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.
Posted 04:51pm 15/3/11
Well played GoG!
Posted 04:59pm 15/3/11
I love CD Projekt.
Posted 05:02pm 15/3/11
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Posted 05:28pm 15/3/11
The guy tried to sell his account and got banned... What's the problem?
Posted 05:35pm 15/3/11
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?
Posted 05:37pm 15/3/11
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.
Posted 05:38pm 15/3/11
Posted 05:41pm 15/3/11
What if EA or Activision bought Steam?
That's why if the price is right I'll choose DRM-free goodness.
Posted 05:46pm 15/3/11
Posted 05:47pm 15/3/11
That's a definition of the problem, not the answer.
Posted 05:54pm 15/3/11
Posted 05:59pm 15/3/11
Regardless, I'll leave the post up, because it's a good PSA for anyone interested in the game.
Posted 06:36pm 15/3/11
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.
Posted 06:46pm 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.
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.
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.
Posted 06:49pm 15/3/11
Posted 07:19pm 15/3/11
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.
Posted 07:23pm 15/3/11
cool didn't know they owned it.
Posted 11:19pm 15/3/11
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Posted 08:27pm 16/3/11
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.
Posted 08:43pm 16/3/11
Posted 08:49pm 16/3/11
Looks like it :)
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..
Posted 08:50pm 16/3/11
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.
Posted 08:51pm 16/3/11
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Posted 09:20pm 16/3/11