What Is Happening With The Witcher 2 In Australia?

Roughly three weeks ago we reported that The Witcher 2 had been removed from Steam in Australia. Now, less than two weeks from its retail release, there is still no option to pre-order the game on Valve's online service.

Details as to the reasons why are scarce. Once again we spoke to the local distributors of The Witcher 2, Namco Bandai, who are equally as stumped with regards to the situation.

Many were worried that the issue was with classification, given that The Witcher 2 deals with some pretty adult themes, but Namco Bandai has once again confirmed that this definitely is not the case. The game has gotten through classification unscathed. The Witcher 2 report on the classification website states that the version is modified - but as we know from previous experience 'modified' can simply be referring to additional content, such as downloadable content available on 'Special Editions'.

Rest assured that the classification issues are not the reason the game is still unavailable on Steam.

The other possibility is price - it could be the case that The Witcher 2 will be made available on Steam closer to release at the recommended retail price, in order to protect retailers.

A third possibility is this: CD Projekt, the development team behind The Witcher, actually own Good Old Games, a rival digital distribution network. It could be that CD Projekt are restricting Steam from selling The Witcher 2 in order to promote their own service.

We've contacted Steam for comment on the situation, but haven't had a reply at time of writing.

More news as we get it.

UPDATE: The Witcher 2 has been mildly modified for Australian release, you can find the details here.


    "It could be that CD Projekt are restricting Steam from selling The Witcher 2 in order to promote their own service. "

    Just in Australia? That makes no sense. If they wanted to do that they'd do it all through Europe or something.

    When you go to the OFLC website it's no longer listed as "MODIFIED" ?

    The third possibility is nonsense. Witcher 2 is still up on Steam for other regions: http://store.steampowered.com/app/20920/?cc=US ... CD Projekt would not restrict Steam in order to promote GOG in *just* Australia.

    Well, the date of classification on oflc site states 2 may 2011, which was only yesterday!

    Just buy it via Ozgameshop. They are taking $5 off for all purchases because of the royal wedding.

    I preordered on Steam ages ago and just checked. It's still in my games list and has a "coming soon" info page. Phew!

      once its paid for, you have no issue(except for a content modification)

    An issue with price seems the most likely. Australian retaqilers are scared of online distribution and imports, so they're probaby drawing out negotiations to encourage people to preorder from other sources.
    This is all speculation, by the way, but based on how Aussie retail *coughharveynormancough* is behaving lately.

    I'd be really surprised if its not a price thing. Wasn't it only like $40 to pre-order? That's pretty low for a game like this. I'll eat my hat if its priced like that in shops.

      No, it's $90 at Aus retailers.

      I'm torn up where to pre-order it. I love digital distribution, but I also love physical items... If I'm going to spend $40+ on a game, I want to be able to physically hold it... but the GoG bonus of NO DRM on their release is pretty tempting.

    Are Australians still able to pre-order through GoG?

    You can still order it through GOG - Like Valve with their titles, I'm pretty sure they have a clause in their distribution agreement that says the games can still be purchased through their own network at a set price.

    It really is quite bewildering that it has disappeared, particularly since Steam advertised The Witcher 2 quite heavily.

    Anyone who really wants it (and if you like RPG's you really should) should consider buying it of gog.com, the price is good and gog itself is excellent.

    just buy it from gog direct, no DRM, more money to the developers etc etc etc.

    its a no brainer

    How about contacting CDProjekt? Has anyone trawled their forums? I'm at work so I can't, but it's worth seeing if they've replied to any comments made re: local release.

    Mark, if you could get in touch with the developer/regional publisher themselves, that would be great. Because if -they- don't know what's going on, something very suss is up.

    Jeez, this long to add a 1 to the start of the price?

    Turns out the game was modified slightly! Sex as a reward was removed from a quest. http://games.on.net/article/12392/Why_The_Witcher_2_Received_an_MA15_Rating

      Every time I hear a game has been censored because of the lack of R18+ rating, I die a little inside (so I am clinicly dead)

    "A third possibility is this: CD Projekt, the development team behind The Witcher, actually own Good Old Games, a rival digital distribution network. It could be that CD Projekt are restricting Steam from selling The Witcher 2 in order to promote their own service."

    No bloody chance at all there. CDP & GOG have said several times that they have a real problem with regional restrictions because poland used to suffer from them all the time (and still do with other services that may or may not be powered by hot evaporated water)

    A guy I know on the GOG forums was annoyed that the witcher 1 wasn't available in japan and noone would ship it there, and CDP not only sent him a completely free copy of the game but it was the collectors edition at that

    Steam can be a bit funny with preorders. Dragon age 2, the night of the release, suddenly had it's date pushed back another day. With Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, it was pushed back two days, even though brick-and-mortar stores released it as scheduled. I'm not sure about other titles, but these are my personal experiences. I'm not surprised to hear there's an issue with this.

    Steam is great for getting great prices if you get in early enough, before regionaly price adjustment. Valve is a fantastic company that makes great games and making free DLC, love 'em to bits. If, however, your keen to play it as soon as it's available, it's a gamble going with Steam.

    It would be greatly appreciated if you guys at Kotaku AU could contact gog.com and ask them if their downloadable version will be censored/modified - I'm thinking it won't be due to their servers not being in Australia (So I don't think it's technically illegal for them to sell the game for us seeing as we are downloading it from outside of the country)

    Just go with GOG. Not only there is no censorship, but also you cant pre-download 95% of the game before the release. You also get an artbook and a GOG classic game.

      But how do you know there is no censorship? Is it 100% confirmed? I'd really like to find this out as soon as possible so if there is a chance the GOG version is going to be modified/censored I can place an order for a hard copy from overseas..

      Which I would really prefer not to as I *HATE* having hard copies of games lying around.. I'm a 100% digital distribution man

    Quick note: GOG.com is releasing only one version of the game worldwide, so it's not gonna be censored in any region specific ways.

    Head Marketing Guy

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