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Default The Witchers Australian release

November 7th, 2007, 08:03
For the first time in over twenty years of playing RPGs I have downloaded a pirate copy of a game. This is not an action I take lightly as I know that in doing so I screw the developers and jeopardise further games being made by them.
What other option do I have? Atari for the thousandth time have screwed Australian (and NZ) gamers by continuously slipping the release date (from the 2nd to the 7th to the 9th and now to the 14th according to EB, though the Atari Aus site still says the 9th). They did this with MOTB as well. Quite frankly I'm tired of being treated like a mushroom by Atari who provide no explanation or feedback. Maybe if they explained the circumstances I'd be a bit more sympathetic but they don't. How hard is it to look at a calendar work out how long it’s going to take to get the game down here, get it through government reviews etc and post an actual release date that they can keep? If my business acted like this I’d never have any customers.
It’s a small market and obviously Atari don't care but Hey I don't either as I'll still get to play the games they distribute but won’t be paying for them from now on (I’ll still pay for them if they come out on the scheduled date but as they never do that’s hardly a concern). If I could pay the developer directly I would but I can't so I won't.
Anyone else as annoyed as I?
Sorry, didn't see the other post below.
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November 7th, 2007, 09:18
Delayed releases are frustrating but I don't condone or agree with your solution. I'm in Sydney - and I imported it from GAME in the UK. It cost me ~ AUD$78 — possibly a hair under what I would pay locally and I got it within 4 days of the release. There is no need for Australians to pirate.

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November 7th, 2007, 10:40
I agree with Dhruin. I have a pre-order with EB for the Witcher ( a rare thing for me to do ). If I'd known about the delay I would have ordered from OS like Dhruin. I work on a 2 week cycle. If the game will be released here with 2 weeks of its release in other English speaking countries, I buy locally. If not, I order online!!

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November 7th, 2007, 11:17
I hope, waratah, that you'll buy the game when its eventually released where you live.
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November 7th, 2007, 23:49
I don't feel good about pirating a game either. That being said, Atari have consistently shown a complete lack of respect for Australian and NZ gamers for as long as I can remember (and a lack of respect for D&D RPG players in general by screwing up TOEE and POR).
If somebody keeps doing something that makes you angry and shows absolutely no contrition what do you do? For a company the size of Atari the only way you can make them listen is to hit them in their bottom line. I accept games will be released latter in Aus, they always have been. Thatís fine and I can live with that. What I can't accept is the continued slipping of release dates after Atari have set a date. To me this shows that they just don't care, are inefficient and arrogant. As I said previously, its not about the money, if there was a way of paying the developer directly I would. Until Atari lift their game in Aus I won't be contributing to their bottom line.
They'd never act this way in any of the larger markets (US or UK for example). When a game is delayed in these regions there are developers crawling all over the boards explaining the delay so that they don't lose customers. In Aus we get nothing so I can only assume that they don't care if they lose customers. At the very least they should make the game available for download in Aus on the date that they say the game will be released.
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November 8th, 2007, 00:00
I can appreciate your frustration but I still think you are using it as an excuse. You can easily pay the developer and have the game early by simply buying online. If The Witcher doesn't sell, the only message you are sending every publisher is that PC RPGs don't sell - so don't make them. They absolutely, categorically, emphatically will not make any link to local distribution policies. On the other hand, if your one copy is statistically insignificant and has no effect on the sales, then no message is sent, is it?

I also think you are over-simplifying the issue for the US. Games are delayed in the US and there aren't always developers all over the forums. Sometimes yes, sometimes not.

Have you tried calling or emailing Atari AUS? This is an outstanding piece of work and CD Projekt deserve to be paid. Buying online pays CD Projekt without helping Atari AUS meet their local budgets, so objective achieved.

