Sunday, January 15th 2012

An Open Letter to the Gaming Community from CD Projekt RED

A month ago, we reported that CD Projekt RED, makers of The Witcher 2 had claimed that they could identify '100% of pirates' and had started an RIAA-style 'settlement letter' shakedown (extortion) tactic in Germany. Well, unsurprisingly, this hasn't gone down too well with their customers and the outcry has been loud and strong, especially on gog.com, where their forums have been full of posts from disgruntled customers. Well, it looks like the pressure has gotten too much for them and they have backpedalled furiously on this decision and issued an open letter, published on rockpapershotgun.com. In it, they state that they want people to continue to have faith in them and stressed how they're still totally against 'piracy' of their products and appealed for gamers to refrain from engaging in it:
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
co-founder
CD Projekt RED
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41 Comments on An Open Letter to the Gaming Community from CD Projekt RED

#1
Darkleoco
Nice that they are listening to their customer base at least, imo their has never and will never be a reason to demand extraordinary sums of money from people over pirated music/movies/games, yes it is something that needs to be dealt with but legal robbery is not the way to do it UNLESS the person was a distributor of pirated content.
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#2
alterecho
I don't get it. I wouldn't worry about their push against pirates, when i'm having the receipt of the original copy. Why are others worrying?
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#3
Darkleoco
by: alterecho
I don't get it. I wouldn't worry about their push against pirates, when i'm having the receipt of the original copy. Why are others worrying?
From reading it I think it was more that people were upset by the large sums of money that were being demand over a single pirated copy of the game rather than the fact that they were going after pirates in the first place.
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#4
crazyeyesreaper
Chief Broken Rig
in all honesty if you pirate and get caught you just be forced to pay the retail price of what you took that way everyone can just STFU and GTFOWTL (get the **** on with there lives)
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#5
KieranD
DRM is stupid because pirates always find a workaround.
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#6
HalfAHertz
by: crazyeyesreaper
in all honesty if you pirate and get caught you just be forced to pay the retail price of what you took that way everyone can just STFU and GTFOWTL (get the **** on with there lives)
What about all those poor starving lawyers? THINK OF THE LAWYERS!
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#7
crazyeyesreaper
Chief Broken Rig
im sure they can find work suing corporation on behalf of fat ass americans that burn themselves on coffee.. or something. after all we sue each other here in the states over everything.. trust me lawyers will ALWAYS have work. that is a fact besides Apple can always use more lawyers as well for there patent lawsuits :roll:
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#8
FreedomEclipse
Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!
I can get a standard The Witcher 2 for about $20 here anyway so theres no need for me to pirate it. Its the Premium & collectors edition that seem to be retardedly expensive
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#9
Damn_Smooth
This whole ordeal almost makes me want to pirate the game to say "fuck you". Almost.
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#10
TIGR
I as a gamer want pirates to get caught and made to pay for their games. Why? Because I paid for mine. Because I want the developer to get what they earned creating the game. Because I want the developer to continue innovating and pushing the art of game design.

No, I don't want pirates to be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars. And no, I'm not sure if/how pirates can be accurately and reliably traced but I'm also not sure they can't. That's on the judicial systems to resolve. And no, I don't want [and won't buy] games with experience-crippling DRM.

Regardless of how rich or poor game developers are, regardless of how much of a dent pirating really puts in their earnings, regardless of what DRM is in the game, and regardless of how highly the game scored with critics and gamers; if you like a game I suggest you buy it. If you don't like it I suggest you protest by not buying it. And if you pirate it, I hope you get caught and fined.

That is all.
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#11
digibucc
i would just add that when legitimate users are in the crossfire the company needs to refrain from actions that might negatively affect said users.

it's a lot to ask them, and I am actually very happy CD PR did this. I didn't care much about the letters honestly but to take this kind of action really shows what they care about, and makes me glad for having supported them in the past - and i will continue to do so.
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#12
JTF195
by: TIGR
I as a gamer want pirates to get caught and made to pay for their games. Why? Because I paid for mine. Because I want the developer to get what they earned creating the game. Because I want the developer to continue innovating and pushing the art of game design.

No, I don't want pirates to be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars. And no, I'm not sure if/how pirates can be accurately and reliably traced but I'm also not sure they can't. That's on the judicial systems to resolve. And no, I don't want [and won't buy] games with experience-crippling DRM.

