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CDPR: “over-exploiting” gamers will punish publishers

Tuesday, 17th July 2012 10:59 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Constantly grinding cash out of gamers will come back to haunt certain publishers, CDPR co-founder Marcin Iwinski has warned, explaining that sales of The Witcher 1′s Enhanced Edition rose as a result of issuing free DLC.

Iwinski and his team created a huge amount of new content for The Witcher to create the RPG’s Enhanced Edition, which was given away for free to those that had already bought the game.

“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,” he said in a Gamasutra interview. “That’s just not the way things work.”

He said that publisher mentality steered immediately towards charging for the new Witcher content.

“We had a lot of discussions with The Witcher 1′s Enhanced Edition. 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! €10!’ 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.”

Atari was the original publisher of The Witcher, while Namco distributed the sequel.

The Enhanced Edition content contained 200 new animations, two new missions, new NPCs and much more. It required a $1 million investment. The original game and the Enhanced Edition sold around 2 million copies as of 2010.

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6 Comments

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  1. Edo

    Nope,we will never ran out of sheeps that will buy yearly releases of you know which franchises.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. TheWulf

    @1

    Sigh. I know.

    Gamer: Hey, Blizzard, your beta has this Error 37 thing where we can’t login. I’ve barely been able to play the beta. Will this error be fixed for release?

    Blizzard: I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of all of this pre-purchase money.

    Gamer: I’m sure you’ll have it fixed though, right? It’s important to have the game polished, and you have a few months before release.

    Blizzard: Yeah, sure, whatever. Woohoo, money!

    Gamer: So, Blizzard… it’s released and Error 37 is still there after months of not being able to login. You’ll fix it fast though, right?

    Blizzard: SO MUCH MONEY–I’m sorry, what were you saying?

    Gamer: So it’s been a month, Blizzard, and your game is still buggy and people are still having troubles with logins and disconnects.

    Blizzard: Oh. Right. Yeah. Sorry about that. We were busy sorting out of the Real Money Auction House so that we could milk you for more of your money, bitch. We didn’t have time to fix all those bugs. You’re okay with that, right?

    Gamer: Yeah. I guess. Will I be able to play the game I paid $60 for eventually?

    Blizzard: Oh, sure… you can’t use the RMAH if you can’t get at it. Am I right?

    Voice of Reason: So, I suspect that this must have been a sobering experience for you about how Blizzard treats their customers–

    Gamer: BLIZZARD CAN DO NO WRONG. DIABLO III IS BRILLIANT. WHAT BUGS?

    Gamer: Guh, I’ve been playing this for a month and it has no replay value. None. Geez. But am I ever ready to buy Mists of Pandaria!

    Voice of Reason: You could have bought Torchlight II for $20 and had less bugs, a more varied and enjoyable game, a game with no disconnects, a game with modding and LAN play, a game with offline play, and a game where the developers listen to you… but no.

    Gamer: Eh, I’m sure it’s shit anyway compared to Diablo. They don’t even feel confident enough to charge $60 for it so it must be completely shit. Man, Diablo III is the most amazing game ever. Even if I am sick of it. So much better than that Torchlight shit. Plus it doesn’t give me nearly as many half-naked boobies as Diablo III did.

    And so it goes.

    People wonder why I have such a low opinion of gamers in general.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. The_Red

    @2
    That comment should be cemented in gold. I’d love to see one for Capcom though.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Edo

    @2 Nailed it.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. roadkill

    Well said Wulf! I salute you! o7

    #5 2 years ago
  6. sh4dow

    I love it how he says “over-exploit”, not just “exploit”…

    #6 2 years ago