CD Projekt: The truth is DRM does not work

In a no-holds barred interview amidst Diablo III’s ‘always-on DRM’ storm, the developer of The Witcher 2 has blasted the use of digital rights management.

Let me dispel the myth about DRM protectinganything. The truth is it does not work. It’s as simple as that,” CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwinski told Forbes. The technology which is supposed to protect games against illegal copying is cracked within hours of the release of every single game. So, that’s wasted money and development just to implement it.

But that’s not the worst part. DRM, in most cases, requires users to enter serial numbers, validate his or her machine, and be connected to the internet while they authenticate – and possibly even when they play the game they bought.

Quite often the DRM slows the game down, as the wrapper around the executable file is constantly checking if the game is being legally used or not. That is a lot the legal users have to put up with, while the illegal users who downloaded the pirated version have a clean – and way more functional – game.

It seems crazy, but that’s how it really works. So if you are asking me how do I see the future of DRM in games, well, I do not see any future for DRM at all.”

Iwinski has evidence, too. He expected the DRM-free version of The Witcher 2 available on – a retailer whose business is built on the principal of DRM-free gaming – to suffer a crippling piracy rate.

It didn’t. In fact, the game was left largely untouched.

We were expecting to see the version pirated right after it was released, as it was a real no-brainer,” he confessed. Practically anyone could have downloaded it from and released it on the illegal sites right away, but this did not happen.

My guess is, that releasing an unprotected game is not the real deal, you have to crack it to gain respect and be able to write, cracked by XYZ.” How would not cracked by XYZ, as there was nothing to crack” sound? A bit silly, wouldn’t it? The illegal scene is pretty much about the game and the glory: who will be the first to deliver the game, who is the best and smartest cracker.”

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