It’s all a bit he-said, she-said
Well ain’t this a clusterfuck? GameSpot has reported that CD Projekt Red struck out against game selling site Green Man Gaming, claiming that the codes of The Witcher 3 they’re supplying didn’t come from CD Projekt Red. This would mean CD Projekt won’t see any of the money received from these sales, and so they are asking people to “not buy via [Green Man Gaming]” at this time.
At first, people around the Internet were questioning whether GMG had gone rogue and become a shady grey-market key reseller, and so a statement by GMG CEO Paul Sulyok attempts to clarify the situation. Unfortunately in doing so, it opens up a whole new can of worms:
“Green Man Gaming (GMG) has an official contract with, and has been an approved retailer of CD Projekt S.A. (CDPR) products since 11th August 2011. Following a 6 month dialogue with CDPR about the launch of The Witcher 3, we were disappointed that despite the offer of significant cash advances, and other opportunities to officially work together, (we even offered to fly to Poland to discuss in detail how we could and wanted to support this launch), CDPR chose not to engage with a number of significant, reputable, and successful retailers, including ourselves, as they instead focused on supporting their own platform GOG.
We at GMG sincerely believe in getting games to gamers, and offering them a range of buying options to suit their preferences is critically important to this industry; we often go above corporate profits and commercial gain to make this happen. We, like millions of customers, are huge fans of The Witcher series, and have been eager for the launch of this amazing title. We believe that CDPR’s desire to support their own platform by working with retail outlets that would not conflict with their own is greater than that of meeting the demands of their audience, therefore we made the decision to indirectly secure the product and deliver it to our customers. To do this, we reached out to third parties and retailers that were approved by CDPR, to legitimately pass these keys onto our customers. This means that at some point, revenue has been passed directly onto CDPR, and any additional discount on the title is absorbed by us, as we want as many people enjoying The Witcher 3 as possible.
We would heartily welcome a renewed dialogue with CDPR, and are keen to continue to not only support the launch of The Witcher 3, but to keep celebrating and bringing the whole catalogue of CDPR titles to a worldwide audience, as we have done since 2011.”
So to simplify it: CD Projekt Red supplied keys to a limited amount of “approved retailers” (of which GMG had been since August 2011), who then supplied their keys to Green Man Gaming.
Considering the recent launch of the GOG Galaxy open beta, it might be that CDPR want The Witcher 3 as their bargaining chip for GOG to have a bigger presence in digital distribution, while also still wanting people to be able to get it on Steam because well… Steam’s big. CDPR haven’t commented on GMG’s statement yet, unfortunately.
It’s all very odd and a little bit confusing. Green Man Gaming has been in business since 2011, and is a verified reseller of every other game it sells, however this could be the sign of something not so great going on over there. On the other hand, it could also be a sign of happenings at CD Projekt Red. Either way it doesn’t look good for people who bought The Witcher 3 from GMG. We don’t know what will happen, if anything, to copies purchased from there just yet.