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The Witcher 2 pirated 4.5 million times

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings image

According to CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwinski, after checking some illegal download sites, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has been pirated about 4.5 million times. He added "As of today we have sold over one million legal copies, so having only 4.5 - 5 illegal compies for each legal one would be not a bad ratio."

The Witcher 2 is one of the bigger PC-exclusive (for now) releases in recent memory. It has been a pretty big success for Polish developer CD Projekt, but lots of people buying he game don't mean millions more aren't pirating it.

According to CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwinski, after checking some illegal download sites, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has been pirated about 4.5 million times. He added "As of today we have sold over one million legal copies, so having only 4.5 - 5 illegal compies for each legal one would be not a bad ratio."

He also admits, "The reality is probably way worse," but that doesn't mean he feels like restrictive DRM is the way to go. He knows from experience that DRM doesn't work.

"From the very beginning our main competitors on the market were pirates," he told PC Gamer. "We of course experimented with all available DRM/copy protection, but frankly nothing worked. Whatever we used was cracked within a day or two, massively copied and immediately available on the streets for a fraction of our price. We did not give up, but came up with new strategy: we started offering high value with the product – like enhancing the game with additional collectors' items like soundtracks, making-of DVDs, books, walkthroughs, etc. This, together with a long process of educating local gamers about why it makes sense to actually buy games legally, worked. And today, we have a reasonably healthy games market."

Honestly, considering how inconvenient and off-putting DRM is for consumers, and how much of a non-issue it is for pirates, it's a wonder publishers bother with it at all.



Roto13's avatar
Staff article by Rhody Tobin (November 30, 2011)

Rhody likes to press the keys on his keyboard. Sometimes the resulting letters form strings of words that kind of make sense when you think about them for a moment. Most times they're just random gibberish that should be ignored. Ball-peen wobble glurk.

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