CD Projekt Red ends pursuit of Witcher 2 pirates

Back in December, Polish developer CD Projekt Red made headlines when it started siccing lawyers on users it accused of pirating The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Ironically, the gritty RPG was known for being DRM free, and as a result became one of the most bootlegged games of the year.

 The accusations, and threats of legal action, invoked quite the internet fury, with many players claiming to be wrongfully accused. Today, CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwinski has issued an open letter to the press and gaming community, proclaiming an end to the company’s pursuit of pirates, which you can read in its entirety below:

An Open Letter to the Gaming Community from CD Projekt RED

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,
Marcin Iwinski
CD Projekt RED

Above: Please, stop pirating software


  • angelusdlion - January 13, 2012 8:01 p.m.

    Translation for the TL:DR crowd.. "wow we didn't realize what a shitstorm this would cause. Our bad."
  • Shinn - January 13, 2012 4:14 a.m.

    I love CD Projekt Red. They deserve every cent they get. What's even cooler about them (and Bandai Namco I suppose) is that they didn't jack up the price by a ridiculous amount for Australia and New Zealand, as most publishers are doing these days. I respect them, and they respect me even though I live in a poorer country. I purchased this game without a second thought, and I look forward to their next title.
  • Mezolitik - January 13, 2012 3:27 a.m.

    These 'smash and grab' legal battles always end in disaster. It's like the old ladies that get sued for downloading hardcore porn; ISPs just don't have the resources to monitor every download, so innocent people get shafted. Don't copy that floppy!
  • DKmanden999 - January 13, 2012 2:21 a.m.

    Well, making witcher 3 free to play might solve your piracy problems? Microtransactions for better weapons, better armor, new skins etc...
  • larkan - January 12, 2012 9:52 p.m.

    While I don't condone piracy, I also don't condone companies that release games without demos. 10 years ago, it was very easy to blow $60 on a game and play it once or twice and then forget about it, but things have changed. Companies are now spewing out more garbage than quality, and it's usually all priced the same. I'm sorry, but I am not willing to shell out my hard earned money for something unless I get to test it first. I don't know anyone who goes into a car dealership and looks at a cookie cutter car and says "nope, no need to test it, take my money, I'm sure it'll be good, the internet says it is" So for me, the same applies for games. If big name companies are not willing to produce a demo for a game, it's either A) not worth my time or B) not worth my money. If I see a game that looks good, I'll try to find a friend that has it and try it out. If no one has it, I might download my own "demo" to test it out. This alone has saved me at least $1000 not buying garbage games over the years. Oh, and if I don't like the "demo" I immediately get rid of it, if I do, I get rid of it and buy a copy. Witcher 2 was one of the few games over the years I actually jumped aboard the hype train, and I wish I would've waited until the price drop hit. The game is ok, but not spectacular, and come Witcher 3 I'll be finding a demo, whether they produce one or not. Sorry bigwigs, you're not getting my money before I test your stuff.
  • inkyspot - January 12, 2012 7:10 p.m.

    Bring it to the consoles I'll pay full price for it, no piracy.
  • fullmetallegend - January 12, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    I absolutely love both The Witcher 2 and Skyrim. It all depends on one simple thing. Do you want story or game-play? Skyrim has superior gameplay, imo, due to a more enjoyable combat system and the ability to do so much and be almost whatever kind of character you want. The Witcher 2 has a far superior story, though, and one that makes complete sense and has a "choice" system far superior to any cheesey light-side dark-side system you usually see. Both game are also patched enough for bugs not to matter.
  • Shinn - January 13, 2012 5:28 p.m.

    It's being released on consoles later this year isn't it?
  • ParagonT - January 12, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    Satan is speaking to us in that video... Anyway, when games are at a price range people feel comfortable paying for and convenient to obtain, it lowers piracy. It's why Steam and Itunes distribution companies are able to turn such large profits. Piracy is definitely horrible, but there are better ways to combat it.
  • ThisIsMyFuckingThirdAccount - January 12, 2012 9:15 p.m.

    Price means nothing. Look at the Humble Indie Bundles. Cheap as 1¢ and still some of the most pirated stuff out there.
  • boondocks50 - January 12, 2012 5:22 p.m.

    i feel like this is going to make them start making games for consoles more, because, correct me if im wrong, console games get pirated less than pc games
  • ThatOneHobo - January 12, 2012 6:55 p.m.

    While I believe they will be giving some emphasis to consoles due to this, console pirating is still just as rampant as PC.
  • ParagonT - January 12, 2012 7:19 p.m.

    That's something I need to look up sometime, I thought it would be the case since they need to modify their consoles and most consoles companies run checks on the system when its connected online. Well, that's how my friend explains it with his modified Xbox. He says as long as he doesn't get online, he's safe. I'll need to look it up.

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