The Witcher 2 pre-order details and DRM-free GOG deal

CD Projekt RED’s live conference gave a lot of information about The Witcher 2: where to pre-order, what pre-order bonuses are available, and a confirmation of the Collector’s Edition details previously leaked by Gamestop.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings will have two editions. The Retail Premium Edition will be the “normal” one, and comes with a lot more than most other “standard editions” do. Included are a bonus “Making of” DVD, soundtrack DVD, manual, game guide, map, a pamphlet representation of an in-game item, a coin, and two papercraft sheets. This version will retail for $49.95, £34.95 or €49,95.

A Digital Premium Edition will have all of the above, in digital form. Except for the coin. Papercraft sheets will apparently be printable.

The Collector’s Edition will come in a giant box containing everything from the Premium Edition and more. A special DLC Jacket that boosts Geralt’s swordfighting techniques, a big computer generated sculpture of Geralt’s head, a 200 page hardcover artbook with glossy pages, three stickers, and a deck of Witcher 2 themed playing cards. While they didn’t announce a price, we’ve gotten confirmation that for the U.S. it will be $129.95 and will only be available at GameSpot and Amazon.

Pre-order bonuses are varied and will have DLC deals depending on the retailer. North America will have GameStop and Amazon.com, The UK will have HMV and Amazon.co.uk. Germany will have GameStop and Amazon.de. France will have Fnac and Amazon.fr. New partners and retailer-specific deals for bonus content will be announced as the release date comes closer. Read on for some of the more interesting digital distribution deals.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings will be available worldwide on May 17th.

Steam pre-orders will have 10% off the retail price for the Digital Premium Edition and will have the standard Steamcloud saves and achievements. Prices after 10% off are $44,95, £31.49 and €44,95 respectively. Pre-order bonuses have not been announced yet.

GOG.com will have the same price as Steam, but will offer a completely DRM-free version! While CD Projekt RED said in the conference that they would love to provide a DRM-free game for every outlet, they can’t do that. A guy from GOG then came on stage to say that they, on the other hand, can and will do just that. Oh, and that they don’t like treating customers like criminals. Burn. But I guess they do like to joke about GOG closing down and to then do a mea culpa video afterwards, wearing monk robes?

Ordering from GOG not only gives you the DRM-free version, but also gives you one of five free classic RPGs to choose from: Gothic 2 Gold, Realms of Arkania 1 + 2 (counts as one game), Realms of Arkania 3, Divine Divinity, or Beyond Divinity. You also get four songs that didn’t make it into the full game’s soundtrack, 10 avatars for GOG.com forums, 10 HD wallpapers, and a photo tour of the CD Projekt RED offices. If you pre-order at GOG you’re also supposed to get all of the bonus content immediately, but you don’t have to pay until release date. Nice!

What sweatens the deal for Europeans is that you pay the same price as you do on Steam, but the difference between the actual price in euros and dollars gets compensated in the form of GOG.com credit. That amounts to $16 in credit, which you can use on things like Baldur’s Gate 2 and whatnot. UK people will get $6 in credit. A bit less useful, but it’s the thought that counts.

So, basically you can choose between the same price at Steam or GOG, but GOG gives you a lot more while you pay later. Probably because it’s a sister company of CD Projekt RED.

The rest of the live conference showed a demo of a gameplay segment that CD Projekt RED already showed at Eurogamer Expo. The only newsworthy thing I heard from this demo presentation was that NPCs will be tougher in The Witcher 2 compared to the previous game.

If you missed our impressions last month, you can click here for that and here for Conrad’s impressions from back in June.

[Update: The official site lists all DLC pre-order bonuses per store/region/country if you scroll down]

Maurice Tan