CD Projekt has been hard at work sending thousand of emails to gamers who downloaded hit RPG The Witcher 2, demanding as much as $1,200 and threatening legal action against those who don't pay. After digging up some personal info on the pirates with the help of a torrent monitoring company, the emails began to fly. Torrent download site Torrent Freak reported:
The price CD Projekt is asking through their lawyers is slightly higher than what gamers have to pay in stores, to say the least. Over the past several months thousands of alleged BitTorrent users in Germany were asked to cough up 911,80 euros ($1230) to pay off their apparent debt to the company.
As is often the case, these mass settlement schemes do not exist without collateral damage. Aside from targeting many people who indeed downloaded and shared the game without paying, CD Projekt’s lawyers are also wrongfully accusing people who have never even heard of the game.
After all, an IP-address doesn’t identify a person, and Wi-Fi piggybacking is not unusual. But CD Projekt, who don’t want to bug legitimate consumers with DRM, apparently take this collateral damage for granted.
The whole fiasco has been disappointing for the Polish developer, as the rampant piracy comes in the face of the company trying to make the game more accessible to the common man by removing DRM. Speaking about how DRM only tends to punish those who bought the game legally and only provides incentive to pirate, CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwinski recently told PC Gamer:
(A game) is then hard to crack, but you start messing with the operation system, the game runs much slower and – for a group of legal gamers – it will not run at all. None of these solutions really work, so why not abandon it altogether?
Of course, whether the company will actually go so far as to pursue the non-paying pirates (and non-pirates) in court remains to be seen.