During an interview with IGN, CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwinski announced that they will release all 16 expansion packs of DLC for Witcher 3 for free. Their reasoning for offering free DLC? “Because they paid full price for our game. We owe them.” CD Projekt Red was hoping to make a statement with this move that states that you don’t have to put a price tag on something small after spending the full $60 for the game. Given their status after their successful bout with the Witcher 2 release, is this the best time to make this move for the follow up to Witcher 2?
All of the 16 expansions that they’re planning to release aren’t that big. Their DLC packs range from having a beard/hairstyle set to more quests. Given that it’s one of the most anticipated titles for this year, and that none of the DLC isn’t big enough to warrant a price tag (at least according Iwinski), it may not be a bad time to start the free small DLC movement. Not everyone is thrilled by the idea of paying $5-$10 just to have more armor or more options for facial hair. This is certainly a generous move on CD Projekt Red’s part for them to put in some extra time to provide content that they won’t earn a dime from. This could potentially gain faith from their loyal fans, while also netting new players.
Will this have a big effect on the gaming industry for years to come? It may not be likely, as other big name studios like EA Games are used to adding price tags to their DLC/expansion packs for their games, regardless of the size of DLC. Given CD Project Red’s status though, it may have a ripple effect on other studios. Keeping players’ wallets in their pockets for DLC is certainly a nice way to earn brownie points from the fans. This may be looking a bit too far ahead, but there will certainly be developers who will pick up on this act and start following on that example at some point after the release of the DLC.
However, it may not matter much as far as pirating as concerned. Having a $60 price tag for the game is good enough motivation for a good amount of pirates who want to play the game for nothing. However, it may deter some like they hoped. Given that all of that DLC would cost around about a total of $30 or more.
There is one way to find out for sure if this move will have an effect on developers as well as other players who are looking to play Witcher 3. Let’s wait until its release on May 19th.