The Witness Is Being Pirated a Lot, Dev Says


The Witness, the next game from Braid creator Jonathan Blow, is suffering from widespread piracy on PC that’s so problematic that it could impact developer Thekla’s ability to make another game. That’s according Blow, who spoke about piracy and DRM in a series of tweets recently.

“It seems The Witness is the #1 game on a certain popular torrent site,” Blow said without naming the specific site. “Unfortunately, this will not help us afford to make another game! :(“

Someone suggested to Blow that The Witness’ $40 price tag might have led people to pirate it. However, Blow said Braid, which cost $15 at launch, was pirated “just as heavily.” Another person said if Blow had released a demo for The Witness, piracy levels might have been lower.

Blow didn’t agree. “False,” Blow said. “Braid had a demo, was still pirated like crazy.”

It is unclear what form of DRM The Witness is using, if any at all, but it’s not Denuvo. That protection system is used in games like Rise of the Tomb Raider and Just Cause 3–and it could make it into Blow’s next game.

“That might happen on the next game, I don’t know!” Blow said. “I don’t like DRM because I think people should have the freedom to own things.”

The upside to people pirating The Witness is that the game will reach more people, Blow said, though there are of course downsides as well.

I’m glad that a lot more people will be experiencing the game! But I also want to be able to make another comparable game next! Just sayin’.

— Jonathan Blow (@Jonathan_Blow) January 28, 2016

For more on The Witness, check out GameSpot’s review and some other recent news stories below.

  • The Witness Is Even Harder for Color Blind and Hearing-Impaired Gamers
  • The Witness Dev Working on Fix for Reported Motion Sickness Problems