CD Projekt vs the Pirates – How Both Sides Were Wrong

Scott Lipowitz of takes a look at CD Projekt's recent announcement that they will stop their aggressive pursuit of suspected pirates and why neither side was in the right during the debacle.

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vortis2286d ago

All the pirates I've seen talking about the game said they weren't buying it in the first place. So what does that tell CD Projekt?

ArcticFox2286d ago

It tells them that the pirates still felt entitled to steal and play a copy of the game under some incredibly weak justification of "I wasn't going to buy it anyway."

Tanir2286d ago

wow lol that is a weak justification.

obviously they weren't going to buy it anyway, they were just going to Pirate it, their Logic fails haha

despair2286d ago

well its not actually stealing since noone gets hurt or loses anything by those specific instances with people who have no intention of actually purchasing it ever.

The problem is that most people would use that excuse and its not exactly clear on what percentage would actually buy the game if a pirated version was not available.

So its more of a blurry area, convoluted area without true clear lines.

Abriael2286d ago

@despair: pirating IS stealing. It causes a loss of revenue. There's no grey area at all.

That excuse has no legs to stand on.

despair2286d ago

I am against piracy for most things, but the point I'm making is that the actual people who don't have any intention of ever getting the game are never to be considered part of revenue, so they didn't steal anything technically and did not affect the company's bottomline at all one way or the other. Its just that since they are getting to play the game even though they did not pay for it that people have a problem.

But determining who would never get the game ever and who might have gotten it except there was a pirated version is impossible. Thats why I say its a blurred area, nothing is ever black and white and I am living proof of that.

I don't live in the United States but I rely on it for all or most of my electronic products. About 15 years ago or so I had no access to games that were even remotely priced in anything I could afford (PC I mean). Games that would cost 50 bucks US would in actuality cost me closer to 150 which is not practical as that was something like 1/3 the average monthly income at the time.

So I pirated games, downloaded with my 50 hour limit 56k dial up connection, and thank god the pirates would rip most of the music and FMVs from the games so I could actually finish a file. I did this for years, playing many games, but then getting better shipping from Amazon, lower taxes in my country, access to things like Steam (albeit later on) and a steady income allowed me to actually purchase my games retail.

On occasion I would still pirate the ones I couldn't afford if I really wanted to play it but gradually I stopped doing that and now I only purchase my games and pretty much all from Steam, I haven't pirated a game in a long time.

The point of that little story is that its never that simple as black and white and just because you see it one way doesn't mean its the only point of view.

NYC_Gamer2286d ago

i am 100% against the act of piracy.but lets be honest no profit was lost since these people weren't going to buy the game anyway.

Abriael2286d ago

@despair: pirates commit a blatantly illegal action,infringe on the legal and intellectual rights of a company (which is made of individuals) and appropriate a product they're not legally entitled to.

There's no grey area or different point of view there. There's theft. Plain and simple. The fact that it's not a physical product doesn't make it less serious.

aPerson2286d ago

@despair "the actual people who don't have any intention of ever getting the game are never to be considered part of revenue, so they didn't steal anything technically"

So you're saying that if I stole a $100,000 car, it wouldn't be considered stealing because I had no intention of purchasing one anyway?


vortis2286d ago (Edited 2286d ago )

"Weak justification" still doesn't transmutate into sales if you remove piracy from the equation.

Digital sales ARE NOT affected by piracy despite popular belief that they are.

Digitally the game never collects dust and never takes up room on a warehouse.

Most people who pirate do so because they're getting it for free so if the option wasn't there to get it for free what makes you think they would magically fork over $50 for a digital or retail copy?

GOG has it right: Piracy is competition not potential consumers.

The fact CD Projekt is worrying about these digital phantoms shows they're wasting time fighting against digital phantoms.

