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CD Projekt Red is the perfect example of a developer who goes out of their way to support their consumers and treat their fans with respect. Their game, The Witcher 2 was released on PC without DRM and was pirated supposedly 4 million times. The company still managed to shift a quarter of a million copies within a few weeks of the game being available on digital distributors.
Soon, CD Projekt's Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition will be arriving on the Xbox 360 where they will not only contend with piracy but also used game sales, however, they're not sweating the used game sales one bit.
Speaking to Eurogamer, CD Projekt's Adam Badowski says that Volition's statements about the Xbox Trinity not being able to play used games would be very bad for consumers and for the industry at large.
"It can be very bad..."... "I assume you know we decided not to continue our beautiful journey with lawyers seeking pirates..." ..."We are losing money not because of pirates; we are losing money because people decided not to buy our game."...
It almost makes me want to toss $100 their way. They at least "Get it".
The thing is, we're starting to see an up-surge in the industry right now. We have companies like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Activision talking about the billions they rack in each year yet are some of the first to talk about cost-cutting measures and the first to lay off staff.
What many of the big publishers don't usually tell the public is that they're quick to spend upwards of $50 million in marketing when that actually could have spent the money on producing new games instead of firing people. These companies are also quick to blame gamers for shutting down studios and cutting short new IPs, which is why we have so many sequels, online passes and first-sale DLC these days. Badowski, however, believes that the problem isn't with gamers but the way many companies go about trying to solve the piracy and used game issue, saying...
"Most hardcore and hardware solutions will be OK for short periods," ... "but a strong relationship with players, with customers, can change the situation. And for us, this is a better way." ... Our players - gamers - they make their choices. they want to keep with us because they believe our product is worth it, is worth keeping on their shelves, even if they ended the game two or three times already. And they are doing this because they have free will, and if we cancel that, maybe that will be good for business, but if someone forced me to keep the game even if I didn't want it, it's against my will."
CD Projekt wants to maintain a good rapport with gamers and increase their standing with the community, not wedge a gap between themselves and their products the way Volition just did with their support for banning used games.
Unfortunately, CD Projekt's aim to give and provide players with as much free content as possible in order to continue building up community support and positive word of mouth goes against Microsoft's no-free-DLC policy, which is why F2P games aren't available on the Xbox 360. It will be interesting to see how CD Projekt handles the DLC issue on the Xbox 360 in order to prevent piracy and quick trade-ins of the game.
A lot of people are standing behind CD Projekt even though they don't have all the answers to a shady, grey area full of problems. For sure, though, gamers are now willing to pre-order The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition just because they understand that CD Projekt Red is a developer that understands their consumers and gamers want to support companies who want to support the community.
In the end, we all need not forget that gamers made publishers and developers multi-billion dollar corporations. It wasn't an overnight thing and without the continued support of gamers, whether they buy some of their products new or used, they still make the industry go around. And technically, the industry can survive without big publishers, indie devs can survive without big publishers and gamers can survive without big publishers, but the real question is can big publishers survive without gamers?
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