CD Projekt Admits Writing Letters to Pirates Doesn't Help

dyre

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tautologico said:
That's a downside of having this image of being "gamer-friendly". They can't do anything about the pirates, even if it hurts their profits. It's one thing to say DRM isn't good because it inconveniences paying customers. Saying "copy our game all you want, we will do nothing about it" is something completely different. But I guess they have no choice now, if they don't want to sacrifice some amount of the "good will" they have with gamers. Funny to see how this good will didn't help much with piracy.
I don't think they can do anything effective to fight pirates anyway; there just don't seem to be many means for any company to effectively take on piracy without massive collateral damage to non-pirates. I can't imagine them making too much off those pay-us-or-we-sue-you letters anyway...they might as well get some free goodwill from the occasional PR announcement and save some money on DRM. Who knows, maybe some of those pirates who try to claim the moral high ground ("We're freedom fighters against DRM!!!") might be guilted into buying a copy.

As far as I can tell, CDProjekt as a distributor/publisher aren't necessarily the "good guys;" they're just the smarter guys.
 

Entitled

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lancar said:
So, basically, no matter what you do to combat piracy, you automatically lose?
Exactly. While companies like CD projekt, Valve, and similar companies are infinitely more decent than the copyright trolls at EActisoft, they are still kind of on the wrong track about the whole assumption that piracy is a "problem" to begin with, the kind that needs to be "combated" and "eliminated", as opposed to it being just a logical consequence of the fact that filesharing exists, files will be shared, and some people other than the customers will inevitably experience content without paying for it.

Politely asking people to pay if they can, or even guilt-tripping them into paying if they want to be considered true fans, is one thing.

But threatening them, and seriously expecting EVERY player to play, is just as backwards as musicians over a century ago demanding to get payed every time someone ran record of their songs, to combat the negative effects of how music recording decreases demand for live music.(they actually did try to claim that they have such a right).
 

Entitled

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Kwil said:
They don't need it to be perfect, though. They just need it to last long enough that people decide it's easier to pick it up in the store during the three weeks or so that the developers have the shelf-space than it is to find a working pirated copy.
The problem with that, is that it would just increase hype-based front-loaded sales, and thus harm the industry.

The kind of people who would pirate a game on week 1, are mostly just random observers who just saw the title of MW3/ME3/Skyrim/Dishonored/etc. in the headlines a lot recenty, and automatically went to check it out.

Even if WE ASSUME THAT some of these *could* be converted into impulse purchases through hard DRM, like Diablo III, or Assassin's Creed II tried, (and we don't know if they truly succeeded) they would only put more industry focus on blockbuster hype marketing and week one sales, while draining resources from less well-advertised games, and slow-burning cult classic types, that the pirate would have bought from the money that he had to spend on staying "in the loop" by checking out the latest everyone-is-talking-about-it games.

Forcing people to pay as soon as possible, is not a good thing for the industy. It leads to shallowness, to unrewarding games, and to marketing-based profits instead of quality-based ones.
 

Rad Party God

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lolobar said:
First of all respect to CD Projeckt for admitting their "error".

I understand what they tried to do and this is against their good willed nature.

I'm trying to put myself in their shoes. It's difficult to defend against piracy and at the same time not to create problems for paying customers.

I don't know if this is feasible, but i would implement a system like a usb pass. Meaning that every copy of the game would have a piece of hardware that has a hardwired algorithm. The algorithm on the usb will be used for many parts through the game. If you don't have the usb keycard, the game will be broken.

The usb though will not be a flash drive. If it is a flash drive then just copying it would break the system. In my imagination it would be a piece of hardware. Making it hard to replicate.

The paying customers buy the game with the usb pass. They install the game put on the usb and everything's fine. This works for as many years as you want.

The pirate may get the game, but cannot have a usb pass unless they construct, or buy one.

Sounds good right? :p

Still better than DLC codes. They even gave you a lollipop for Christ's sake.

I love your games CD Projekt. I also love GOG. And I'll definitely love your new Cyberpunk game.
 

