The Witcher 2 Aussie censorship dodged on GOG

By Alice O'Connor, May 10, 2011 7:00am PDT

With the release of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings fast approaching, Good Old Games--the sibling of developer of CD Projekt RED--is having a fun day of Witcher-related merriment. Along with beginning pre-loading and launching a DRM-free $5 version of the original, it's made a small technical tweak which, surely by coincidence, will help Australians dodge the sequel's censorship.

The most interesting bit of Witcher action today is the one which initially seems entirely unrelated--GOG announced that it will no longer use IP addresses to determine where a user 'is.' This will supposedly help those who are abroad when they make a purchase or whose location is determined incorrectly by the Geo-IP database, as well as respecting user privacy by not tracking un-needed data.

"We only need to know the country that you're making this purchase from, so although we originally planned to use geo-IP to determine user's location, we've decided to trust our users and let them inform us as to the correct region for their purchase," GOG said in the announcement.

Handily, as Rock, Paper, Shotgun pointed out, this will also allow Australians to acquire the uncensored version of The Witcher 2, simply by lying about where they are. GOG all but confirmed this on Twitter, saying that "We think RPS has figured it out." Surely that's only an unfortunate side-effect, though, which no government or law could rightly contend.

The Australian version of The Witcher 2 has been censored, thanks to the country's absurd refusal to create an 'adults only' rating for video games. The censorship is very slight, with only one scene changed--rather than being able to choose for Geralt to engage in sexual relations with a lady as a quest reward, the White Wolf is instead forced to give her one. Still, it's the principle of the thing.

Should you happen to be in Australia right now--say, on a business trip to secure a large order of kangaroo scrotum coin purses for your novelty gift shop which is definitely not in Australia--make sure that your GOG profile accurately reflects the non-Australian country in which you dwell, or you won't receive the true version of The Witcher 2.

In more conventionally exciting news, today also saw the promised DRM-free GOG release of the original The Witcher, the original. It launched at $4.99, thanks to a 50% discount that'll be offered until May 24.

Meanwhile, The Witcher 2 will begin preloading on GOG today through its fancy new download. Only the GOG version is DRM-free, with SecuROM being used in all other editions. The game is set to launch on May 17.

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