Even in the article you say it borderlines extortion and that basically means the entire anti-piracy campaign was a waste of time, nearly illegal and it didn't do any favors to gain respect or favor from paying customers.

despair2286d ago (Edited 2286d ago )


you say that like you understand what it means, but clearly you don't. What I read in your post was just the usual standard response given against piracy and in no way actually address what I posted.


your analogy doesn't make sense since its not a real thing being taken, there is no copy that is stolen from a store, its not even bandwidth from the company thats used, its a made up imaginary file and in no way comparable to stealing a car and doesn't exist anyway.

Its not like they would deprive someone of a copy of the game and since they never would buy it then how exactly is it going to affect the company negatively or is even remotely related or comparable to stealing a car, its not even comparable to stealing a straw, in fact its not comparable to stealing anything at all.

Again not saying I think piracy is good, but sometimes it happens and it helps some people who would otherwise never be able to enjoy these games.


I agree, the main draw of steam and of actually purchasing games is the quality of the service and the benefits gained from paying instead of piracy, that's what they should focus on and that does not mean adding restrictions that hurt legitimate customers more than pirates as with DRM.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 2286d ago
Baka-akaB2286d ago

I dont see one iota how CD projekt was even wrong .

They did everything , EVERYTHING right by gamers ,. IN fact they are the only ones doing what they've done so far with the drm less releases , the ultra enhanced director cuts and other editions , free dlcs , massive amount of patches that actually are worth something .

Short of the modding community we dont see that kind of game terraforming for free .

And yet here are people complaining , and managing to even make CD projekt apologize ?

ArcticFox2286d ago

Like I said in the article, the issue was not necessarily that CD Projekt's heart wasn't in the wrong place, they just went about things the wrong way.

They were dangerously close to extortion and acted rather suspicious about the whole ordeal. I don't disagree with what they did, just how they went about doing it. Well that and the shockingly large fine.

Abriael2286d ago (Edited 2286d ago )

I completely agree. CD Projekt was in their right, and I didn't see a single report of someone accused wrongly. This tells me that the method used was sound.

Mind you, CD projekt is SO community-friendly that they explicitly authorized Skyrim modders to use the models from The Witcher 2. That is unprecedented so near to the release of a game.

Unfortunately they buckled under the pressure of the whiners. So yeah. They're wrong in one thing: the fact that they let a vocal minority let them stray from an action that was completely jstified.

SkolarVisari2285d ago

Piracy is as much an issue as people letting their friends or other acquaintances play the games they bought. Running around and engaging in extortion over something that has the same effect as you handing your copy of God of War to you friend and letting them play it is not the way to handle non issues like this. It doesn't help that their evidence is essentially non-existent almost by definition. (Typical real world conditions make it almost impossible to use IP address collection as evidence for proof of wrong doing.)

Every time you hear a song and remember the lyrics your brain made a copy of of that information. Indeed everything you have learned that you didn't think of yourself is in fact a copy. So if experiencing some piece of media creates a copy merely borrowing or watching someone else play a game creates lost sales according to the broken logic that publishers use to justify this insanity. These people always pretend that the copying of these items possesses some sort of special quality that sneaker net trading and borrowing does not when the effect for both these things must be logically identical since both allow people to experience the content in question. Yet if you actually analyze the premise you see how ridiculous the premise actually is.

JohnColaw2286d ago (Edited 2286d ago )

As stated, it means they want it but are too pathetic to buy it. I'll personally admit that I pirate PC games all the time, to see if they'll run on my laptop. If they do I'll go buy it.

That's the only reason I pirate games any more, and that's just because nobody seems to know what a demo is anymore.

(This was supposed to be a reply to the first response, laptop acting weird). I'm not justifying what I'm doing, but that's my point. Stealing is stealing no matter why you do it.

PCE2286d ago

Just continue to do what you were doing, CDP. The only ones complaining about this are entitlement basement loser sociopaths that are too lazy to work.

