CD Projekt Red: ‘We’ve always believed in free DLCs’
Every time someone from Witcher 2 studio CD Projekt Red opens their mouth, they end up saying something so awesome and pandering to their customers that you have to think they’re about to ask them out. Against over exploiting their customers? Check. Skeptical about the impact of piracy on development and sales? Check. Willing to commit heresy with public affirmations that DRM is crap? Hell yes. And now they’re at it again with the total rejection of DLC for profit.
This isn’t entirely new of course; the studio’s senior quest designer Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz previously said that CDPR thinks small DLC should be free. However, in an interview with VG 24/7, studio writer Konrad Tomaszkiewicz went even further, emphasizing that all DLC, not just the small stuff, should be free.
“We’ve always believed in free DLCs, Tomaszkiewicz said. “The thing is that we consider DLCs as a normal post sale service, which shouldn’t be priced. Back when retail games were dominant, we had expansion packs. These were really large chunks of content, which were worth their price.” He added that today’s DLC isn’t remotely close to the expansion packs of yore. “If today’s DLCs offered the same amount of content, they would be worth paying for, but in most cases players think they are overcharged for what they receive. That’s why we offer expansions to our game for free. This is also a way of saying “thank you” to the people who decided to buy our game instead of copying it from an unauthorised source.”
This is in keeping with the company’s position that piracy can be best combatted by giving players a better product at good value rather than nickle and diming them, or inconveniencing them. And it appears to have paid off for them with the Witcher 2 enjoying 1.7 million in sales as of May, 2012. Could this be the beginning of a real trend? Obviously, Electronic Arts and (probably) Ubisoft would have to be dragged kicking and screaming by irresistible market forces before even considering such a boon to their customers, but we’re seeing an increasing number of smaller studios giving the ‘milk the customer’ model a giant middle finger, most recently Apogee/Inteceptor, who will be offering DLC for Rise of the Triad for free.
Obviously, this means you should reward CDPR by buying their game. So do it, because The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings is actually really great.