UPDATE 07/05/2015 8pm: Green Man Gaming has ended its Witcher 3 pre-order promotion, though it noted that it will "reinvigorate the offer in the run up to launch".
Green Man Gaming CEO Paul Sulyok offered the following statement about the offer's removal:
"We're sorry that some gamers missed out on our great deal on the Witcher 3. This was a spot promotion, similar to the many other spot promotions that we regularly run on AAA titles. We know that this promotion was particularly important to gamers as it gave them a greater choice as to where and how they bought this title. As this spot promotion came to an end today, we were happy to see that other retailers have been matching our offer. This means gamers have even more choice, and we have succeeded in meeting their demands and preferences.
"Though this title met its commercial objective very quickly, and the promotion has now ended, we will be looking to reinvigorate the offer in the run up to launch, and will continue to deliver the best price we can alongside the service that our customers expect from us."
UPDATE 07/05/2015 2.45am: CD Projekt Red business development manager Rafał Jaki has further addressed the matter of Green Man Gaming's third-party keys on The Witcher 3's official forums, in light of GMG's statement.
Jaki offered the following explanation:
"We have worked with GMG in the past for W2 and they were a legit partner.
"We control all digital and the codes, and because we decided not to sell keys to GMG it came as a surprise that they are doing a special promo without buying keys from us. We have reached out to ask for the source of the keys but up until now there was no response. They might sell Nvidia keys (which are not to be sold but gifted with the Nvidia promo), or they just bought keys from GOG just like a regular customer and now they resell them with a loss (we cannot prevent anyone from selling something).
"They also list Bandai Namco as the publishet which is not true for W3 (Namco is our box distributor in PAL), so GMG is not a CDPR partner for W3 but they still might sell keys that will work."
ORIGINAL STORY 06/05/2015 11.35pm: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is on sale for pre-order at £32.49 / $38.99 at Green Man Gaming, a 35 per cent discount off its retail price of £49.99 / $59.99.
However, there is peculiar controversy surrounding this sale that makes developer CD Projekt Red unhappy.
You see, purchasing The Witcher 3 from Green Man Gaming gives players keys to snag the game on CD Projekt Red's own DRM-free platform GOG, yet the developer didn't sell these keys to Green Man Gaming.
"I would kindly ask our fans not to buy via GMG at this time. We had not sold them keys and dont know the origin of them," said business development manager Rafał Jaki on the game's official forums. A representative from the developer told Gamespot that none of the revenue from the GMG sales of The Witcher 3 would go to the CDPR.
So what's going on here? Turns out Green Man Gaming couldn't solidify a distribution deal with CDPR directly, so it had to purchase codes from official vendors elsewhere, the retailer explained to Eurogamer. As such, the developer still made money off these codes earlier in the distribution chain.
Here's Green Man Gaming CEO Paul Sulyok's full statement on the matter:
Green Man Gaming (GMG) has an official contract with, and has been an approved retailer of CD Projekt S.A. (CDPR) products since 11th August 2011. Following a six month dialogue with CDPR about the launch of The Witcher 3, we were disappointed that despite the offer of significant cash advances, and other opportunities to officially work together, (we even offered to fly to Poland to discuss in detail how we could and wanted to support this launch), CDPR chose not to engage with a number of significant, reputable, and successful retailers, including ourselves, as they instead focused on supporting their own platform GOG.
We at GMG sincerely believe in getting games to gamers, and offering them a range of buying options to suit their preferences is critically important to this industry; we often go above corporate profits and commercial gain to make this happen. We, like millions of customers, are huge fans of The Witcher series, and have been eager for the launch of this amazing title. We believe that CDPR's desire to support their own platform by working with retail outlets that would not conflict with their own is greater than that of meeting the demands of their audience, therefore we made the decision to indirectly secure the product and deliver it to our customers. To do this, we reached out to third parties and retailers that were approved by CDPR, to legitimately pass these keys onto our customers. This means that at some point, revenue has been passed directly onto CDPR, and any additional discount on the title is absorbed by us, as we want as many people enjoying The Witcher 3 as possible.
We would heartily welcome a renewed dialogue with CDPR, and are keen to continue to not only support the launch of The Witcher 3, but to keep celebrating and bringing the whole catalogue of CDPR titles to a worldwide audience, as we have done since 2011.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will release on 19th May for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.