Developer CD Projekt is preparing a new aggressive assault on illicit filesharers, with plans to send payment fines through the post to players believed to be illegally downloading its upcoming game.
Those fines, the company said, will charge more than it costs to legitimately download CD Projekt’s 2011 release, The Witcher 2.
A letter sent through the post to suspected players will demand payment to avoid legal action.
The new strategy is possibly the most hard-lined a studio has taken outside of the controversial DRM techniques.
“Of course we’re not happy when people are pirating our games, so we are signing with legal firms and torrent sneaking companies," CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwiński told Eurogamer.
The Witcher 2 is set for a May 2011 release, though as a downloadable PC title – and indeed an RPG – CD Projekt believes the title will be a target for illicit filesharers.
Games lawyer Jas Purewal told Eurogamer that CD Prokect’s latest approach could mark the beginning of a new crackdown on illegally downloaded games.
“Piracy is a serious legal and financial issue for the games industry, which is responding with a range of measures from DRM to legal action against illegal downloaders,” he said.
“Historically, this kind of anti-piracy action has been more associated with the film or music industries, but in the future we may well see more of this from the games industry, particularly with the streamlined ‘three strikes’ process being introduced in the UK by the Digital Economy Act.”