Staunchly anti-DRM Witcher 3 dev CD Projekt responds to Xbox One policy concerns

UPDATE: "We couldn't simply not release The Witcher 3 on Xbox One."

Update: Temperatures are running hot and CD Projekt Red clearly isn't pleased with the guilty-by-association connotations of The Witcher 3 being on current public enemy number Xbox One. But what can it do? CDP co-founder and Joint CEO Marcin Iwiński has attempted to explain the company's position again.

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"We couldn't simply not release The Witcher 3 on Xbox One," he told me. "We want to make sure that every single player will have access to our game and thus decided to deliver for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

"There are people who don't mind the DRM protection and will pick Xbox One as their platform of choice. We can't punish them. Again, we always stress the fact that we're against DRM, but in the market system it's the clients who make the final decision. As developers, we need to create best content we can and make it available for as many players as possible."

Original story: Witcher maker CD Projekt Red has built an enviable relationship with gamers as much for its anti-DRM policies and willingness to support games with free content as for its strong RPGs.

Parent company CD Projekt Group also owns retro download shop Good Old Games, which bellows "no DRM" from the internet rooftops as a key selling point.

So if there's any company that Microsoft's now infamous Xbox One second-hand and online check-in policies sit ill with, it's this emerging Polish powerhouse.

For instance, if the publisher of The Witcher 3 (whoever that turns out to be) decides not to opt in and allow The Witcher 3 on Xbox One to be sold second-hand, what then - does CD Projekt simply swallow it?

"It is a good question," CDP co-founder and Joint CEO Marcin Iwiński told Eurogamer yesterday, "and, to be perfectly honest, we are eager to find our more ourselves.

"We have not received anything from Microsoft until today on this one and, before we form any definite opinions here, we would like to have this process explained in details by the platform holder.

"From our side, we will be of course looking for the most gamer friendly solution."

That comment was received after Microsoft's E3 press conference in which The Witcher 3 had a starring part - CDPR unveiling a gorgeous first trailer (below) and a dev diary (bottom) for the game.

But were CDPR to take issue with Microsoft's policies, what could it realistically do about them - not continue with the game on Xbox One?

"Again, we do not know anything definite, nor have we received any firm guidelines from Microsoft," responded Iwiński.

"Having said that, we strongly believe in the freedom of choice and voting with your wallet. I would disagree that it would do any good if we decided to abandon one of the platforms, especially when we have the capacity to create games for it.

"We have no influence on the decisions of platform holders, neither Microsoft's or Sony's, but there is a platform where we can decide what we think works best for the gamers, and that's the PC. "

"The Witcher 3 will be available 100 per cent DRM-free on [GOG.com]."

Marcin Iwiński

The Witcher 3 will be the first game CD Projekt has simultaneously released on three platforms - The Witcher 2 appeared first on PC and then a year later on Xbox 360. "What it means for gamers is the previously mentioned freedom of choice," he said.

"I am sure that a lot of gamers will choose one of the consoles for its convenience and easiness of use - that's fine, and by doing so they will agree to whatever rules the platform holder will impose.

"What I can, however, guarantee here and now, is that if you want the 100 per cent DRM-free experience you will have it on the PC, the platform where we set the rules for our games. The Witcher 3 will be available 100 per cent DRM-free on our digital distribution platform GOG.com, and that's one thing I can confirm."

Sony scored a big PR goal at E3 yesterday by announcing no restrictions on second-hand PS4 game sales and no requirements to authenticate games online or check-in periodically with PlayStation Network.

"Ultimately," Iwiński said, "it's the gamers who will call the shots."

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