When most of us think of the Witcher series, we see an intelligent, original story that throws your moral beliefs into question. There’s still good and evil in The Witcher’s world, but they’re not painted in the traditional black and white we’ve seen before. Games would be worse off if The Witcher hadn’t grown to be the staple of video game storytelling that it has. The scary thing is, The Witcher almost died from the start.
In many ways, CD Projekt RED is the little developer that could. After hitting it big with The Witcher, CD Projekt has continued to grow and produce games with greater and greater ambition. After six years and six million games sold in the Witcher franchise, the studio is hard at work on the Witcher 3 and the much-anticipated Cyperpunk 2077. As its gotten bigger and struck distribution deals on a larger and larger scale, though, some rumors have gotten around that the developers’ famous anti-DRM stance might be changing. According to the company CEO, those rumors are false.
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt screenshots have landed from Gamescom in Germany today, showing off some of the blood spouting combat we have to look forward to when The Witcher 3 arrives next year.
In a world of downloadable content and micro transactions, CD Projekt RED is an anomaly. While the studio’s mostly known for crafting the Witcher franchise, it’s also garnered the love and respect of its fans by releasing exorbitant amounts of extra content for free. It might not make much sense from a traditional business perspective, but CD Projekt RED co-founder Marcin Iwinksi sees things differently.
We used the only viable fuel source with the world's only time machine to visit E3 2014, and bring back the gaming news of the future for you, our loyal readers. The haters will say we could have done something more beneficial for humanity with this singular opportunity, but we usually just ban people like that. What new boxes will you be able to plug into your TV? Will everyone own a Rift? Do your emotional scars from Game of Thrones Season 3 ever heal? We have the 100 percent accurate, non-speculative answers to all this and more.
After last week's false start, CD Projekt RED have now officially released the Witcher 2's mod maker, REDKit. It's a powerful looking suite, giving you the opportunity to design quests, build lands, create NPCs, customise combat and "plant realistic forests in just a few clicks." That last one is probably the limit of what I'd be able to achieve.
After being revealed through Game Informer's latest cover story this week, first images from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have crept out from Game Informer's story via AllGamesBeta. I don't think anyone was actually wondering if Geralt's swan song would be pretty. But in case you were: It's very, very pretty. But don't take my word for it. Check out the scenic vistas and moody hamlets for yourself.
CD Projekt RED have given us our first glimpse of their sci-fi RPG, Cyberpunk 2077. Well, a sumptuously pre-rendered version of its world, at any rate. There's not much in the way of detail about the game itself here—we'll have to wait until next month for that—but what we see paints a picture of the dystopian Night City, replete with flickering neon skyline, flying cars, scantily-clad, bulletproof androids and heavily-armed police-o-bots.
CD Projekt have announced a title for their crazy-exciting cyberpunk RPG, based on the pen-and-paper game, er, Cyberpunk. That was set in 2020, a piddly eight years from now, but the Witcher devs' upcoming epic will take place around fifty years later, which is probably why they've decided to name it Cyberpunk 2077. While they were at it, CDP also set up a Cyberpunk blog, and revealed a few more details about the game.
In a dubious honor, BitTorrent news blog TorrentFreak has named Rutgers University as the top torrenting university in the US. And what's the most torrented game at this fine institution? The Witcher 2.
Not, it must be said, all that many - most of The Witcher 2 developer's current project remains cloaked in secrecy and protected with ICE and... uh... behind a wall of developers keeping schtum. Plot, style and exactly what it's going to look like all remain unknown. These answers should however assuage any fears that it's just going to be The Witcher wearing sunglasses even when indoors, and give some idea of how the company is approaching its new world and the experience it plans to offer.
CD Projekt RED were spotted looking for new recruits to work on an "entirely new and different" RPG recently. A list of job roles next to an icon of a gun was all we had to go on, until now. Blue's News have a teaser image trailing a big reveal at CD Projekt RED's summer conference tomorrow. It will be live streamed on CD Projekt's Facebook page and The Witcher site at 5pm GMT / 10am PST / 1pm EST.
The teaser image has a powerful whiff of William Gibson to it. There's a backdrop of neon billboards, a mohican, a leather jacket, a futuristic handgun and a handy piece of skull-tech. Nothing says 'streetwise dystopian future' like a punk with a heads up display. Take a look.
