If you pirate The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, that is. Developer CD Projekt has opted to release this single-player-only RPG with no online activations, no limits on the number of installs and basically no DRM at all. It’s fantastic because removing all that ballache makes being a legitimate owner of the game much more pleasant, but it does make the game a prime target for filthy pirates who’d rather not pay to play this sequel.
To combat this, CD Projekt is signing with legal firms and torrent sneaking companies. They plan to track down any leeches that latch onto the game illegally and slap them with fines. In an interview with Eurogamer, Marcin Iwiński (co-founder of CD Projekt) said this:
“In quite a few big countries, when people are downloading it illegally they can expect a letter from a legal firm saying, ‘Hey, you downloaded it illegally and right now you have to pay a fine.'”
Apparently it works like this: law firms contact torrent sites to get the names of the ISPs used by the illegal downloaders. Once they’ve gotten that info, they then threaten those ISPs with legal action if they refuse to give up the account details of the offenders. Once they’ve got that, letterbombs are sent out. Well, just plain old letters really – but that story is much more exciting if you add letterbombs, explosions and maybe a few beheadings to the mix.
“I’m sure you’ve heard about stories in the US when recording companies were chasing people,” said Iwiński. “We don’t want to be so harsh, but there is a chance that this might happen to some people if they download illegally. There will be an initiative.”
The original Witcher was an incredibly engaging RPG, so I’m very excited for The Witcher 2. I hope that anyone who tries to pirate it has their reproductive organs kicked off (repeatedly) in retaliation.