CD Projekt: Witcher 2 pirated 4.5 million times

PC RPG The Witcher 2 has been illegally downloaded 4.5 million times, according to Polish developer CD Projekt.

Speaking in an interview with PC Gamer, CEO and co-founder Marcin Iwinski explained that he had calculated the figure by monitoring stats on torrent sites.

"This is only an estimation," he said, "and I would say that's rather on the optimistic side of things; as of today we have sold over a million legal copies, so having only 4.5-5 illegal copies for each legal one would be not a bad ratio. The reality is probably way worse."

CD Projekt, like its sister company Good Old Games, is famously anti-DRM, believing it punishes legitimate users and has only limited impact on piracy. Elsewhere in the interview, Iwinski hits out at the "Excel guys" at big publishers, who think only about the bottom line and pay no attention to how DRM upsets paying customers.

"They are not asking themselves the question:' What is the experience of a gamer?', or: 'Is this proposition fair?'," he said. "Rather, they just look to see if the column in Excel adds up well or not, and if they can have a good explanation for their bosses.

"DRM is the best explanation, the best 'I will cover my ass' thing. I strongly believe that this is the main reason the industry has not abandoned it until today, and to be frank this annoys me a hell of a lot.

"You are asking: 'So why is it taking them so long to listen?' The answer is very simple: they do not listen, as most of them do not care. As long as the numbers in Excel will add up they will not change anything."