The Witcher 2, as a PC exclusive, has sold over one million units. By most measures that's a huge success. But in an interview with PC Gamer CD Projekt's co-founder Marcin Iwinski claimed that roughly 4.5 million people obtained the game illegally. Despite this, he still maintains that not using DRM measures is the right way to go.
"In my almost 20 years in the industry," said Iwinski, "I have not seen DRM that really worked (i.e. did not complicate the life of the legal gamer and at the same time protect the game). We have seen a lot of different protections, but there are only two ways you can go: Either you use light DRM, which is cracked in no time and is not a major pain for the end-user, or you go the hard way and try to super-protect the game.
"Yes, it is then hard to crack, but you start messing with the operation system, the game runs much slower and – for a group of legal gamers – it will not run at all. None of these solutions really work, so why not abandon it altogether?"
When asked why some companies persist with DRM, Iwiniski blamed a lack of understanding.
As funny as this might sound, DRM is the best explanation, the best “I will cover my ass” thing," he claimed. "I strongly believe that this is the main reason the industry has not abandoned it until today, and to be frank this annoys me a hell of a lot. You are asking, “So why is it taking so long for them to listen?” The answer is very simple: They do not listen, as most of them do not care. As long as the numbers in Excel will add up they will not change anything."
Iwiniski's 4.5 million downloads is just a rough guesstimate, but even if the number is less that half, that's still two people downloading the game for every person that purchased it. We salute CD Project Red for sticking to their guns despite the massive amount of piracy surrounding their flagship title.