The release of the Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition marks the end of the major updates that CD Project have been adding over the course of the last year. Suddenly, they're free, but what will they do next? Gamerzines have noticed a series of new job listings on the CD Projekt site for two games. One is for an "RPG in a dark fantasy world" signified by a sword symbol, which might just be the next Witcher (maybe). The other project is listed as an RPG in "a brand new setting" next to a picture of a gun.
Good Old Games relaunched this morning, and shall henceforth simply be known as GOG. The online store has occupied a neat niche in digital distribution, reselling modernised versions of classic games with bonus parts like soundtracks and extra artwork, DRM free. The relaunch heralds a bit of a shift in their remit. GOG will now sell indie games through the service, and games from major labels within three years of their release. Trine, The Whispered World, Machinarium, Darwinia and SpaceChem are on the way, with more planned soon.
The increasing variety of games available on GOG will dilute their identity a bit, but they're planning to sell new titles and indie games with the same principles in mind. Their stance against DRM remains as firm as ever, as managing director Guillaume Rambourg told Gamespot. "It has taken us 3 years of hard work to build up this catalogue and convince rights holders that removing DRM is actually the best way to fight against piracy, a "sector" that managed to succeed where most of the gaming industry failed to perform: providing (illegal) gamers with a simple and fast access to games within a few clicks."
"DRM does not protect your game. If there are examples that it does, then people maybe should consider it, but then there are complications with legit users." That's what Marcin Iwinski, CEO at CD Projekt, had to say to Joystiq last night.
The value of digital rights management protection seems to be a contentious issue at the Polish developer. Back in December, CD Projekt's VP of Business Development talked up breakthroughs in DRM technology, saying they had achieved 100% accuracy in detecting pirates. They even sent letters out to thousands, demanding cash.
The Elder Scrolls games have been brilliant for long time: huge open worlds that let you go wherever you fancy, get wrapped up in hundreds of different stories, and make a life for yourself. But until Skyrim, they weren’t particularly good at one of the most exciting things about other RPGs: levelling up.
CD Projekt RED have sent legal notices demanding money from thousands of alleged pirates in Germany, with a threat of court action for anyone refusing to pay.
When The Witcher 2 was released earlier this year, its developers CD Projekt RED offered the game DRM-free via sister-company GOG.com. It was a smart move, and including retail copies with DRM included, The Witcher 2 sold over a million copies worldwide. When the DRM free version was announced, the other part of the story was that CDP RED would monitor torrent sites and pursue the pirates. TorrentFreak reported that they're now doing exactly that, using the same deeply unpopular tactic used in the past by music companies and games publishers.
We spoke to CD Projekt RED to find out why they've decided to pursue pirates in this way, and why they think they've found a way to successfully identify pirates with 100% accuracy and "are not worried about tracking the wrong people."
Recently, I spoke with Bohemia Interactive's CEO about the three most reviled letters in the gaming alphabet: D, R, and M. His company has been making waves with tech that slowly renders pirated games unplayable with all manner of obnoxious, sometimes hilarious effects. From where Bohemia's standing, DRM's a necessary evil. No one ever said, however, that forcing thieves to pony up couldn't be worth a laugh or two.
But that's only one perspective. So, in the wake of the announcement that GOG's version of Witcher 2 made a sizable stack of real, non-Monopoly money without any sort of DRM weighing it down, I decided to get in touch with CD Projekt. Read on for CEO and co-founder Marcin Iwinski's thoughts on DRM schemes like Bohemia's, why we should get rid of DRM altogether, how many Witcher 2 copies were pirated, and how piracy can even occasionally be beneficial.
CD Projekt RED have told Polish gaming site Polygamia.pl that they’re working on a brand new AAA title, set in a “totally different universe” to their popular Witcher RPG series. More exact details haven’t been confirmed, but it makes total sense for the new game to be a sci-fi RPG.
“The biggest news is that we are going to work on a new IP, a totally new title,” Adam Badowski, a studio director at CD Projekt RED, told Polygamia. When the presenter guessed that new title was a sci-fi game, Badowski replied with, “You can keep guessing all you want, but we will reveal more when the time is right.”
Posters on NeoGAF have mined CD Projekt's investor report for details of their current projects. The report says that the Witcher developer plans to put out two high profile games in 2014 and 2015, with two low and one mid budget projects planned for 2012-2013. All are planned to be multiplatform and, given CD Projekt's history, we assume one of those platforms will be the PC.
The report also confirms that CD Projekt are working on a new intellectual property, which makes sense with all those games in the works, otherwise they'd end up producing 'Witcher Kart Racing'.