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Thread: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

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    CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Believes in the carrot, not in the stick.
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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Here's the thing: Objectively speaking, the witcher 3 is far from the best game of all time. It's combat isn't superb, it had the controversy surrounding its graphical downgrade (though it still looked good), it suffered a pretty hefty delay, and was quite buggy at launch.

    But in spite of this it's warmly received by the community - simply because they offered so much in the base product, they worked hard to patch the game, they offered small bits of free dlc weekly after release (things most companies would have been happy to sell for $3-5 each). They offered it not just on steam, but across all major pc platforms, be it steam, origin, or drm free through GOG. Their expansions were both excellent and offered more for their $10 and 20 price tags than most full priced games. They encouraged modding (though admittedly their modding toolkit was pretty limited compared to what bethesda would generally offer).

    And that's on top of the game itself being fantastic, combat and launch issues aside.

    So I'm not quite sure if it's that the being highly rated lets them skip the drm and be successful, or if perhaps CDPR actually seeming to give a damn about the paying customers helped elevate the game's standing.

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuntz View Post
    Here's the thing: Objectively speaking, the witcher 3 is far from the best game of all time. It's combat isn't superb, it had the controversy surrounding its graphical downgrade (though it still looked good), it suffered a pretty hefty delay, and was quite buggy at launch.
    What you seem to be saying here is that it isn't 'perfect' not that it isn't the best of all time. Given that every other game on the top list has issues like this one could pick at as well, I think it still can claim to be the best of all time (and I played all of those others on release as well) and IMO it was better than all of them (or maybe tied with Deus Ex

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Seperately, I think the most interesting thing about metacritic's top list is that to find another new game in that list that was made after 2010 even, one has to go down to number 32! Nostalgia or are games these days just not that good..?

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Their method works.

    I'm broke as hell but I adamantly refuse to pirate The Witcher 3.

    They seem to care. That goes a long way.

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Their strategy works right now by contrast with the rest of the industry. They stand out as "good" vs "bad", and that wins them respect among people who would otherwise be taking games for free.

    However, if this approach was adopted industry-wide, I'm not sure the users would extend that same gratitude to every game, and certainly not in perpetuity (generation to generation). Users would come to regard games in the way they do music, where some continue to pay but many more expect access to everything at little to no cost.

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuntz View Post
    Objectively speaking, the witcher 3 is far from the best game of all time.
    They didn't say that. They said the best PC game every released... every... no really, it's another famous Hexus typo, heh heh!!


    So basically, a game worth the money reduces piracy, yeh?

    Think the same thing will work for movies, or is it more cinema prices/online exclusivity that's doing it?

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Otherhand View Post
    Users would come to regard games in the way they do music, where some continue to pay but many more expect access to everything at little to no cost.
    Many users already regard games like this, or close to this. Most mobile games are F2P or very inexpensive, indie games are often bundled shortly after release, and even AAA games often drop to pretty much nothing a couple of years after release, on sales (I bought Bioshock Infinite on GMG for $1, for example).

    Which is probably why fewer people feel the need to pirate.

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuntz View Post
    Here's the thing: Objectively speaking, the witcher 3 is far from the best game of all time. It's combat isn't superb, it had the controversy surrounding its graphical downgrade (though it still looked good), it suffered a pretty hefty delay, and was quite buggy at launch.

    But in spite of this it's warmly received by the community - simply because they offered so much in the base product, they worked hard to patch the game, they offered small bits of free dlc weekly after release (things most companies would have been happy to sell for $3-5 each). They offered it not just on steam, but across all major pc platforms, be it steam, origin, or drm free through GOG. Their expansions were both excellent and offered more for their $10 and 20 price tags than most full priced games. They encouraged modding (though admittedly their modding toolkit was pretty limited compared to what bethesda would generally offer).

    And that's on top of the game itself being fantastic, combat and launch issues aside.

    So I'm not quite sure if it's that the being highly rated lets them skip the drm and be successful, or if perhaps CDPR actually seeming to give a damn about the paying customers helped elevate the game's standing.
    In short, respect your customers and don't make a ####ty game. Then DRM is irrelevant because even gamers know devs have families to feed. Kickstarter is a great example of this. People are willing to throw money at times even more then the actual product costs at companies that people respect. Pebble just funded a new smart watch in about a day an ended up getting 1200% of what they were asking because they have a culture of delivering great products.

