CD Projekt on DRM: “It Doesn’t Work”

In the wake of the backlash surrounding Diablo 3′s sloppy launch, the game‘s always-online requirement has once again brought the topic of DRM to the spotlight in the gaming world. Speaking with Forbes, the CEO of CD Projekt, Red Marcin Iwinski, explained why DRM is a completely ineffective means of preventing piracy.

Iwinski said:

“First of all let me dispel the myth about DRM protecting anything. The truth is it does not work. It’s as simple as that. 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.”

CD Projekt has become the poster-boy for the anti-DRM movement, and frankly, the level of goodwill the company has bought with gamers because of its stance on the matter probably outweighs the negative effects of piracy.

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3 Comments on CD Projekt on DRM: “It Doesn’t Work”


On May 21, 2012 at 11:12 am

2 more reasons why people (well, me anyway) use pirated games:

- launch dates (quite often, games get released in the states first, so playing a pirated copy and buy retail/DD later is the only way to play the game day 1 if you’re not in the US)

- DRM technology being crap (I’ve bought games legitimately AND STILL applied cracks to them just to get rid of crappy DRM)


On May 22, 2012 at 1:16 am

One of the many reasons I bought ‘The Witcher’ games and get my games through GoG, if possible, instead of Steam. CDProject really get it, and that’s a breath of fresh air between the governments shutting down things like Piratebay and companies such as Blizzard forcing you to be online to play in Single Player mode.

I really wish more Indie developers would make the switch. That’s basically the only reason I use Steam nowadays, for interesting games that aren’t available elsewhere.

Also, I love this website. So good to see articles with clear opinions on matters that aren’t censoring themselves because they’re afraid of developers. Kudos, Gamefront.


On May 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm


Being serious, these guys actually get it. I don’t play pirated games. I actually find pirating quite immoral. But I also realize that things like DRM aren’t going to stop people from pirating, Blizzard claims the “always on” thing is to prevent things like hacking in the world from occuring, due to the way they integrate everything with the auction house. Well….. accounts are getting hacked pretty consistently in Diablo III, and once the RMAH goes live, people will make a killing.

So you put something in that hampers the legit experience of the end user, is a total drag on performance, and you can’t even meet the goal you invented out of thin air as a reason for this obtrusive DRM.