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The Witcher 2 Aussie censorship dodged on GOG

It's Witcher Fun Day at GOG, with the original up for $5 and a tech tweak which coincidentally lets Aussies get its sequel uncensored.

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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.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 10, 2011 7:00 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, The Witcher 2 Aussie censorship dodged on GOG.

    It's Witcher Fun Day at GOG, with the original up for $5 and a tech tweak which coincidentally lets Aussies get its sequel uncensored.

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      May 10, 2011 7:18 AM

      CPR are so cool :D

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      May 10, 2011 7:31 AM

      Oh my oh my oh my.. that is brilliant.

      Steam, take note! You could just *ask* us where we are. We won't lie, honestly.. It's not like we are a nation of criminals you know ;-)

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        May 10, 2011 9:34 AM

        exactly. I hate this geo-IP thing. if you live in a country where games are either often censored or don't come out at all: you're screwed. if your country has stupid copyright regulations or whatnot and you want to watch music videos on youtube: you're screwed.

        I love that GoG doesn't do this and also PSN (R.I.P.) only needs a real address and you're good to go.

        it just doesn't feel right when you're locked out of content that does no harm to anyone simply because of the location you happen to be in geographically.

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      May 10, 2011 7:53 AM

      Doesn't this also affect regions where the game might not be available at all? I remember having a hard time buying M-rated games on Steam in Japan.

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      May 10, 2011 7:53 AM

      Good choice to ditch SecuROM, what a total POS that was to deal with.

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      May 10, 2011 7:54 AM

      Definitely has nothing to do with Australia...
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/05/10/er-australia-gog-drops-geo-ip-check/

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      May 10, 2011 8:19 AM

      They'll sell a few million copies in Australia alone just so Aussies can stick it to the man.

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      May 10, 2011 9:42 AM

      FUCK CD Project and GOG! Stop knowing what we want, we'll give you money anyway! I'll just buy the witcher again to replace my retail purchase and preorder witcher2 tonight! *Sigh* =D

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      May 10, 2011 10:07 AM

      I love this! Its one big "FUCK YOU!" to censorship.

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      May 10, 2011 10:44 AM

      In a completely unrelated story, all GOG customers from Australia appear to have moved out of the country overnight.

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        May 10, 2011 10:45 AM

        They're going to stop marketing things for the Australian market due to this.

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      May 10, 2011 1:01 PM

      These are *exactly* the kind of reasons why I give them my money.

      I'm gonna throw my wallet at them

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      May 10, 2011 1:23 PM

      why is aussie so gung ho in the censorship department? I mean is nudity that bad that they must censor it for everyone? the game is rated m

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        May 10, 2011 1:26 PM

        There is no R18+ rating, so games that don't fit into an M15+ category get barred for entry. As I posted in the other thread ( http://shacknews.com/laryn.x?id=25860882 ) it rarely has a huge effect on the content of games.

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          May 10, 2011 1:27 PM

          no r18+ rating for games, I should say. Movies have no problems whatsoever. It's a bizarre holdover where the law just hasn't caught up to reality.

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        May 10, 2011 1:27 PM

        If I were down under I'd wave my dick at the nearest politician in protest

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          May 10, 2011 1:35 PM

          I hear there's just one politician holding the whole thing up (since (I also hear) it stupidly requires a unanimous vote somewhere)

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            May 10, 2011 1:50 PM

            That's not really correct anymore. Michael Atkinson was the Attorney General for South Australia who was dead against the introduction of the rating regardless of what was said. I even wrote him personally and got a rambling reply full of rubbish about protecting the children. Australian gamers ran a candidate against him in the last election and managed to syphon a few percent off his vote count, he still won but resigned as attorney general.

            The new Victorian Attorney General, Robert Clark, has signaled that he doesn't like the idea of an R18+ rating for video games, but we don't know how he'll vote yet. It has long bee suspected that a few attorney generals were against the rating but hid behind Atkinson, I guess we'll find out in July.

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            May 10, 2011 2:02 PM

            That's not really correct anymore. Michael Atkinson was the Attorney General for South Australia who was dead against the introduction of the rating regardless of what was said. I even wrote him personally and got a rambling reply full of rubbish about protecting the children. Australian gamers ran a candidate against him in the last election and managed to syphon a few percent off his vote count, he still won but resigned as attorney general.

            The new Victorian Attorney General, Robert Clark, has signaled that he doesn't like the idea of an R18+ rating for video games, but we don't know how he'll vote yet. It has long bee suspected that a few attorney generals were against the rating but hid behind Atkinson, I guess we'll find out in July.

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        May 10, 2011 1:35 PM

        We have a lobby group in here called the Australian Christian Lobby who puts pressure on the Australian Government to treat us all like children. This is despite there being unprecedented support for the rating in a public consultation chaired by the government (over 95%). A paper petition campaign run by gaming stores attracted the highest number of signatures in a petition ever submitted to the government.

        The "R18+ Rating for Video Games" matter is set to be decided at the Standing Committee for Attorney Generals this July, in matters such as these it needs to be a unanimous decision. At the moment it looks to be a bit up in the air as Victoria has a new conservative Attorney General who may block the decision. Several states has indicated that they may go it alone and introduce an R18+ rating, this is only the first step though as it also has to pass through the federal parliament.

        As you can see, we're not "gung ho" about censorship, we're trying very hard to change this but we're being blocked by a bad system of attorney generals and one very loud religious lobby group.

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