The Witcher 2 has been quite a sleeper hit this year selling over 1 million copies worldwide with an Xbox 360 version of the game coming in 2012.
In an interview with PC Gamer, CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwinski, estimated that The Witcher 2 was pirated about 4.5 million times.
“I was checking regularly the number of concurrent downloads on torrent aggregating sites, and for the first 6-8 weeks there was around 20-30 thousand people downloading it at the same time. Let’s take 20 thousand as the average and let’s take 6 weeks.”
“The game is 14GB, so let’s assume that on an average not-too-fast connection it will be 6 hours of download. 6 weeks is 56 days, which equals to 1344 hours; and with 6 hours of average download time to get the game it would give us 224 downloads, then let’s multiply it by 20 thousand simultaneous downloaders.”
“The result is roughly 4.5 million illegal downloads. This is only an estimation, and I would say that’s rather on the optimistic side of things; as of today we have sold over 1 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.”
Even so, he claims DRM doesn’t really work. “Whatever we used was cracked within a day or two, massively copied and immediately available on the streets for a fraction of our price.”
He cites the real issue is, how can they get gamers to buy the legit versions of their games. One of the ways they tackled this was by offering high-end production items. In the case of The Witcher 2, they offered in-game items, a soundtrack, and making-of DVD to make it worth the players while.