Witcher 3 dev responds to Xbox One’s DRM backlash

Thursday, 13th June 2013 13:21 GMT By Dave Cook

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developer CD Projekt RED has always steered clear and slammed the use of DRM In its games, but after the studio’s open world RPG was announced for Xbox One it received a hefty dose of flack. The team has now responded to fan concerns on the matter.

Speaking with Eurogamer, studio co-founder and Joint CEO Marcin Iwiński responded to the complaints of fans, and said, “We couldn’t simply not release The Witcher 3 on Xbox One. We want to make sure that every single player will have access to our game and thus decided to deliver for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

“There are people who don’t mind the DRM protection and will pick Xbox One as their platform of choice. We can’t punish them. Again, we always stress the fact that we’re against DRM, but in the market system it’s the clients who make the final decision. As developers, we need to create best content we can and make it available for as many players as possible.”

Do you think all of this is shouting over nothing, or should CD Projekt RED stand its ground on the matter? Let us know below.



  1. Clupula

    Makes sense from a sales point of view, but wow, what a statement they would be sending if they pulled the Xbone version because of this.

    I doubt they’d be the last company to do that. It’d be a domino effect.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 It’d be insane wouldn’t it? I’d like to see it happen just to find out what the impact would be.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. zme-ul

    CD Projekt RED want to make money, if that means they have to eat MS’s DRM, they will do it

    not releasing the game on XB1 .. not gonna happen, they’ve already invested a lot in development to just shut it down

    #3 2 years ago
  4. cartina

    just shows how much their principles matter with money involved. Sales would have gone up in they dropped XOne.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. monkeygourmet


    Some people want to watch the world burn..! :)

    In all seriousness though, I would LOVE to see this be pulled from X1 because of DRM

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Bomba Luigi

    They need as much money as they can get, thats fine. Like he said, you have the Choice, I have the Choice to buy it on GoG. It only would be a Problem when Witcher3 would be a XBox Exclusiv.
    Wasn’t that Diffrent with Witcher2, where some Retail Copys (I believe Nord American Ones? Not sure now) had DRM. But you also could buy it on GoG.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Ercarret

    Yeah, DRM sucks. But I don’t see how releasing a game on XBO would be “bad” in any way. If you want DRM free alternatives, there are DRM free alternatives. To me, as a gamer, having games on as many systems as possible far outweighs developers making statements about the DRM by not releasing games on particular systems. Let people make those statements instead, if the wish, with their wallets. Having your game on many systems makes those kinds of customer decisions possible. I don’t really like the idea of developers forcing my hand.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. MCTJim

    I am almost positive, but didn’t MS say that it is up to the developer/publisher to implement DRM if they choose to do so?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. The_Red

    Now this is the type of response I can get behind. Instead of saying “we didn’t know / this is the future / we are undecided / always-online and other DRMs are good for gamers!” they come out and say the truth:
    -”We couldn’t simply not release The Witcher 3 on Xbox One”

    I appreciate their honestly and can’t wait to get their game for either PC or PS4.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Ercarret

    @8: I think that’s Sony’s position.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. MCTJim

    @10 Yeah, I read that from the feed here that Sony said they, meaning Sony, wont implement that its up to the publishers, as for MS standpoint I am not sure myself and i will look, but again..DRM sucks..first to admit and first to dislike it….but from the current trends..I dont even see Gamestops in the next 5 years selling titles anymore..everything is indeed going to be digital…I liken them to the blockbusters and other video rental day they just disappear in favor of digital downloads like Hulu and Netflix.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Night Hunter

    @8: That is Sony’s position. With Microsoft DRM is there on a system level, but publishers can choose not to implement it if they want to, so in a sense it’s up to the publishers too ;)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. The_Red

    MS has confirmed that ALL games will have DRM and used game restriction (One time only, 30 day friends and select partners) . The difference is that MS allows publishers to fully block used games.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. MCTJim

    I just read MS article on this. They said its entirely up to the publisher to do so.

