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By now we should all be familiar with the policies of CD Projekt RED: they're good guys in a world gone mad. They're like the Mad Max in a digital wasteland ruled by publishers and console manufacturers of a Humongous sort. However, their attempts to keep DLC and updates free may be hedged into a walled garden thanks to the home consoles.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be the first Witcher game that launches as a multiplatform title. As such, DLC and updates will be made available across all the supported platforms. However, only the PC is guaranteed to get the updates and small pockets of DLC for The Witcher 3 for free.
Talking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, CD Projekt RED's head honcho, Marcin Iwinski, stated that...
“A lot of people on forums are saying, ‘No, but you guys are anti-DRM,’” ... “And we really are anti-DRM. But at the same time, there are people who’ll be fine with [Xbox One's online-heavy DRM]. They’ll buy the console and just want to play. Why should we not give them this option?”
Iwinski also avoids bringing up another startling and important issue surrounding the release of The Witcher 3 for home consoles: They won't be able to play their own game in their own home country on the Xbox One.
Poland isn't one of the launch countries for the Xbox One and while Iwinski originally stated that he was sad at the situation, it draws another negative into the equation if gamers also won't be receiving free updates on Microsoft's console as well. Marcin is right, however, insofar that the policies are not finalized and perhaps Microsoft will waive the fees to update games the way Sony knocked off update fees for developers?
What's more is that the current policies for the Xbox brand is that DLC cannot be handed out for free; DLC must carry a price tag. It was the same reason that World of Tanks has to be behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall.
However, Microsoft still has an opportunity to change things before the console launches this fall. Waiving fees like Sony could only help in the long run for both big and smaller studios and also alleviate some of the financial burden on consumers.
On the up-and-up, at least CD Projekt RED will still give the PC Master Race their comeuppance: free content.