I love the attitude of CD Projekt Red — it removes DRM from its games, it supports its community and even has the good sense to apologise for its mistakes and try and learn from them! Unbelievable! Now, in an interview with Gamasutra, CEO Marcin Iwinski discusses why giving things away for free makes sense, and why constantly exploiting gamers is a bad thing in the long term.
"Well, we had a lot of discussions with The Witcher 1's Enhanced Edition," he said. "It was a bit different then because we had a publishing deal whereas now we have distribution deals. When we had that publishing deal, we went to the publisher, and said, "So we have this idea where we make all this stuff, all this new content, and you don't pay anything for it, we give it away for free. How about that?" The publisher went all big-eyed and said, "Whoa! Let's charge 10 dollars! 10 Euro!" But we believed that we would sell more units if we put it out for free.
"And when we put it out for free, we saw a boost in the sales with the Enhanced Edition because it just created good will, and it refreshes the product. You can always do it from two angles, and sadly I see the industry trending toward over-exploiting the gamer, and I think this will come back to the publishers that are doing that, and eventually, people will stop buying their stuff. That's just not the way things work."
I love this attitude — and it seems to filter through the entirety of CD Projekt Red. When the team visited Australia to demo the 360 version of The Witcher 2, the same message was being relayed — if we treat our customers correctly, we will build a loyal fanbase that respects our work and is willing to pay for that work. It's a carrot/stick situation and it's good to know there is a developer who has the good sense to lay off the stick every once in a while.
Bravo CD Projekt Red.
What The Witcher Taught CD Projekt About RPGs [Gamasutra]