Neonit

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Kwil said:
neonit said:
lancar said:

its a strange game.... the only winning move is not to play.

OT: i can see why publishers would hate the idea of piracy, but to be honest, at this point i think they should "write it off" as marketing budget, and save on the DRM costs.... DRM is a system - the first thing that people must know about systems is that none is 100% fail-proof and every system can be broken.

in the end, you waste money, piss off your customers, and AT SOME POINT it will still be cracked, 9 out of 10 times it will be a simple exe to be copy pasted - much simpler for pirates than customers who have to jump the hoops to play the game they bought.

yes, you could argue that if it is easier (as in, no drm at all) more people will pirate, but come on, at this point cracking a game is so easy im pretty sure its of no concern.

and threatening people will post.... i dunno, it just seems silly to me.
They don't need it to be perfect, though. They just need it to last long enough that people decide it's easier to pick it up in the store during the three weeks or so that the developers have the shelf-space than it is to find a working pirated copy.
yeah, but lets be honest here. 3 weeks? those are awesome drm systems, those the publishers will "advertise" basically saying "try this you pirate scum!" and they happen once every X years.
in most cases, the game will be up and running in a day. 3 days if it is a reasonable drm. and lets not forget about those legendary cases where the game was playable MONTHS before the LAUNCH. those happen more often than one week protection drm.

thats why i have to wonder whenever it is worth it. and dont just say "well, apparently - seeing as they keep doing it" because frankly, there are a lot of silly business decisions involved in gaming industry atm.

i see what you are getting at, but i dont think thats the reason why they keep making their little drm systems. you see, i think they do this to make their "investors" happy. "look at us, we are trying to protect your money from being stolen! so dont leave with your money and stay with us!" because i have to wonder whenever they REALLY believe their drm systems to be worthwhile.

also, lets not forget that piracy is the "get out of weak sales" card.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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lolobar said:
I don't know if this is feasible, but i would implement a system like a usb pass. Meaning that every copy of the game would have a piece of hardware that has a hardwired algorithm. The algorithm on the usb will be used for many parts through the game.
The piece of hardware you're talking about is called a dongle and they used to be quite popular with high end professional software. They fell out of favour because they were expensive and not much of a barrier to skilled crackers.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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neonit said:
i see what you are getting at, but i dont think thats the reason why they keep making their little drm systems. you see, i think they do this to make their "investors" happy. "look at us, we are trying to protect your money from being stolen! so dont leave with your money and stay with us!" because i have to wonder whenever they REALLY believe their drm systems to be worthwhile.
Close... it's not so much about keeping investors as it is having preventing investors and others with a financial stake suing them to buggery for 'failure to take reasonable measures to protect their investment', which can even result in forfeiture of IP.
 

Doom972

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I don't see what those "fans" should have against it. I don't mind if their next game gets extra funding from lawsuits against pirates. As long as the pirates suffer and not the customers, anything they do against piracy is fine by me.
 

Entitled

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Kwil said:
Your problem is with the whole retail sales industry and the concept of limited shelf space. Best of luck on your crusade, Mr. Quixote.
Digital downloads make retail obselete.

And thankfully I don't have to crusade against anything, I most assuredly like the direction in which things are going.
 

Baldry

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I read the title and thought they'd sent legitimate letters, like not once that were gonna prosecute but kinda like "Dear sir or madam it has come to our attention you have pirated our game and we'd like if instead you went out and bought the game, please. It would mean a lot to us" Which personally I think would've worked better and been an awesome story.
 

BrotherRool

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RubyT said:
BrotherRool said:
I wish pirates would just go and bury themselves to be honest
How would that help the developer?
Well okay, I wish pirates would become honest and buy games they play.

..it probably still would help though. Piracy is basically a social problem, like all crimes at the very core, I've got a friend whose pretty cool with admitting he's a pirate and that's not socially unacceptable for him and actually shutting him down on that would be pretty rude. It's not the same as admitting you took a bike or even stole someones Youtube video and made money off it.