ThichQuangDuck2286d ago

The well we were not going to buy it anyway idea is illogical. These people put their hard work into making the game with sleepless nights to make it perfect. For people that are willing to work hard at whatever job they may have to have surplus cash to buy their game. Well you may see piracy how Notch sees it as well it is getting my game out there and they will pay me back or get my next game. Fact is some of the great game companies of last generation got shutdown not because they did not make great games but because sales did not show how great their game was. At the end of the day you can have a bunch of good user reviews and experiences,but sales is what allows and helps motivate you to make another game. When pirates like a game they will if they like the first one probably pirate the sequel. Support the hard working people making the games because they realize times are tough , but games are not easy to make.

vortis2286d ago

Son, your logic is all skewed up.

A lot of companies shutdown THIS generation and it had nothing to do with piracy. Budcat Studios, Bizarre Creations, one of Codemaster's UK studios, several EA subsidiaries and RTW all closed down because of budget cuts, mismanagement or publisher portfolio padding.

How many indie studios shutdown compared to triple-A studios? It's funny because more indie studios hit it big this generation than triple-A studios and the indie studios didn't have DRM or fancy securom protection like the bigger guys. Long story short, indie games are easier to pirate yet stuff like Limbo, Shank, MineCraft and Bastion managed good sales.

You're confusing piracy with poor marketing (i.e., Enslaved Odyssey to the West). People need to get informed more about piracy.

Also, piracy hurts the consoles more than it does the digital PC arena. Every 360 game pirated is a retail copy not bought. Tell me, does a pirated game of a retail copy which had to be manufactured, shipped and possibly returned if it doesn't sale hurt the publisher and dev more than a digital copy that was pirated? The retail hurts more.

But surprise, surprise, far few PC games even head to retail.

petereater2286d ago (Edited 2286d ago )

Some pirates are just low income earners who want to try the titles they cannot afford...I think it isn't completely unreasonable for them to pirate the game in this case

pc gaming is also very expensive...this article disturbs me because they didn't say they dropped the huge fines from the random pc pirates they went for...thes fines are ridiculous they are $961 ie 16x the full price of the game...that isn't borderline extortion it IS extortion

h311rais3r2286d ago

stop spreading falsities. pc gaming is not expensive. a $500 pc can max most games (aside from witcher and bf3) at max. Only people who buy new hardware every other month make it expensive. CONSOLE gaming is more expensive. here is y. Average pc game cost is 39.99. console is 59.99. Console at launch is roughly 599. Gaming pc costs the same if your not an idiot. not to mention STEAM. many brand new titles go on sale a month after release (got rage for 20 bucks). pc gaming is cheaper if you know what u r doing.

petereater2286d ago (Edited 2286d ago )

if your living on minimum wage on your own then you don't have any surplus income LET ALONE $500 but you brought your old pc when you moved so you can you use that to buy

you need to be able to afford basic necessities food, clothes and rent

the only thing that is false is you and your extreme arrogance about other peoples financial situations

h311rais3r2284d ago

@petereater u did not prove anything I said wrong at all. just attempted to slander me. guess what u saying all these "necessities" still did not disprove anything I said. and calling me arrogant because I brought facts to the table makes you the arrogant one fool. did i say u had to buy a pc when u moved out? no! bring it with you and buying all the AAA titles for under 40 will allow you to get your food etc. u clearly did NOT read what I said. unless ur buying only 1 game for your console pc gaming is cheaper. god before you make a fool of yourself read what you type before you post it?

ninjahunter2286d ago

I would say a $961 fine is alot better than a $250,000 fine from a court judgement. Thats over 4,000 times the retail value of the game.
If CD projekt red got real 'justice' for the piracy do you know how much money they would get?
Thats enough money to buy every stock of Apple, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony.
But hey, Piracy is cool right, I mean paying $40 is obviously ridiculous for arguably the most beautiful game ever made. If you cant afford something then you save up for it. Doesnt matter if it takes you a week or a year.

petereater2285d ago

In a country where 15% of the population is on food stamps I can see how piracy is the only way for some people to play games