    The used game thing, when i sift through all the heaping piles of crap…this is what I take away from it. I can indeed buy used games if I choose to do so and they will work with the X1… I have to sift through all the crap again to see what the limits are. Why cant they just put all the facts into one article so I can see it and make a choice?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. The_Red

    You can only a ONCE used game and can’t sell it AGAIN. It can only be transferred once and only at certain retailers with permission of publishers. Also, online-DRM is MANDATORY for all games.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Malmer

    @14 Here you go. The source:

    @15 You are incorrect. That is for gifting games. Used games can be returned again and again and again.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Blue Oni

    As long as something that i want comes to my platform of choice i’ve no problem to see it released for other platforms as well.

    If people decide to buy an XBone then it’s their problem,not CD Project RED’s.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Clupula

    @18 – Look, everyone, it’s a dumbass insulting the guy who wrote the article. Batting 1000, you are…or should I say 3000.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. The_Red

    No, used games can’t be returned and returned. It was in the full / detailed info from MS: The ownership of a game (Either in case of gift OR re-sale) is tied to one account and the shift of account can only happen ONCE. They confirmed that there will be no third-hand game.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. MCTJim

    @16 thanks for the link. I just read it..doesn’t look like an issue on used games then. I can buy and sell like normal..awesome.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. The_Red

    Just rechecked it.

    The language isn’t too clear but they DID confirm that the games will be tied to account if they can control it on disc. The gifting is related to personal / private sale of games. Meaning that UNLESS you go to retailers that give the smallest amount for resale, you can only do a private sale ONCE. In other words, more people have to rely on GameStops instead of trading among themselves for fairer prices.

    Many journalists wanted to ask this from MS execs during 1on1 interviews but MS cancelled ALL of them except for semi-shill that is GT. The rest (Gamasutra, GiantBomb, Kotaku, all cancelled).

    #21 2 years ago
  22. MCTJim

    @22 it does seem to imply its gifting.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. CyberMarco


    Yeah, but gifting ONCE. And from what I can make out of it is that there is no lending a game because once given the game it can’t be returned to the giver/gifter.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. The_Red

    Please check the new one (Sorry for changing my post but I had to do the edit for more clarification).

    As I said, the buy and sell only works IF you sell it to GameStop. The private buy/sell is tied to the gifting mechanic and IS only usable ONCE. In other words, the used game market among people (outside “participating retailers”) will be gone.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. The_Red

    No lending or renting: It is confirmed in the link above. The gifting is indeed once only and is the metaphor they use for non-GameStop buy /sell of used games which is ONE time only.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. MCTJim

    @26 rarely do I trade in games cause GS just rips me off anyways…always offering half the value when the game could be a month old. As for gifting…if I give it to say you as a gift…to me that means its yours now. I get the whole private thing gifting it to others..I see your point.

    The whole lending games thing to your buddies…I think the X1′s feature is pretty cool…they can play your library of games..awesome feature imo. How it works..i dunno but still a cool feature

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Clupula

    @24 – Bite my balls, you oozing pustule on the ass of humanity. I’m not the one too stupid to realize that he’s insulting one of the people who run the site.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. The_Red

    Yeah, GS pays very little for second hand games and rips off most people. Because of that, people who want to sell their game privately to a stranger, now can’t do so and if they want to sell to a friend, they have to go the gift route.

    Actually, you can’t lend the game to your friends. Only family members and that may be tied to the console. There are currently two types of DRM: Account level and console level.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. MCTJim

    Well i took it as friends and family cause it states that YOUR console does not have to be on…I guess more confusion

    #29 2 years ago
  30. karma

    Honestly, I see Xbone version as wasted development time tbh. Will there actually be any core gamer left to buy a deep RPG like Witcher 3, when Xbone releases? Seems to me, many of us are jumping ship to a competitor next gen.

    I’ll be getting W3 on PC.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. YoungZer0

    @1: Don’t be naive. If they do this, they would be the only ones to do it.

    They should’ve sided with Sony on this one. I bet there’s an internal conflict of interest going on right now at CDP, they are abandoning their principles with this one.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. DSB

    Hiring lawyers to threaten potential pirates and being exclusive on the 360 doesn’t exactly follow their principles either.

    At the end of the day I love CD Projekt because they made an amazing game with The Witcher 2, but they seem to be having a bit of trouble explaining themselves.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Dinasis

    @6 Yeah, Witcher 2 had a DRM date-check on the disc so it couldn’t be installed before the street date. CD Projekt RED said that it was publisher-required. There might have been more to it, but it was patched out shortly after release. Now, the only way you can get it with DRM is to buy it on Steam, which is another inherent DRM system.