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November 8th, 2007, 01:55
I emailed Atari Aus on Monday and they have yet to find the time to reply.
Why should people in the southern hemisphere have to go through the trouble etc of importing games? I have done so in the past for games that were scheduled for release months after the US release but as the Whitcher was scheduled for release only a week or so after the US release I didn't bother. My issue is all about respect, they don't show me any so I don't show them any.
While my beef is mainly with Atari Aus, Atrai Aus are part of a larger organisation who are not exactly blameless either. Atari (France) presumably owns Atari Aus and obviously don't see any problems with how their Australian arm treats its customers (otherwise they'd do something about it). To the same degree CD Projeckt don't seem to care much either. Atari is botching the release of their game in Aus and I assume Oceania and southeast Asia in general. While Atari are the distributor I'm pretty sure that the developer has some legal rights regarding the proper handling of game releases in various markets around the world and could apply pressure from their end. The sad fact is that we are a small and presumably (at least judging from our treatment) insignificant market.
For me the issue crystallises in to two main arguments.
1/Accept the treatment provided by Atari and pay them anyway for bad service out of respect for the developer; or
2/Show Atari (albeit in a miniscule way) that youíve had enough and refuse to be treated this way but screw the developer.
Neither option is really desirable.
I posted my original post on the Atari Aus forums and it strangely enough got removed very fast.
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November 8th, 2007, 03:14
I hear your pain, but please order it online if atari won't release it there eventually. It is vital that cd projekt will get their money, because witcher is simply put best rpg i've played for a long time. If we want games like to be made in the future let them know we also buy them
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November 8th, 2007, 03:41
I agree - vote with your wallet. Don't buy the game.

Where I disagree is when you cross the line into piracy, as it basically makes your argument crap in my eyes. You become just another 'didn't pay to play' person.

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November 8th, 2007, 05:41
Try living in Taiwan for awhile and the games have a 50/50 shot of either being in Chinese or English. I order everything through a small local shop that imports games from places like Hong Kong, Australia, UK or USA. If they can't get it then I order Online. It's not that hard to order a game online. You first type in your name, click buy, put in credit card number(If your too young to have a credit card then ask mommy) put in your address. There you now have a game on its way.

Don't threaten with stealing a game just because dates get pushed back, It sometimes takes longer than anticipated to bring a new product to a different country. Heck Taiwan didn't get the Wii till waaayyyy after the rest of the world had it, I didn't see everyone in Taiwan flying to Japan and stealing a Wii from the local stores, which is basically what you said you did. Except you could rip off Atari from the convience of your own home.

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Last edited by skavenhorde; November 8th, 2007 at 05:48.
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November 8th, 2007, 06:02
Ok so the consensus is accept Atari's crap and pay for the game or don't play the game at all. Fair enough, though neither option allows me to vent my frustration at Atari for having such a crap attitude to consumers in Aus.
As a solution I have decided to play my pirated copy and buy the real copy when it comes out as a classic game in a few years time. Not the best outcome but an outcome all the same. I've also written a letter (Snail mail) to Atari's head office in Aus explaining my actions.
PS EB quoted me $110 for the game in Australia which is roughly twice the US price at the current exchange rate. So not only do I get screwed by Atari I'd get price gouged as well if I did chose to buy a hard copy. Brilliant. It looks like EB is doing more than I ever could to keep the numbers down in Australia.
Last edited by waratah; November 8th, 2007 at 06:12.
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November 8th, 2007, 06:30
Skavenhorde, no need to be rude (you disagree with me, good for you). Until you entered the thread everybody was being very polite. What’s the point of your first paragraph? Try living in the Sudan and you'd have no chance of getting the game most likely you'd be starving and in a refugee camp. What a stupid argument, there are always people worse off than yourself. The fact is I don't live in Taiwan I live in Australia and I'm pissed at the way Australian gamers get treated by Atari. As for you accusing me of stealing, I think by saying that I pirated the game I've already admitted to that. I prefer to think of it as economic disobedience (as opposed to civil disobedience). Hope you’ve never watched any of those pirated DVDs that are so prevalent in your country (or should I say province of China); it wouldn't do to be hypercritical.
By the way threaten means you’re going to do something, I've already done it!
As for questioning my age, I'm now old enough to wish people still thought I was a teenager and the mommy I live with is the mother of my children.
Last edited by waratah; November 8th, 2007 at 06:46.
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November 8th, 2007, 07:13
I can understand how frustrated you must be waratah, but I feel also that CDProjekt deserves to get their pay for the work they did on The Witcher. I'm glad to hear you plan on purchasing the game at some point. While it's a drag not to get the game when you want it, sometimes waiting til a game's been out and had a few patches is actually an advantage. In the case of the Witcher, it's already been patched twice, so you know the developers are going to be responsive. The hearsay on the next patch is that it's supposed to work on load times and turning off the autosave, as well as releasing a tool kit, so those who buy the game in a month may actually have a better experience. Atari has pissed off a lot of people in their day, me among them, with their disregard for their customers, but that doesn't justify starving out the guys who had the vision and put in the hard work to make this excellent RPG.