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Quote Originally Posted by ET3D View Post
    Many users already regard games like this, or close to this. Most mobile games are F2P or very inexpensive, indie games are often bundled shortly after release, and even AAA games often drop to pretty much nothing a couple of years after release, on sales (I bought Bioshock Infinite on GMG for $1, for example).

    Which is probably why fewer people feel the need to pirate.
    Very true - low prices were the key to turning around PC gaming (which was thought to be dying just a dozen years ago) into the biggest platform. But for us to get cheap games, we need a good chunk of people who pick up the game in Week One at full price. Also, for prices to seem cheap they need a high price for comparison. Anyone who's seen the Steam forums knows what I mean; you get people griping about "greedy devs" over a game that costs £15 rrp, after people got used to the establishment of a strong midrange area in games pricing.

    I think we've got things remarkably good exactly how they are, and I get nervous about pushing the market to get any "better"

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    I'd be happier paying £50 for a game that was a complete game, was actually good and wasn't then fluffed mere days (or in some cases, minutes) after release by stacks of pre-planned, overpriced DLC (which I know for a fact is designed and Dev'd alongside the game itself) and loads of overpriced bling. Great business model, disgusting product idea... along with the various different 'exclusive collectors' editions of the same game - Yes, Assassins Creed, I'm looking at you!

    Last game I bought any DLC for was Elite, but before that it was Mass Effect... Some games since have been pretty good, but not good enough that I'd even pirate their DLC, much less actually buy it.

    Having said all that, £49.99 is still a bit rich for my wallet.
    I splashed out on Elite, partly because of the legendary status and partly because I'd already backed Star Citizen. But for the most part, that's about one game every two months that I could afford... and I doubt most titles would keep me entertained for even a quarter of that time!

    I'd wonder how much of these prices is 'justified' by there being so many cheaper, naffer rip-off/imitation versions of the same genre.
    Steam loves to boast about the hundreds or even thousands of games under £7 and £4, but so many of them are as much junk as the myriad copycat free games on the Android Play Store that it's almost pointless.

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Otherhand View Post
    Their strategy works right now by contrast with the rest of the industry. They stand out as "good" vs "bad", and that wins them respect among people who would otherwise be taking games for free.

    However, if this approach was adopted industry-wide, I'm not sure the users would extend that same gratitude to every game, and certainly not in perpetuity (generation to generation). Users would come to regard games in the way they do music, where some continue to pay but many more expect access to everything at little to no cost.
    Well, if you look at how unpolished are the games that had the best drm over time, then you will know that noone will buy that. After 5 minutest trying for free, no one will buy it.
    And those companies are like "with drm and without we sell the same, but is better to pay for drm instead of polishing the game. It will be way easier to make <game_name> +1. Noone have to like it, they just have to buy it".

    Anyway, i am not going to buy any druva-secured game, as i agree with Marcin Iwinski. My personal war.

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Most of the piracy happens in countries and regions where the standard of living is lower, so people can't afford a 60 euros or 60 dollars game.

    So when the game goes down to like 25 euros or $30 dollars people do buy it because its drm free and its a good game.

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    DRM done right is what got me off piracy, and yes I'm talking about Steam. I think part of the attraction is not just the bargain prices but having everything in a single interface/account with all achievements, friends and whatnot in one place - it's great. So DRM isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think as others have said the quality to price ratio is most important, two things which indicate the level of respect developers have for their customers which then leads to loyalty. I don't see how lack of DRM is the big factor at play.

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    Quote Originally Posted by w1ntergr33n View Post
    Seperately, I think the most interesting thing about metacritic's top list is that to find another new game in that list that was made after 2010 even, one has to go down to number 32! Nostalgia or are games these days just not that good..?
    That's an interesting point. I wonder if it's because so many publishers now release unfinished games with the promise of patching later, that can't have a good effect on your reviews.

    Metacritic itself has become rather poor IMO, I've bought a number of highly rated games on there which turned out to be complete duds, too much credence given to bloggers with an agenda. I now use Youtube and Steam reviews to judge if a game is worth it or not, both are less than perfect but seem to give a better general impression.

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    Re: CD Projekt co-founder says dropping DRM can beat piracy

    I think it's a composite problem. Most SH see their customers like potential cows to milk nowadays, with all the DLC and micropayments, and a normal user can see that.
    When a SH like Cd Projekt goes at length to show how they appreciate their customers, they will appreciate them back and turn to a virtuous circle.
    I think it's all in the approach and about trying to be reasonable with the product you're selling.

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