Each and every time someone at CD Projekt Red discusses piracy, it seems as though they talk sense. After experimenting with DRM and other methods, CD Projeckt Red has completely abandoned use of DRM in any form. Now, speaking to Forbes, they've reiterated their stance: DRM "absolutely does not work".
First of all let me dispel the myth about DRM protecting anything. The truth is it does not work. It’s as simple as that. The technology which is supposed to protect games against illegal copying is cracked within hours of the release of every single game. So, that’s wasted money and development just to implement it. But that’s not the worst part. DRM, in most cases, requires users to enter serial numbers, validate his or her machine, and be connected to the Internet while they authenticate – and possibly even when they play the game they bought. Quite often the DRM slows the game down, as the wrapper around the executable file is constantly checking if the game is being legally used or not. That is a lot the legal users have to put up with, while the illegal users who downloaded the pirated version have a clean–and way more functional!–game. It seems crazy, but that’s how it really works. So if you are asking me how do I see the future of DRM in games, well, I do not see any future for DRM at all.
CD Prokekt Red's CEO, Marcin Iwinski, also shot down publisher claims that every pirated copy of a game represents a lost sale.
[W]e have indeed estimated the number of pirated copies at 4.5M units, although it’s just an estimate – and by now it’s probably more. However this number doesn’t represent lost sales. It really puzzles me how serious software companies can consider each pirated copy to be a lost sale. Maybe it looks nice in an official report to say how threatening pirates are, but it is extremely far from the truth.
It's a stance that CD Projekt Red has reiterated many times, but one that is the direct result of making mistakes, but then rectifying them — by listening to consumer feedback and responding. It's worth heading over to Forbes to read the full thing. I love CD Project Red's attitude towards piracy, and would love to see every other publisher move in a similar direction.