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CD Projekt RED slams loot crates: "We'll leave the greed to others."

EA has temporarily removed Battlefront II's premium currency, pending "changes" to the systems that incentivize paying for advantages over other players. Many have noted that they could simply return later on after the game's launch, in a cynical attempt by EA to downplay negative press.

Still, the issue of loot crates and premium currency in full priced "AAA" games isn't going away. As games get increasingly expensive to make, developers are looking towards other sources of revenue for growth, most notably in paid crates that offer you a "chance" to get a cool item, similarly to slot machines in casinos and other gambling establishments.

One developer that took a firm stance against predatory practices early on was CD Projekt RED, who pledged over a dozen free pieces of DLC for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, shipping gargantuan expansions for relatively low prices. With their next hotly anticipated title, Cyberpunk 2077, getting ever closer, many fans were wondering whether CD Projekt RED would succumb to the loot crate craze for that game as well. So far, it doesn't look like it.

Replying on Twitter, CD Projekt RED said that Cyberpunk 2077 will be an "honest" gaming experience like The Witcher 3. The studio also said they will leave "greed to others," seemingly taking a swipe at EA.

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Cyberpunk 2077 is an upcoming sci-fi RPG from CD Projekt RED. The project is shrouded in mystery, but it's expected to be even larger than The Witcher 3, as CD Projekt RED continues to push the boundaries of RPG expectations.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt remains our pick for the best game on Xbox One today, and it's discounted for Black Friday right now. You really, really should buy it, especially since CD Projekt RED is one of the few AAA developers taking a stand against EA's manipulative premium currency systems.

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Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

