CD Projekt RED’s Role Playing Game behemoth The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has sold an estimated 1.1 million copies since its release last April. To give you an idea of how many copies of the game that is, let’s take a closer look at the number 1.1 million.
1.1 million is
- the number of Korean or German people in the USA
- the TNT-tonnage equivalent of a modern thermonuclear bomb.
- the estimated production of cocoa beans in Ghana in 2011-12 in metric tons
Now that the obligatory irrelevant information part has been taken care of, let us move on to the beefy matter of the subject, shall we?
Yes, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has sold 1.1 million copies. Bear in mind that this is a PC only game, and sales like these without the marketing budget of a big publisher like EA or Activision-Blizzard is unheard of. Eurogamer reports that of the 1,110,055 copies sold 270,000 were digital downloads with about 40,000 on CD Projekt RED’s sister digital distribution site GOG.com, DRM free. It heartens me to tell you that the sales of the first Witcher game also picked up, with around 400,000 copies of The Witcher being sold along with the pre-orders and the like of the newer game.
It is no secret that I loved The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and that I harbor greater love for the developers since they released a beautiful AAA game DRM-free (the retail copies were made DRM-free via a patch), continued to support it with free DLCs and are now planning to update it to an Extended Edition – for free. This is way better than releasing Day-1 Downloadable Content, like a Certain Other Publisher Of Note. I can only hope that the Xbox 360 version of The Witcher 2 (to be released on April 17, 2012) also sees these kinds of sales.
Remember that time when CD Projekt RED started becoming like That Company Whose Name Starts With U And Which Shall Not Be Named Here? Well their fans told them that they were starting to become like said company as well as trying to ape the music industry and called them out on it. Now the company has retracted its complaints and notices against these probable pirates after angry fans told them that it was an affront to the faith they placed them in.
CD Projekt’s newest game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings shipped without the Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection that is common in most new AAA releases these days; DRM makes it difficult to copy or illegally play a video game. However, in all cases, they are easily bypassed by cracker groups and released for free on torrents. Since The Witcher 2 was released without DRM, because the company said that the security does more harm than good to the legitimate customers, it was praised for its foresight and good intentions. However, later on, in a bid to stop rampant piracy and deter future pirates, CD Projekt started tracking “pirates” in Germany with their IP addresses and sent letters threatening legal action unless they give an atrocious amount (around $1180) as a fine for downloading their game illegally. This did not sit well with a lot of gamers and they took up the issue with the Polish developer itself.
Retracting the complaints recently, studio co-founder Marcin Iwinski said to the fans:
“Being part of a community is a give-and-take process. We only succeed because you have faith in us, and we have worked hard over the years to build up that trust. We were sorry to see that many gamers felt that our actions didn’t respect the faith that they have put into CD Projekt RED.
Not bad at all, CDPR! I was about to lose faith in humanity!
I have sufficiently managed to create a large amount of hatred (from my Twitter followers) for The Witcher 2 just by tweeting about it every single day. I cannot help it. The closer the game gets to release day, the more my intensity for the game grows. It is looking fantastic and promises to be the best role playing game this year (and I am making this statement knowing full well that Bethesda is developing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim).
There are quite a number of reasons why this sequel promises to be the best RPG this year. For one where other developers pushed into the limelight after a cracking introductory game try to make the sequel more presentable and less controversial, CD Projekt Red have made sure that there is no dilution to The Witcher. The world of The Witcher is still in many shades of gray with racism, sexism and controversial quests with no correctsolutions as well as strange characters who tread way beyond our moral upbringing (such as the King who has an incestuous relationship with his daughter, but is an extremely just and kind-hearted father otherwise). The main character himself gets laid way too many times throughout the original game (and perhaps this one as well).
In celebration of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings‘ release on GOG.com (CD Projekt Red’s sister company), the site has launched a two-week sale of the original game for the mind-numbingly low price of $5. Pre-ordering The Witcher 2 costs $44.99, so both the games together cost about $50. Not bad, considering you will be getting to know about a real dark-fantasy world full of parallels to our own world.
In case you did not know both the prices are for the digital download version of the DRM-free games. Yes, even The Witcher 2 is available DRM-free only on GOG.com, and it releases on the 17th of May. Go buy!