VG247: CD Projekt Red recently suggested that DLC should be free. What is your view of on-disc DLC that is there from day one and overpriced content? How would you see the method of DLC delivery handled – theoretically – if you had total power over it?
Not recently. We’ve always believed in free DLCs. The thing is that we consider DLCs as a normal post sale service, which shouldn’t be priced. Back when retail games were dominant, we had expansion packs. These were really large chunks of content, which were worth their price. If today’s DLCs offered the same amount of content, they would be worth paying for, but in most cases players think they are overcharged for what they receive. That’s why we offer expansions to our game for free. This is also a way of saying “thank you” to the people who decided to buy our game instead of copying it from an unauthorised source.
VG247: The free content market is growing rapidly however. What is your view on the free to play market and is this an area CD Projekt Red might explore further down the line. What positives and negatives do you currently see in this market?
You must remember that “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. Game devs have to earn a living and if a game is free to play, they have different options to get the money: micropayments, ads and so on. In general players are aware of this and I think as long as this doesn’t spoil their gameplay experience it’s OK. I can’t imagine pop out ads in a game where you have to immerse completely into the game world, but less serious titles can cope with that. That’s why I think that the “free” gaming model is not suited for all types of games. Every product should have its own way to earn money without tampering with the player’s experience.
VG247: You also posted a job listing for a multiplayer role – although I am respectful of the fact that this is purely a R&D role to explore new options – but how important is it for any studio to keep its options open in this way, and to seek out new potential? Is this process becoming harder as the industry gets more competitive?
Well we are always open to new options and experiment all the time. Sometimes it requires new R&D staff, but with the world moving forward so fast, we have to keep our minds open and try out new ideas. Some gameplay elements get old and players quickly get used to innovations. Sure, not all the new features get into the game, but research is very important and always has a positive impact on the final products quality.