    If the Xbox One (and where’s the official logic explanation on why they gave it one of the most common names people referred to the original Xbox by?) version of The Witcher 3 should be canceled because of its inherent DRM, then it also needs to be removed from Steam or the effort falls flat.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. aprotosis

    Here is the line that seems to be confusing people:
    “Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.”

    So you have a game, you can give it to a friend. You can only give a game once. This makes perfect sense. Once you have given the game to a friend, it is no longer yours to give again. They are trying to spell out against the scenario where you buy a game, give a copy to friend A, then also give a copy to friend B and friend C.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. DSB

    @36 You can play offline on Steam. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the game, nothing will prevent you from playing it.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. aprotosis

    @38 Steam employs a proprietary algorithm to determin how long you can stay in offline mode before having to check in again. Typicall it is around a month, but I have heard anectdotal evidence that it can be a short as a couple days and as long as a year. I have personally witnessed a range of 2 weeks to about 4 months. Eventually though, they do make you phone in again and no one knows the criteria.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. TheWulf


    Some people love misinformation.

    It’s used games but only via selected partners. So you’ll only be able to trade in with big stores like GameStop, whereas independent stores can’t do XBox One trades. So where you would have gotten a better deal with an independent store? You can forget that, now.

    Furthermore, since GameSpot will have to pay a portion of their income to the publisher to allow for XBox One used sales, you’ll be getting a worse deal even at GameStop.

    So let me sum up…

    XBox One: You can only trade in with big, non-independent stores. The money you get back from trade-ins will be far less than before.

    Playstation 4: You can trade in with everyone, including independent stores. The money you get from trade-ins will be the same as you always enjoyed.

    Really, I hate thinking of reality as being very 1984. So stop it. You’re acting like a bloody prole and preferring to revel in misinformation and the spreading thereof rather than actually bothering to research the actual facts of the matter.

    Guh. The whole “SUPPORT THE XBOX ONE WITH MISINFORMATION!” thing has been reminding me of 1984 tactics.

    Stop it.

    (For what it’s worth. I was against people acting like proles when Sony was caught with their pants down after having been exposed for their incredibly shoddy security. A problem which was VERY much Sony’s fault, despite their high-pitched whining about it being the fault of evil, omnipotent hackers. The amount of people that failed to understand that if you leave your back door open, someone’s bound to wander in is amazing.)

    #37 2 years ago
  38. TheWulf

    Regarding Steam? At least with Steam you can play offline for as long as you like. I’ve spent three weeks and more offline on Steam and I’ve had no problems with doing so. Plus, Steam isn’t a monopoly on the PC, which many people tend to forget. It’s in direct competition with others, including, which is an inherently DRM-free service.

    In regards to lending? Yup. You can lend it to one friend, but… unfortunately they can’t give it back to you! That’s how ridiculous the XBox One is. And renting? Forget about renting. Frankly, at this point, any sane person is going to opt for a PS4. The issue that, AGAIN, people forget about is that the XBox One exists within a monopolistic vacuum.

    Why do they need to provide you with sales when the only store you can get on their system is theirs? They don’t. The thing that makes Steam very palatable is that you get insane sales on a day to day basis, and you can go offline. Neither of these are true to the XBox One. The XBox One is like… the worst parts of Origin, let alone Steam, and none of the good parts.

    I just don’t understand people. Is this what you want from a console?

    #38 2 years ago
  39. TheWulf

    I honestly think that the biggest problem I have with the XBox One is that it’s monopolistic, anti-competitive bullshit again. And it’s not the first time Microsoft has been involved in that.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Cobra951

    It’s not shouting over nothing, but at the same time, I have no problem with the game gracing all platforms possible. As long as I can reject the XB1 entirely and still get to play this game, I’m content. Let others do whatever they want. Freedom and competition are always a good thing.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. gargus

    Im really hoping cd projekt pulls the xbox one version and does not sell it on there.

    Ive loved how they always stuck up for gamers and preached no DRM. Pulling the game because of DRM and publicly announcing it would send a huge message.

    #41 2 years ago

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