Witcher 2 Digital Download Sales and the Case Against DRM
Before you scoff at that number, consider that these are digital download numbers only. Throw in the fact that The Witcher 2 is a PC exclusive and, well, 250,000 sales isn't too shabby. More than that, Good Old Games (GOG), the digital distribution system owned by The Witcher 2's publisher CD Projekt, believes these figures are further proof that DRM-free content still sells.
"Your customers hate DRM," Good Old Games MD Guillaume Rambourg said at the London Games Conference, according to GamesIndustry.biz. "DRM is making companies feel safe while they handle some business, they are trying to protect their product and protect their sales, but the reality is very different."
He took it a step further and said that putting DRM in games works against the consumer, "harming those you should cherish. It's only hurting your loyal consumers which is counter-productive."
What's even more interesting is the way Rambourg views piracy. According to Rambourg, piracy is the "one industry that got everything right...You should treat piiracy as competition, not as an enemy. If you treat piracy as the enemy, as the majority of publishers do, Rambourg argues you'll be "blinded and you [wont] pay attention to what they are doing right."
Rambourg is a bit of a dissenting voice among game publishers, and even if he's right, it's hard to imagine game publishers ditching DRM. Recent figures from research firm Envisional suggests illegally downloaded games shot up 20 percent in the past five years, and that the top five games from 2010 were pirated nearly a million times, BBC reports. That would seem to contradict Rambourg's viewpoint on DRM, but does it really?
"I buy games because I've pirated them; if I don't get to try them I never would have bothered picking them up," BBC quotes one gamer as saying. "Games that I enjoy I purchase; ones I that I don't enjoy I delete."