The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings was one of the most impressive games we saw at GamesCom earlier this year, but we still had a lot of questions that we wanted answered. As such, we were really chuffed to be able to sit down with CD Projekt RED's senior producer Tomek Gop, to see what he could tell us.
Bit-Gamer:Last time we spoke to you there were a number of features you couldn’t discuss, such as multiplayer, DLC and whether The Witcher 2 will see a console release. Can you enlighten us about any of these yet?
Tomek Gop: No multiplayer news, no console news. However, we've made a step regarding DLC. With our retail offer of The Witcher 2, we’re giving players small downloadable features that, without unbalancing the game, provide some extra variety. Some of them change statistics and aesthetics, such as Geralt’s clothes, while others give you gameplay shortcuts, such as merchants who sell otherwise rare items. There’s some eye-candy and fight-boosting stuff too, such as advanced finishers.
That’s all free for retail clients, but don't worry – we've made sure that players who obtain The Witcher 2 digitally won’t feel left out. These features, and I mean it, are not THE BIG DLC.
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BG:How has the game progressed in the last few months, and what have you been adding in to the title?
Tomek: We’ve pretty much just been wrapping things up. We’re nearing beta now and the game is finally shaping up, so at the moment it’s not about this or that feature – it’s all of them. You can already walk through all of the game, taking any sidequests that you wish. We’re at the final stage of optimisations, balancing and trying to gauge the number of gameplay hours in The Witcher 2. That’s the question that everyone’s been asking us.
BG:You recently announced that The Witcher 2 will have no DRM at all. Was that a difficult decision? It’s one thing to remove DRM from The Witcher after release, and another to do it for the launch of a new game.
Tomek: It wasn’t difficult at all. We’ve always wanted to do it. We really do believe that DRM is more of a burden than an actual help. If it was up to us alone, The Witcher 2 would be DRM-free worldwide, in all distribution channels. However, CD Projekt is not a worldwide publisher, so our publishers got involved. They’ve been in this business long enough to earn our trust – we’ll negotiate, but they too have something to say.
Tomek: We’re not an anti-piracy police company, so it will never become the focus of our business. Technical details are, for obvious reasons, not something I can go into, but I can explain a little. We’re opening up by releasing a new AAA title worldwide, DRM-free, through GOG.com, and we feel that’s both reasonable and fair.
If, for whatever reason, someone still feels like it’s better to download the game illegally, that person should also be prepared to potentially receive ‘the letter’ from the companies with which we cooperate. Mutual fair play is what we care about – we’ll respect customers if they respect us back. Regarding the fines, we are talking €500+ depending on the country, so getting a legit copy will be a far better deal.