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November 8th, 2007, 07:20
Calling it something different is just trying to justify it by softening the terminology. So, since there are a few Australians in this thread - let's just call a spade a spade. We all agree that staggered international releases are a pain in the ass but we don't know the reason for delay. At any rate, your "protest" only sends one clear potential message: don't bother making PC RPGs. Lastly, you complain about more hassle but note the local price is significantly higher…I can't see anything easier than placing an online order and saving money.

Edit: Magerette, pirating now and paying for the bargain-bin version down the track is having your caking and eating it, too.

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November 8th, 2007, 07:41
Yep, Aussie pricing is another issue altogether. With the current Aussie dollar at about 93 cents US, charging us double the US price is a TOTAL ripoff. Difficulty is, my son is trying to get a job with EB!!

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November 8th, 2007, 07:51
Thanks for the replies.
I'm a bit troubled by the responses though. I understand that most have taken the attitude that regardless of Atari's faults CD Projeckt deserve the money and should be paid (wonder if they'd cash an anonymous cheque from Aus). What troubles me is the idea that you should just put up with the bad service. If you really look at the issue Atari is the one jeopardising further games being made, they have repeatedly buggered up RPG releases around the world (not only by slipping dates in Aus but by rushing out numerous games before they were finished). In fact Atari's RPG list features more great but unfinished RPGs than simply great ones. You'd have to say that their ongoing financial problems are more to do with their own internal inefficiencies than poor product choices. I don't play many other types of games other than RPGs so I don't know if there other titles suffer from the same faults. They seem to have the attitude that RPG players are a desperate bunch (geeks? as RPGs require a modicum of intelligence and imagination) and will accept bad treatment as long as they supply us with the stuff.
Maybe RPG pimps or drug dealers is a better way of describing them?
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November 8th, 2007, 08:00
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
We all agree that staggered international releases are a pain in the ass but we don't know the reason for delay.
The delay I can acept, the continued slipping of the date is what pisses me off. And yes it is a spade, I stole a copy of the game. What gets me the most angry is that they know that the people going in to EB, or where ever, every second day are the hardcore RPG players and will buy the game regardless of how badly they are treated. Thats what really makes me mad and prompted my current actions. Were those actions wrong, probably, will they have an effect on Atari, probably not.
Last edited by waratah; November 8th, 2007 at 08:24.
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November 8th, 2007, 11:52
Originally Posted by waratah View Post
Thanks for the replies.
I'm a bit troubled by the responses though. I understand that most have taken the attitude that regardless of Atari's faults CD Projeckt deserve the money and should be paid (wonder if they'd cash an anonymous cheque from Aus). What troubles me is the idea that you should just put up with the bad service.

I'm a bit lost. You say you stole the game and your troubled by the responses? You seem to think that the issue is about Atari's bad service. It's not, it's the fact that you like and want this game and instead of waiting or legally purchasing the game you stole it. I think we can all agree that the service is not top notch but what is the alternative? You could start your own corporation and make RPGs with great service or Atari could abandon RPGs altogether.

I don't really understand your train of thought on how by stealing the game your getting revenge on 'The Man' for poor service.

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November 8th, 2007, 12:12
Piracing isn't really stealing the game, because you don't go into a store and take a physical copy of the game. It's more like walking into a store, cloneing a copy, and walking out with the copy. Because of this, all they "lose" is the cost for buying the game. IE, they don't increase their income. They don't lose the cost for produceing the physical copy of the game (which will turn out as a useless cost if the person in question would acually steal the game).

If he's not going to buy the game to prove a point (Atari sux), then what's so wrong with downloading the game? Atari doesn't lose anything on him downloading the game, since he wouldn't have bought it anyway. So if this is the case then downloading it is pretty much a crimeless victim, and hence I don't think it's wrong.

(The problem is the fact that you have to upload to download. In the best of circumstances we're talking about you uploading to pepole who wouldn't buy it anyway, but to think that you do is naive to say the least. I don't really have a good answer on this question, so I'm going to blame this one on Atari (they brought this on themselves!). Otherwise I'll just get bad concience… )

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November 8th, 2007, 12:58
So let's follow that logic to a conclusion. Piracy isn't stealing. There's no victim. Why, then, should anyone pay for the game?

Is there a victim now, with noone buying it at all? Or is it only OK as long as my $78 is subsidising the development so you guys can rip it off?

If you don't like the service for something, then don't buy it.

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