someone else's whim.

What if EA or Activision bought Steam?
I agree 100% Dan, but it's clearly in the Terms & Conditions which was signed when you create an account.

That's why if the price is right I'll choose DRM-free goodness.
qmass
Posted 05:46pm 15/3/11
For a start, not being able to sell something that you own.

But that's just one example. Who is to say that Valve are always going to act with such benevolence? As Hogfather points out, people have also faced the threat of losing everything they've paid for just from trying to dodge regional price-gouging.

I agree that developers/publishers should be able to ban users from the multiplayer services that they operate, but they should not have the right to disable a copy of a singleplayer game that someone has paid for in full. You should at least be able to download it and operate it wholly independently of the download service.
chances are, somewhere in some fine print it will say that - you dont own it, you purchase access to the game and its not transferable.
Hogfather
Posted 05:47pm 15/3/11
Of course it does qmass.

That's a definition of the problem, not the answer.
Mantorok
Posted 05:54pm 15/3/11
They announced that GoG would be selling it, but not that it would be DRM-free. They probably hadn't worked out whether it would fire up all the other retail outlets for the game or not back then.
Nah, I just went and found the news post:
http://www.gog.com/en/forum/general/pre_order_the_witcher_2_on_gog_com
Dan
Posted 05:59pm 15/3/11
Nah, I just went and found the news post:
I stand corrected. They sent anemail with this in it to us earlier today though. Perhaps the actual news now is that no other downloadable options will be DRM-free.

Regardless, I'll leave the post up, because it's a good PSA for anyone interested in the game.
Eorl
Posted 06:36pm 15/3/11
That guy who lost his account for trying to sell it, I can see how his pissed off, because he clearly doesn't get any money now for his sale. He obviously didn't want the games anymore, and so was trying to hock them off.

What I don't understand is why people care so much. Your still using Steam, and enjoying all the games your buying. I know the whole "omg my rights my rights" is a great little argument, and I do agree we should be given better rights etc etc. But still, no need to go fully over board.
Dazhel
Posted 06:46pm 15/3/11
i thought they only sold old games...


CD Projekt are the developers of The Witcher and it's sequel, and they also own and operate GOG.com so it's the same as Valve releasing Half-Life 2 on Steam.

After convincing a bunch of other development houses over the years to release on GOG.com without DRM releasing their own AAA title without DRM on the service is basically just putting their money where their mouth is.

I know the whole "omg my rights my rights" is a great little argument, and I do agree we should be given better rights etc etc. But still, no need to go fully over board.


Who's going overboard?
Valve, Ubisoft, EA and the rest are trying to push the industry in one particular direction wrt DRM and CD Projekt is trying to push it in the opposite direction. If I'm going to buy The Witcher 2 I'm going to make a point to buy it from GOG just because I prefer not being locked out of the s*** that I bought at a vendor's whim and I like to support companies that have the same view.
Eorl
Posted 06:49pm 15/3/11
Oh most definitely, I will be buying it from GoG.com as well. Just saying no need to go all steam is the devil burn in hell from everyone else.
Hogfather
Posted 07:19pm 15/3/11
Just saying no need to go all steam is the devil burn in hell from everyone else.

I'm not seeing that in this thread. Is there another one covering the issue? Perhaps you're over-reacting?

There are legitimate issues with the Steam / EA / etc DRM model. That doesn't make Steam a bad service, but it is worth considering when using it and when comparing it to alternatives.
ravn0s
Posted 07:23pm 15/3/11
CD Projekt are the developers of The Witcher and it's sequel, and they also own and operate GOG.com so it's the same as Valve releasing Half-Life 2 on Steam.


cool didn't know they owned it.
Trauma
Posted 11:19pm 15/3/11
Awesome, pre-ordered. And they make it really simple and fast to do so, win.
Rawprawn
Posted 01:37am 16/3/11
Doh! Already pre-ordered over steam a while ago D:
Eorl
Posted 07:01pm 16/3/11
You can cancel your pre-order on steam, just go support.
step
Posted 08:27pm 16/3/11
There's also no regional pricing disparity on GoG.com, who are offering The Witcher 2 for a worldwide price of USD$44.99.
These guys are on a roll.

Glad someone woke up and realised that DRM screws over the people who've purchased the game and not the pirates. I just wish I could buy this game but the first game was so meh for me.
deadlyf
Posted 08:43pm 16/3/11
Also, if you suddenly lose your internet I don't think you have access to offline mode, you have to prepare in advance?
Haha what? Because having an offline mode that you have to be online for makes perfect sense.
Hogfather
Posted 08:49pm 16/3/11
Haha what? Because having an offline mode that you have to be online for makes perfect sense.

Looks like it :)
# Start Steam online - make sure the Remember my password box on the login window is checked
# Verify that all game files are completely updated - you can see the update status for a game under the Library section (when the game shows as 100% - Ready it is ready to be played in Offline Mode)
# Launch the game you would like to play offline to verify that there are no further updates to download - shut down the game and return to Steam once you have confirmed that the game can be played
# Go to Steam > Settings to ensure the Don't save account credentials on this computer option is not selected
# From the main Steam window, go to the Steam menu and select Go Offline
# Click Restart in Offline Mode to restart Steam in Offline Mode

how to use offline mode

Unless its already running in offline mode you probably can't use it if you lose internets? c/d? I know I couldnt work out how to play my steam games while on the road recently because I hadn't done this proces while connected to the net..
Midda
Posted 08:50pm 16/3/11
I've used Steam in offline mode when my net has gone out. It just brings up a window after it fails to connect asking if you want to start in offline mode.

I think you need to have logged in on the account on that computer before though. So, for example, a friend couldn't login in offline mode on your computer if they've never used your PC before.
Hogfather
Posted 08:51pm 16/3/11
Hmm maybe I hadnt logged in properly on laptop or something.
deadlyf
Posted 09:11pm 16/3/11
yeah that little check list is simply about making sure your games are updated and your login is stored on that PC. A simple check would be to simply unplug your network cable, try going in to offline mode and bam, crisis averted.
Rawprawn
Posted 09:20pm 16/3/11
Didn't know i could do that. Cheers for the heads up Eorl!
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