Regardless of how rich or poor game developers are, regardless of how much of a dent pirating really puts in their earnings, regardless of what DRM is in the game, and regardless of how highly the game scored with critics and gamers; if you like a game I suggest you buy it. If you don't like it I suggest you protest by not buying it. And if you pirate it, I hope you get caught and fined.

That is all.
This is exactly how I feel. Couldn't have put it better.
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#13
Gzero
by: alterecho
I don't get it. I wouldn't worry about their push against pirates, when i'm having the receipt of the original copy. Why are others worrying?
And how does that help? Uploading makes you twice as guilty as the leeches. Regardless of if you own a license, you do not have the right to upload copyrighted material/data to the public, which is what happens when you use p2p.

However if you upload to a hosting server and never publish a link to keep for yourself technically you should be within the usual laws.
Posted on Reply
#14
Gzero
by: TIGR
I as a gamer want pirates to get caught and made to pay for their games. Why? Because I paid for mine. Because I want the developer to get what they earned creating the game. Because I want the developer to continue innovating and pushing the art of game design.

No, I don't want pirates to be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars. And no, I'm not sure if/how pirates can be accurately and reliably traced but I'm also not sure they can't. That's on the judicial systems to resolve. And no, I don't want [and won't buy] games with experience-crippling DRM.

Regardless of how rich or poor game developers are, regardless of how much of a dent pirating really puts in their earnings, regardless of what DRM is in the game, and regardless of how highly the game scored with critics and gamers; if you like a game I suggest you buy it. If you don't like it I suggest you protest by not buying it. And if you pirate it, I hope you get caught and fined.

That is all.
Meh, why do you care so much? You paid, whether it turns out to be worth it is another story. :P

(don't give me that crap about reviews, and videos, game is like art, you don't know you'll like it until you experience it yourself!)

:)

Next you'll be saying "I want everyone to pay launch price and nothing cheaper, because I paid that price so should everyone else!" (I jest, but the next target for all the hate is the second hand market which is pretty much already dead on pc).
Posted on Reply
#15
TIGR
by: Gzero
Meh, why do you care so much? You paid, whether it turns out to be worth it is another story. :P

(don't give me that crap about reviews, and videos, game is like art, you don't know you'll like it until you experience it yourself!)

:)

Next you'll be saying "I want everyone to pay launch price and nothing cheaper, because I paid that price so should everyone else!" (I jest, but the next target for all the hate is the second hand market which is pretty much already dead on pc).
Don't put words in my mouth—I would not say you should always pay launch price. I'd suggest buying a game when the price is worth to you. Like many here, I've taken advantage of those kick-ass Origin/Steam/etc. deals and paid next to nothing for certain games. On the other hand, some games impress me so much that I feel it's worth buying extra copies to give to friends—Call of Duty 4, Fallout 3, and Portal 2 are good examples.

And I'd also suggest trying a game before you buy it, if possible. I won't condone but also won't condemn people who download pirated games to try them and then either delete them if they don't like them, or buy them if they do. Gotta tread lightly here though....
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#16
Jarman
I know it's not really their job to do this, but if companies like steam offered more free weekends on games (especially newer titles) then people could try before they buy without pirating. Or if every steam user could try one game a month for a day, something along those lines.

I bought cod black ops off steam without trying it first, and i feel robbed for doing so. I would definitely consider trying a game by whatever means necessary before buying it in the future.

I'm not saying this would solve piracy, but it would be a step in the right direction.
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#17
n-ster
Paying retail price if you get caught pirating is not nearly enough. Maybe something like 5x Retail price would be better.
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#18
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: Jarman
I know it's not really their job to do this, but if companies like steam offered more free weekends on games (especially newer titles) then people could try before they buy without pirating. Or if every steam user could try one game a month for a day, something along those lines.

I bought cod black ops off steam without trying it first, and i feel robbed for doing so. I would definitely consider trying a game by whatever means necessary before buying it in the future.

I'm not saying this would solve piracy, but it would be a step in the right direction.
Exactly, bring back the demo! Companies used to do this routinely, but after that BS statement a while back about them stopping this due to "costs", we don't get them any more. Of course, we know the real reason is so that people such as yourself take a gamble on it and if you don't like it, you're stuck with it and the publisher has pocketed your money for something you don't want. What a nice little racket. :nutkick:

I would go one further than your suggestion and say that Steam should impose terms on all games publishers that every game is allowed to be played for free for a limited time, say three days, after which you have to pay to continue playing. Now, that would be fair. It would also sort out the crap from the quality, which is as it should be.
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#19
digibucc
by: Jarman
I know it's not really their job to do this.
i don't really think it's in their power. they could ask, but from what i've seen free weekends are done by the publishers - most often to boost players in online games. I doubt EA, Ubi, etc would allow a free weekend for their 8 hr singleplayer games. activision NEVER for cod, they still charge full price for old versions.

demos are the only answer, including a mp demo or beta if they want to call it that. however honestly with cod you should know what to expect. they haven't changed a thing for years, and when they are continually the best selling game why would they? if you want to see a different cod game, play battlefield until activision isn't raking in the cash - then they'll change things up.
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#20
Jarman
well i buy everything for the mp.

