CD Projekt Red, the developer of The Witcher 2 role playing game, has started demanding money from video game pirates that illegally downloaded its title, threatening them with a lawsuit if an agreement isn’t reached.
The Witcher 2 was released at the beginning of the year and, since then, CD Projekt Red estimated that over 4.5 million copies
of the game were illegally downloaded through torrent websites or other such methods.
Now, it seems that the Polish studio is taking the fight to video game pirates, as it confirmed that it’s started tracking down those who illegally downloaded The Witcher 2 and asking them to pay a fine or face prosecution.
What’s more, in order to avoid any false allegations, the studio has confirmed that it’s partnered with an unknown company that has a method of determining who pirated the game without any false positive result.
“We’re addressing only 100% confirmed piracy causes that are 100% possible to prove,” said Michal Nowakowski, VP of Business Development for CD Project Red to PC Gamer. “We are not worried about tracking the wrong people. As this is the trade secret of the company working on this, I cannot share it. However, we investigated the subject before we decided on this move, and we aware of some past complications. The method used here is targeting only 100% confirmed piracy cases. No innocent person was targeted with the letter so far. At least we have not received any information as of now which would indicate something like that.”
According to reports coming from Germany, users are already being faced with fines of around €1,000 (around $1,300) but Nowakowski has revealed that the actual amount of money asked from pirates is smaller, as the studio just wants to make people realize of the downside to pirating a €40/$50 game.
“In terms of the compensation, the amounts that were circling around the internet were higher than what is actually asked from people as a settlement,” he said. “As far as I know the vast majority of people identified decided to admit to piracy and pay the compensation as a means of settlement.”
What’s more, Nowakowski also mentioned that such methods are used by other major publishers or independent developers to stop piracy, so there’s nothing that out of the ordinary about CD Projekt’s endeavor.
While piracy is still a pretty serious issue on the PC, digital distribution outlets and special deals websites like the Humble Indie Bundle are beginning to show pirates the advantage of paying money for games.