Polish game developer CD-Projekt has decided to pursue legal action against pirates of their game, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, after nearly five million copies of the DRM-free game have been shared on peer-to-peer networks. This, of course, is “entirely” because they removed their own DRM in the first place – hell, they basically “invited” people to pirate their game. Okay, maybe it didn’t happen exactly like that…
Now, they’re getting all up in the pirates’ business [Editor’s Note: Damon is from the island of Australia and doesn’t understand American slang], and demanding a lump sum of €911.80 ($1230 USD) from each downloader, via the use of a torrent-tracking law firm. It’s important to note that this is only happening in Germany, though it’s sure to spread to other European countries (and possibly the USA) if they gain enough money to make it profitable.
As we’ve seen before, employing literal copyright trolling tactics is a sign of a company stooping to its lowest point yet – the only evidence their law firm has is a list of IPs, and we all have at least one neighbor who leaves their wireless network unsecured. This means that hundreds of people may have unknowingly helped someone pirate The Witcher 2 – and could receive a surprising letter in the mail.
All in all, it’s a shitty way to connect with potential customers. As some smaller game developers have pointed out, pirated copies of games aren’t lost revenue. Instead, they’re free advertising, and CD Projekt would do well to remember this in the future.