33 Comments
  • Good move, that is why i buy their games with no regrets while is been almost two years from my last purchase from EA or Activision.
  • Yeah. I am boycotting ea too. Plenty of other games out there to play. Don't need their games. Besides, if they are not making the roi on their games and need ways to make more money maybe they should trim some fat they don't need. If I recall project RED probably makes just as good of returns and isn't implementing bs stunts like this. 
  • The real problem is that EA is not the only one doing it. Microsoft, Activision, Ubisoft, Warner bros... I think it's more about boycotting individual games rather than a whole company. Companies should know what is been boycotted and why. What Cd projekt said just confirms that this IS NOT a necessity. I've read many company "fans" trying to defend this by saying it's a necessity. That is rubbish that EA and these MAJOR RICH companies want people to believe... 
  • @Guest_aotf Except it is a necessity, or it is according to the capitalistic economic model. EA is a for-profit company, so there is no such thing as a large enough ROI! Not only is it EA's job to earn money... it is their legal obligation towards their investors (the whole idea behind capitalism). More money is always a necessity, because for a corporation, there is no such thing as "enough". Even if 10% of the potential customers boycot the product in protest, if EA's business practices allow for the remaining 90% to spend more, and surpass the difference, then EA will have been completely justified. The only thing that will change this practice is for a large enough group of potential customers to take a principled stand and stick with it, so it clearly hurts EA's bottom line. Knowing humanity, I don't see that heppening anytime soon. I've worked with a few companies who have turned answering this question into an optimization-theory art-form: How many consumers can we afford to piss off, in our attempt to get all remaining consumers to pay top-dollar, in the interest of maximizing overall profits. A product or service is worth whatever you can get someone else to pay you for it. If you don't have a certain number of potential customers complaining or turning their backs on you, then you're doing it wrong.
  • Well, I think that even in a capitalistic economic there is always something called consumer satisfaction and even more when it comes to a complicated target market like gamers.
    There is also something called trying to keep the industry alive and a sustainable business model.  Not all these companies implement these practices. A positive image is also important in any business.
    You want to talk about the market? EA's share dropped by quite a lot recently.
    Gamers not being happy makes a load enough noice. Media talks about it. Partners like Disney or even Sony are pissed and very soon investors will not be happy. And they will just leave. The problem here is that I don't think they are ******* 10% of gamers but a whole lot more.
    They were made to first drop the price in a pathetic attempt to show that they were listening. And then they were force to remove this crap altogether. (even though it'll probably come again) It's not a necessity because other companies who are ALSO in this capitalistic economic world don't do it. You know, big companies can also get things wrong. In 2013, MS totally screwed up and had to reverse most of their anti-gaming policies probably because the pre orders were not up there or to have a better image. Many companies had to reverse policies because they tried to maximize profit and they failed
    A positive image is so important in gaming. That's why I'm saying I hope all these companies look at what's happening and think twice before trying to piss 10% of gamers to maximize profit.
  • @Guest_aotf, perfectly said -- a5cent is correct in the drivers (companies have an obligation to return value to their shareholders), but they can't do that as well if they lose goodwill and a material share of of the market. In fact, if you look at companies who are moving toward green manufacturing and other changes that superficially may appear to cost them money, it's the same thing. They calculate they will ultimately see higher customer loyalty, satisfaction, and sales by "going green." I'm a big fan of CD Projekt Red's games and their anti-microtransaction stance. But I'd also like to think that's helping them gain customers (like me) and make more money, so I don't really like their leaving "greed to others" comment. "Greed" drives a lot of good. Or, to put it another way, by we customers voting with our wallets for the practices we support, we make sure that the "corporate greed" works for us.
  • You can't forget CDProjekt Red is in a different situation. They recive money from their government to ensure they are kept afloat. While I have an opinion that money can be made elsewhere by companies like EA, I don't believe that CD Projekt Red is a good example of proof of it.
  • I think it's more GOG that keeps them afloat more than any government subsidies. They're more like Valve in that aspect in that their online store is the cash cow. The only difference is CD Projekt Red still makes story driven and single player games.
  • @Axmantim Wasn't the $7m given for r&d in projects that will lead to growth in the Polish videogames industry? That's not quite money to keep them afloat. Also 7m in this industry is not huge. 
  • Wow What a response CD Projekt RED!!! I'm so grateful that there are still sutdios like this in this gaming industry... I hope EA, Microsoft, Ubisoft and other companies are listening and taking note... Think twice before implementing microtransactions/loot boxes in full price games. There may be few supid company "fans" who will support it, but I believe majority of people don't think it's good for gaming and will rather support "honest" games company than greedy *****.
  • Good job. Gaming how it should be. I think prices for AAA titles could easily be fairly priced around $99. Provided there are no in-app purchases that make the game easier. I remember paying $60 for AAA titles over 20 years ago so I'm pretty surprised that they are still priced the same now.
  • Actually, they cost 99$
    They sell 80% of the game for 60$ and a season pass with the rest of the game for 39$
  • Exactly.
  • Not every AAA title comes with a season pass though. Quite a few are still single player only.
  • Most games have DLC. It's rare not to see a game with DLC. I think it became an industry standard because gamers accepted that it was added optional content and the "base" game cost $60. We got to also remember that many games by these bigger publishers also have silver/golden/dayone/ultimate... edition. "Get the game late if you don't pay", Exclusive deals with retailers for special edition, marketing deals with console makers, product placement and in-game advertisement... These companies keep finding ways to make more money...
  • Well, why doesn't movie industry get such a problem? The quality is increasing and prices in movie theatres don't raise. Why japanese game developers does not have this problem? The problem somewhy exists only for game developers and only in US and China.
  • @Boris Gavrikov, just on the prices of movies comment -- movie prices have been going up faster than the rate of inflation for many years. Stupidly, they charge the same price for an expensive blockbuster, like the upcoming Star Wars movie, as for a sub $1M-to-make indie film. That's an error (from a long-term marketing perspective) that will ultimately hurt the industry. It's based on the payment model between theaters and studios and further fed by the limited number of screens at any given theater, but in any case, the prices for movies have definitely been increasing.
  • Somebody, should tell Gameloft about this.
    They are one of the worst pay to win, game providers...
  • I know but it's mobile gaming, can't really complain much, its free.
  • You are really complaining about free games now? This has nothing to do with pay to win in paid games.
  • Those are free to play games. So, fair game, no?
  • I think you're mixing up few things.  These are free2play games so not the same as EA who are doing the same thing after charging $60-100. What EA is doing is pay2pay2play. I agree there are some "fair" f2p games and there are **** up f2p games but it's a totally different topic.
  • Not fighting any war, but the dev cost (team size) of a mobile f2p is very different than those AAA tho...
  • terra is right.  the rise of f2p mobile games like gameloft to farmville is the reason the rest of the gaming industry are copying this format.  it is like gambling, and people who keeps buying those farmville cards in walmart or any online games like club penguin keeps coming back.  its addiction.  games shouldnt be this way.  f2p are long term games, but games like bf2 or ea games shuts their servers down so u can buy their new games after.  the root def started from mobile games.  it was never like this in the early 2k.  now its out of control.
  • Based on what? It's greed, pure and simple, that's what CD projekt are pointing out. EA aren't don't down on their luck little indie Dev just doing what they have to to make ends meet... They're a giant company that's just trying to squeeze every penny they can. They could easily charge $40 for these games and still make a healthy profit.
  • CD Projekt also gets govt grants. I don't think games need to be $120, but there does need to be an increase based on inflation alone.
  • here's an old news.
    http://www.zaikei.co.jp/article/20120629/107045.html
    A game from 38 Studios (capital was $50m dollar) sold more than 1.2m copies in 90 days went bankrupt.
    Balance point was 3m copies.
    Studio was created in 2006, game released in FEB 2012, June 2012 the studio went bankrupt. Game development certainly won't go cheaper and cheaper & gamers expect big names to pump out bigger & better games... There are also investments that might not pan out (e.g. Assassin's Creed's dynamic animation and path finding AI, etc) in the end. Designer and planner still need to work even if features' (programming) not ready right? What if the features' just not possible? Too computational costly on current-gen-HW? Need to cut features? Years of designers & planners work need a re-do? Will you chose to postponed the deadline, 200, 300 employees for another few more years?You cannot expect bigger company to operate like a smaller studio.
  • Playing devil's advocate for a second: it should probably be noted that CD Projekt Red can develop games for cheaper than other AAA Devs because they are in Poland. All the same, bravo to them. The Witcher 3 was one of the best games I've ever played and I'm always impressed at how respectfully they treat their audience.
  • Poland is far from being the cheapest place in the world. Of course it's not San Francisco but still much more expensive then countries like Bulgaria.
  • Hmm..... Cars cost about the same with new tech, Tvs with new tech the same or lower. Games with new tech higher?!.... Hmm... Screw EA. Long live projekt red!!!
  • I'd assume automation and improved production techniques keep the costs down in non-creative industries.
  • Not only the SW Battlefront, the new NFS game is also a dull, repetitive grindfest, trying to persuade the gamer to take a paid shortcut to the premium cars and upgrades. When I bought Forza Motorsport 7, I could have the most expensive car in the game fully upgraded after just few hours of (joyous) playing. NFS comapred to that looks and plays like a freemium title.
  • no one gave huge outcry about GTA5 microtransactions.  CDPR could easily do an open world game with that kind of implementation