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Default The Witcher 2 - DRM Interview @ Eurogamer

November 26th, 2010, 19:21
Eurogamer interviews CD PRoject's Marcin Iwiński about DRM in games and why it will be released DRM free on Good Old Game.
He states this as evidence why DRM does not work:
"Let's look at Call of Duty," Iwiński told Eurogamer at a press conference in Warsaw, Poland. "We are frequently checking the torrent sites before making our decisions. The game is out a few days and you have 100,000 people downloading it simultaneously. So it doesn't work.
And gives this as proof why a boxed version with lots of goodies but without DRM does work:
The breakthrough came when CD Projekt released RPG classic Baldur's Gate as Polish publisher. It included a D&D book, five CDs (pirates were charging per CD), a map with a seal, a music CD and more.
Baldur's Gate sold 18,000 copies, up from the 3000 average. "Nobody wanted to believe us, including Virgin Interplay," Iwiński said.
More information.

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November 26th, 2010, 19:21
Baldur's Gate sold 18,000 copies, up from the 3000 average. "Nobody wanted to believe us, including Virgin Interplay," Iwiński said.
That's a very confusing statement. 18,000 copies in what timeframe, 3000 copies average of what? Average GOG sales? Average Baldur's Gate sales?

Stop confusing me!
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November 26th, 2010, 19:30
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
That's a very confusing statement. 18,000 copies in what timeframe, 3000 copies average of what? Average GOG sales? Average Baldur's Gate sales?

Stop confusing me!
3000 copies - Average PC game sales in Poland in 1999
18 000 copies - Baludurs Gate sales in 1999 in Poland (it was released in Poland in 1999)
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November 26th, 2010, 19:48
I'm pretty sure that's not what he's talking about, since they're specifically discussing the Good Old Games release. Also, what are you basing this on?
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November 26th, 2010, 20:44
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
I'm pretty sure that's not what he's talking about, since they're specifically discussing the Good Old Games release. Also, what are you basing this on?
He's talking about how they competed with those pirates in 1999.

Anyway, I really appreciate CD Project's DRM policies. They came from a country where pirated games dominated the market in the past (like my country) so they know the situation of the market and the main problems of legitimate buyers very well. I remember those times when pirated fabricated CDs comes with a quality pressing and a booklet. You couldn't distinguish pirate from the original in those times.

I am one of those people who bought illegal copies in the past. Now I buy my games legally. I buy them because I want to reward devs for their hard work. If I want to play pirated games I will. No one will stop me. Because, pirating a game is a morality issue not accessibility.

Today you can buy an Xbox 360, modify it and play pirated game quite easily. There's no DRM in the Xbox 360. But console games are selling well.

I'm going to buy two copies of Witcher 2 in order to reward CD Project's bold move. Maybe a drop in the lake. But who knows, maybe it will make a change.
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November 26th, 2010, 20:47
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
I'm pretty sure that's not what he's talking about, since they're specifically discussing the Good Old Games release. Also, what are you basing this on?
Deductive reasoning
CD Projekt as a Polish publisher and distributor of computer games ——-> GOG ———> The Witcher 2 DRM free

From the Eurogamer interview: "When you drive to our office there is a big stadium, it will be the Euro 2012 stadium. 10 years back it was the biggest flea market in central Europe. Inside you had all these folding tables. We were releasing a game, and they were mass-producing the CDs and they were charging per CD. That was our competition." - So, it used to be like that in Poland

"Whatever DRM we used it didn't matter, because they were smart guys and it was about big business and big money. The offering they get at the flea market is a disc – OK, it's crappy with a print out in a strange plastic bag – but maybe we should offer them more." - So, what Can we do about it?

The breakthrough came when CD Projekt released RPG classic Baldur's Gate as Polish publisher. It included a D&D book, five CDs (pirates were charging per CD), a map with a seal, a music CD and more. - Hurray! We have an idea! Professional Polish Version with a lot of goodies in the box.

Baldur's Gate sold 18,000 copies, up from the 3000 average - Hurray! We have sold 6 times more copies than usually. (Total sales since then - more than 100 thousand copies)

So, Polish Version of Baldurs Gate changed polish PC games market
Last edited by kroto; November 26th, 2010 at 20:57.
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November 26th, 2010, 22:37
So, because they are in a backwoods country where creators have no rights, they hire a crooked lawfirm to use the same bullshit tactics the movie/music corporations used to extort money from elderly women, family pets and children? And you all still applaud them?

The reality is that games sell if they're good and people know they're out there. New Vegas is a great example. Record sales. Record. Fucking. Sales. And it's easy to pirate. And to implement all DLC (or, it will be, based on Oblivion and FO3s history. I have no doubt the 360 exclusive DLC will be available for PC pirates within about a week of release, too, if not a day) and bonus packs for free. Despite the ease of piracy of the game and it's bonus content, the game still sold like nobodies business. And to think, they didn't even have to hire a crooked lawfirm to send out extortion letters to people who didn't deserve it. All they had to do was release a really good game. If TW2 is also a good game, CDP have little to fear from western pirates. It'll still get stolen, but it'll also sell. If it's really good game, and doesn't get inexplicably shat on by the press (srsly, fuck everyone who trashed Alpha Protocol), it'll sell very well.
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November 26th, 2010, 22:57
Originally Posted by kroto View Post
Baldur's Gate sold 18,000 copies, up from the 3000 average - Hurray! We have sold 6 times more copies than usually. (Total sales since then - more than 100 thousand copies)

So, Polish Version of Baldurs Gate changed polish PC games market
Alright, gotcha. Good reasoning.

