4.5 million pirated copies of Witcher 2 out there, according to CD Projekt

Polish developer CD Projekt claims that its Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has been pirated more times since release than you might have expected. In a recent interview with PC Gamer, CEO Marcin Iwinski does some quick back-of-the-hand calculations according to what he saw on illegal downloading sites, and comes up with 4.5 million copies of the game obtained illegally. He also says, however, that "as of today we have sold over one million legal copies, so having only 4.5-5 illegal copies for each legal one would be not a bad ratio."

He then suggests "the reality is probably way worse." Still, CD Projekt isn't interested in digital rights management, and Iwinski says that it would cause more trouble for legally paying gamers than it would stop any piracy. The solution, he says, is to both add value to buying games legally, and educate users about why it's the right thing to do.

"We started offering high value with the product -- like enhancing the game with additional collectors' items like soundtracks, making-of DVDs, books, walkthroughs, etc.," he says. "This, together with a long process of educating local gamers about why it makes sense to actually buy games legally, worked. And today, we have a reasonably healthy games market." Iwinski's got a point -- it's often an easier battle just selling more legal copies of a game (by providing a better value to customers) than preventing would-be pirates from beating even oppressive DRM.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.