If it was a little less common there'd be less new pirates 'cos of social pressure.
 

Knight Templar

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Taawus said:
Oh wow Escapist,

Title: "CD Projekt Admits Writing Letters to Pirates Doesn't Help"

Content: "Michal Nowakowski, VP of Business Development, went so far as to say that, as far as he knew, "the vast majority of people identified decided to admit to piracy and pay the compensation as a means of settlement.""

Not sure if bias or just plain old sloppy?
Did you read the entire article?
""We're not afraid to say that wasn't the best choice and best solution we could have done," said Szóstak. "And that's why we kind of resigned and we don't do it anymore.""
 

lolobar

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Asehujiko said:
lolobar said:
First of all respect to CD Projeckt for admitting their "error".

I understand what they tried to do and this is against their good willed nature.

I'm trying to put myself in their shoes. It's difficult to defend against piracy and at the same time not to create problems for paying customers.

I don't know if this is feasible, but i would implement a system like a usb pass. Meaning that every copy of the game would have a piece of hardware that has a hardwired algorithm. The algorithm on the usb will be used for many parts through the game. If you don't have the usb keycard, the game will be broken.

The usb though will not be a flash drive. If it is a flash drive then just copying it would break the system. In my imagination it would be a piece of hardware. Making it hard to replicate.

The paying customers buy the game with the usb pass. They install the game put on the usb and everything's fine. This works for as many years as you want.

The pirate may get the game, but cannot have a usb pass unless they construct, or buy one.

Sounds good right? :p
Sounds terrible. The production costs per copy go through the roof, it is impossible to digitally distribute, the consumer now has to keep track of the usb device instead of just the disk itself and pirates have a tiny modification to the game .exe that points it at an equally tiny .dll pile with the same algorithm on it. What you are proposing is ubidrm but reliant on millions of usb devices, which is even dumber then a single server somewhere.
Darn it... i thought i had it :p
He, you're right though! :)
 

Neonit

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RhombusHatesYou said:
neonit said:
i see what you are getting at, but i dont think thats the reason why they keep making their little drm systems. you see, i think they do this to make their "investors" happy. "look at us, we are trying to protect your money from being stolen! so dont leave with your money and stay with us!" because i have to wonder whenever they REALLY believe their drm systems to be worthwhile.
Close... it's not so much about keeping investors as it is having preventing investors and others with a financial stake suing them to buggery for 'failure to take reasonable measures to protect their investment', which can even result in forfeiture of IP.
thats an even beter theory, didnt think about that.
yep, the law might just be crazy enough for this to be feasible.

still, it all comes back to the point of game industry being in wrong hands.
oh well, thats the way of any kind of media, it had to hit the gaming as well.
 

Lonewolfm16

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Mromson said:
Taawus said:
Oh wow Escapist,

Title: "CD Projekt Admits Writing Letters to Pirates Doesn't Help"

Content: "Michal Nowakowski, VP of Business Development, went so far as to say that, as far as he knew, "the vast majority of people identified decided to admit to piracy and pay the compensation as a means of settlement.""

Not sure if bias or just plain old sloppy?
Not to be a dick or anything, but did you even read the bloody post before you quoted it for its supposed bias? Or were you just too sloppy?

BrotherRool said:
I wish pirates would just go and bury themselves to be honest, it's annoying to see good people bending over backwards to accommodate them and going through all this hassle and doing stupid things that annoy the fans, all because some people want to be able to have things they can't/won't pay for
The world is a pretty simple place: convince people to give you money for the hard work that you've done. If enough people don't purchase the things you like, then the things you like won't be made anymore. Crying that pirates aren't paying for products does nothing. Either enough people pay for content they like, or the company should go bust. Free market people. It might suck sometimes, but that's life.
The issue is that in a fee-market you pay someone to provide a good or service. Pirates take a good/service without paying for it therefore making the company who produces it unable to turn a profit from their aquistion of that good/service. As far as free-market economics go pirates are essentialy equivilant to thieves.