You'd think with Good Old Games they'd have some more recent, relevant numbers. Using 1999 numbers to prove your arguments now is kind of ludicrous.
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November 26th, 2010, 23:08
I thought the part about it being on "five CDs" would have been a good hint.
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November 26th, 2010, 23:25
I just had a brainfart which somehow seperated the story on 1990s with the closing statement. Not sure what happened there :/

Sorry!
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November 27th, 2010, 03:00
Not sure proof is the right word (actually, I'm sure it's not) but I like the sentiment. I really hope this release works for them.
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November 27th, 2010, 06:25
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Alright, gotcha. Good reasoning.

You'd think with Good Old Games they'd have some more recent, relevant numbers. Using 1999 numbers to prove your arguments now is kind of ludicrous.
Well, I've heard Brad Wardell of Stardock say Total Annihilation did "new game release numbers" on Impulse. And GOG has recently said they're doing quite well for themselves. That's as good as you get, really..the numbers aren't public now..some bureaucratic bullshit..hopefully it gets cleared up before long because it does seem to be hurting PC gaming.
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November 27th, 2010, 06:52
They beat the pirates that charged per cd some 10 year ago, huh? Okay, so how about beating those now-days pirates that don't charge a shit for anything? Well?
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November 27th, 2010, 07:49
Baldur's Gate selling more than the average game automatically means they found a way to combat pirates? As far as I know, Baldur's Gate sold more than the average game everywhere in the world..
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November 27th, 2010, 10:12
Originally Posted by darkling View Post
So, because they are in a backwoods country where creators have no rights, they hire a crooked lawfirm to use the same bullshit tactics the movie/music corporations used to extort money from elderly women, family pets and children? And you all still applaud them?

The reality is that games sell if they're good and people know they're out there. New Vegas is a great example. Record sales. Record. Fucking. Sales. And it's easy to pirate. And to implement all DLC (or, it will be, based on Oblivion and FO3s history. I have no doubt the 360 exclusive DLC will be available for PC pirates within about a week of release, too, if not a day) and bonus packs for free. Despite the ease of piracy of the game and it's bonus content, the game still sold like nobodies business. And to think, they didn't even have to hire a crooked lawfirm to send out extortion letters to people who didn't deserve it. All they had to do was release a really good game. If TW2 is also a good game, CDP have little to fear from western pirates. It'll still get stolen, but it'll also sell. If it's really good game, and doesn't get inexplicably shat on by the press (srsly, fuck everyone who trashed Alpha Protocol), it'll sell very well.
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Baldur's Gate selling more than the average game automatically means they found a way to combat pirates? As far as I know, Baldur's Gate sold more than the average game everywhere in the world..
Exactly my thought, first make a good game and there is no fear it will not sell well. Second, although The Witcher was a great game and TW2 also looks to be promising, it is still far away from BG and I think CDP is still far away from putting BG and Witcher in the same sentence…..
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November 27th, 2010, 11:40
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Baldur's Gate selling more than the average game automatically means they found a way to combat pirates? As far as I know, Baldur's Gate sold more than the average game everywhere in the world..
Well, according to the story, it sold 6 times more. I think it is fair enough that they take some of the credit for that.

Also, I agree completely with their attitude. These guys treat their paying customers with respect, and I think pretty much every major publisher out there has something to learn from them.

As for their planned way of dealing with pirates, it sounds fair to me. They are talking about a fine which is "more than what the game would cost", which doesn't sound overly aggressive. It may not be legally sound in all, or even most countries, but that will probably work itself out. If they can't legally fine you, they can't legally fine you. If they can legally fine you, well, that's a slap on the wrist which you probably deserved. But the main point for me is that they are actually targeting the pirates with this, rather than the paying customers. I prefer that approach to what most publishers do.

Kay
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November 27th, 2010, 13:48
Originally Posted by domein View Post
Okay, so how about beating those now-days pirates that don't charge a shit for anything? Well?
There are still pirates selling CDs out there.
Especially for those who can't afford having an internet connection.

Not in all countries there's such a luxury of broadband connections like in the "western" countries.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 27th, 2010, 14:19
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
There are still pirates selling CDs out there.
Especially for those who can't afford having an internet connection.
This is not the point. Point is that selling copies is thing of a past, as in today's digital age anyone can create a copy of almost anything, with as little effort as pressing a few buttons. The best way to avoid piracy of this kind is to sell not a copy but a service. Take world of warcraft for example - blizzard don't give a damn how much you copy it, because they don't sell a copy to you, they sell a service - user account with access to game world and your "save games". And don't tell me that this is different because you cant play it offline, major principle stays the same: service, not a copy.
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November 27th, 2010, 16:26
Originally Posted by domein View Post
This is not the point. Point is that selling copies is thing of a past, as in today's digital age anyone can create a copy of almost anything, with as little effort as pressing a few buttons. The best way to avoid piracy of this kind is to sell not a copy but a service. Take world of warcraft for example - blizzard don't give a damn how much you copy it, because they don't sell a copy to you, they sell a service - user account with access to game world and your "save games". And don't tell me that this is different because you cant play it offline, major principle stays the same: service, not a copy.

Good idea in principle but not everyone plays online.Company's have tried and failed to make single player games that require you to be online.Take ubisoft they said it couldn't be cracked and it was.Even MMOS can be emulated with enough time and talent.

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November 27th, 2010, 17:10
Iwinski's wrong - the Polish Baldur's Gate release, while truly very nice, did not include an audio CD. An audio CD was included with the sequel, but not the original game.
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