I used to play what i would call "skilled" fps, such as quake 3 CPMA, CS 1.6 and delta force 2. After they went out the window i went to cod4, which was sort of a dumbed down so anybody can get kills game-but still fun. Unfortunately now there is literally no skill in any of these games, just get a mad op shotgun or grenade launcher and spam for your life. Or a lovely helicopter gun ship, or a car with c4 on....just no skill.

League of legends guys, it's free (to an extent) and great fun - and there are no cheats, frequent update, character balances etc...it's not an fps, but skilled fps pc gaming is dead to me.
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#21
Gzero
by: Jarman
well i buy everything for the mp.

I used to play what i would call "skilled" fps, such as quake 3 CPMA, CS 1.6 and delta force 2. After they went out the window i went to cod4, which was sort of a dumbed down so anybody can get kills game-but still fun. Unfortunately now there is literally no skill in any of these games, just get a mad op shotgun or grenade launcher and spam for your life. Or a lovely helicopter gun ship, or a car with c4 on....just no skill.

League of legends guys, it's free (to an extent) and great fun - and there are no cheats, frequent update, character balances etc...it's not an fps, but skilled fps pc gaming is dead to me.
Starcraft 2.

Yeah shooters have gone down hill, there still is cod4 promod though keeping fps alive in the tournaments, but really still relying on CS 1.6.
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#22
Gzero
by: TIGR
Don't put words in my mouth—I would not say you should always pay launch price. I'd suggest buying a game when the price is worth to you. Like many here, I've taken advantage of those kick-ass Origin/Steam/etc. deals and paid next to nothing for certain games. On the other hand, some games impress me so much that I feel it's worth buying extra copies to give to friends—Call of Duty 4, Fallout 3, and Portal 2 are good examples.

And I'd also suggest trying a game before you buy it, if possible. I won't condone but also won't condemn people who download pirated games to try them and then either delete them if they don't like them, or buy them if they do. Gotta tread lightly here though....
Fair enough. :) I much prefer the try before you buy style (which, in the past, our retailers did do for consoles but obviously not PC, there are still a few here and there but mostly 3DS etc).
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#23
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
All people do when they steal is take from every one ! Prices goes up we in turn have to pay for it ! If you steal you should be held accountable for it plain and simple . I am sick of all the thieves out there getting away with taking from others and then crying about how they are treated ! You steal you get caught you pay the price ! After all , did you think what you were doing was and is ok ? I hate the fact that we honest people have to pay for you thieves !
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#24
Darkleoco
by: trickson
All people do when they steal is take from every one ! Prices goes up we in turn have to pay for it ! If you steal you should be held accountable for it plain and simple . I am sick of all the thieves out there getting away with taking from others and then crying about how they are treated ! You steal you get caught you pay the price ! After all , did you think what you were doing was and is ok ? I hate the fact that we honest people have to pay for you thieves !
The price however should not be anything more than the price of the game or if you are a distributor the original price of the game multiplied by how many times it was downloaded from your upload. Their is no excuse to pirate a game, but their is also no excuse to charge someone an outrageous amount of money for a single pirated copy of a game.
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#25
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
by: Darkleoco
The price however should not be anything more than the price of the game or if you are a distributor the original price of the game multiplied by how many times it was downloaded from your upload. Their is no excuse to pirate a game, but their is also no excuse to charge someone an outrageous amount of money for a single pirated copy of a game.
Well I disagree. A stolen ( Pirated copy ) is still a stolen item ! What you think that just because you took it and used it that it is some how right and that you should NOT have to pay for being a thief ? You know paying double is far better than ending up in jail ! Personally I think that any one that pirates games and music , movies and software should go to jail . Just because it is some thing like this doesn't give you or any ones else immunity from the law . When you steal it hurts every one . I know that I sound harsh maybe even stupid but I can not stand thief's because the out come hurts EVERY one not just the thief !
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