Witcher 2 developer estimates game was pirated at least 4.5 million times

For every person who purchased a copy of The Witcher 2 legally, at least 4-5 downloaded a copy illegally, said developer CD Projekt. CEO Marcin Iwinski checked piracy websites after the game's release, and while he agreed that it would have been impossible to get an exact number, he was still able to get a good idea by following the numbers that were available. "There are no stats available, but let’s make a quick calculation. I was checking regularly the number of concurrent downloads on torrent aggregating sites, and for the first 6-8 weeks there was around 20-30k ppl downloading it at the same time," he said.

"Let’s take 20k as the average and let’s take 6 weeks. The game is 14GB, so let’s assume that on an average not-too-fast connection it will be 6 hours of download. 6 weeks is 56 days, which equals to 1344 hours; and with 6h of average download time to get the game it would give us 224 downloads, then let’s multiply it by 20k simultaneous downloaders," he explained. "The result is roughly 4.5 million illegal downloads."

Though that number is only an estimation, he explains. "I would say that’s rather on the optimistic side of things; as of today we have sold over 1M legal copies, so having only 4.5-5 illegal copies for each legal one would be not a bad ratio. The reality is probably way worse."

And yet, despite this, Iwinski stands by the company's decision not to use DRM. He explained that they tested with different DRM solutions, but found that they simply didn't work at preventing piracy, making them an insufficient solution to the problem.

You can check out the full interview here, in which he goes into more details about the game's reception. We liked it quite a bit, if you remember. What about you? Anyone out there proud to be one of the 1:5 that purchased the game legally?

Hollander Cooper

Hollander Cooper was the Lead Features Editor of GamesRadar+ between 2011 and 2014. After that lengthy stint managing GR's editorial calendar he moved behind the curtain and into the video game industry itself, working as social media manager for EA and as a communications lead at Riot Games. Hollander is currently stationed at Apple as an organic social lead for the App Store and Apple Arcade.