Hotline Miami Developer Embraces Pirates

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Hotline Miami Developer Embraces Pirates


The makers of Hotline Miami have asked pirates to update torrents of the game when the first patch is released.

So you're a struggling indie game developer and you've just released your first game through a relatively well-known publisher to widespread critical acclaim, yet despite the fact that it's only ten bucks there are still jerks out there who insist on pirating it. What do you do? You could get mad, I suppose, or you could get even. Or you could nip over to the Pirate Bay, give them a few ideas on how to work around bugs and ask them to update the torrent when the patch becomes available.

That's what Hotline Miami developer Jonatan Soderstrom did in response to complaints that some torrents of the game aren't running properly. "Hey there! I'm Jonatan Soderstrom, me and my friend Dennis Wedin made this game," he wrote. "We're working on an update that hopefully will take care of any/all bugs, and we'll try to do some extra polish in the next few days. Would be great if you could update the torrent when the patch is out! It'd be great if people get to play it without any bugs popping up."

He also offered a possible workaround for a common startup bug, provided links to the Microsoft VS distributable and 360 controller drivers for Windows and then later made note of a new patch on GOG and Steam that clears up a number of bugs. "If possible update the torrent and description with these links and the new build. I want anyone who plays the game to be able to enjoy it without stupid bugs that detract from the experience," he wrote. "Feel free to buy it if you like the game. It would help allowing me and Dennis to make more 'big' projects like this in the future."

Explaining his magnanimity on Twitter [https://twitter.com/cactusquid], Soderstrom said, "I don't really want people to pirate Hotline Miami, but I understand if they do. I've been broke the last couple of months. It sucks. And I definitely want people to experience the game the way it's meant to be experienced. No matter how they got a hold of it."

That's a pretty solid dude right there, folks. Pirate the game if you must, but it's $9.99 on GOG [http://store.steampowered.com/app/219150/]. You can't go too wrong at that price.

Source: PC Gamer [http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/7754991/Hotline.Miami.v1.0.cracked-THETA]



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cerebus23

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Very cool and very funny.

He is a realist i suppose, and heck with that attitude he will probably get major "cred" on the scene i suppose.
 

The Lunatic

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Very good of him, I know pirates aren't really a popular people to be human to, but, it really works in your favour if you do, they're people too and a lot of times are interested in supporting a game if it's worth supporting.

However, you should definitely just buy the game outright and obviously, you do not have permission to just pirate it.
 

Earthmonger

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Feb 10, 2009
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I know you need to cite sources, but linking directly to a torrent of the game sort of promotes the piracy of it. Just saying. Isn't there a Warez policy?
 

Zombie_Moogle

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Could be he's trying to earn that kind of "people's dev" reputation & publicly bad-mouthing EA just don't cut it anymore, but I feel it's worth noting that his game is available on GOG, which is adamantly anti-DRM; could actually be a man of principles. Rare gem
 

Fappy

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That is pretty cool. It's practical as well. The more people exposed to a perfectly working version of your game the better your chances of them being a future customer.
 

Toilet

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So it's okay to pirate this now right, we have an official endorsement.

Rev up those torrents!
 

Entitled

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While I do believe that this is the future, people openly acknowledging that pirates gonna pirate, and just add a "feel free to buy it if you like the game" note hoping that enough true fans choose to pay anyways, the number of free slots for people who can boost their sales by getting into the news with it, is shrinking.

This practice is becoming so common, that they need to prepare for a future where no one will pat them on the shoulder for treating all of their audience as respectable people, it will be just business as usual.
 

Andy Chalk

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Earthmonger said:
I know you need to cite sources, but linking directly to a torrent of the game sort of promotes the piracy of it.
I like to think that I balanced the scales by calling people who actually pirate this game "jerks."
 

Entitled

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I think, the writer Cory Doctorow describe this kind of attitude to publishing the best in an open letter at the end of his YA post-cyberpunk novel Pirate Cinema, that's e-book he also optionally distributed for free.

Cory Doctorow said:
I've been giving away free ebooks since February 4, 2003. When I
plunged into it, I wasn't entirely sure it would work. I held my breath for about two days.
Then my publisher told me the hardcover was selling briskly, and they were delighted with
the book's performance, and I let it all out in a whoosh.
Three years later, I quit my day-job to write full time. Two years after that, I had a daughter.
Two years after that, my wife quit her job to launch a startup. Now I'm basically the sole
supplier of income to my little family in central London. We have modest needs, and we do
very well, to be perfectly frank. My books sell well, all over the world, and get licensed for
audio, for dramatic adaptation, and film, as well as tons of translations. We've got money
in the bank, we're putting away some for our retirement, and we're crossing our fingers for
Alice's cool startup.
There's a good chance that you can't afford to buy this book. There's a chance that you
-- like so many people today -- have no work, or not enough. You might have a family like
mine, but you might be finishing up your month with nothing extra to put away. You might
be finishing up the month with not enough, and trying to stretch a few bucks further than a
few bucks can possibly be stretched.
Or you might be a student or recent grad struggling with loans -- and don't I know what a
scam that is! Or you might just be down on your luck.
If that's the case, don't worry about it. This one's on me. Get me when you can. And if you
can't, that's OK, too. Hang in there
 

DrunkOnEstus

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May 11, 2012
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What a classy, solid dude. If you notice in the link cited, most people there are rallying behind him and insisting that others buy it, either through Steam or GOG. I won't try to promote piracy, or say it's justified or whatever because it is wrong, but I will say that one downloaded torrent is not necessarily a sale that wasn't made. If there's no demo, some people are okay with downloading it this way to see if it's worthy of their 10 bucks (again NOT an endorsement).

What he's doing is actually great PR. He's recognizing that pirates are human too, and that he can relate to financial struggle and wants everyone playing to enjoy it the best way possible. That's certainly going to score brownie points with the CDProject minded folks who are apt to purchase it because of the guy's attitude alone. It being on GOG with no DRM helps in that respect too. His postings on there got him news stories on this and other sites too, raising awareness of the game even further, so good for him. Stay classy, Jonathon.
 

Baresark

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I'm working on a game with a friend. My first thought was that I would personally leak it to torrent sites for exposure. And all the while adding to the NFO: "Hey, I made this game, if you like it, do me a favor and pay the asking price for it. Thanks!"

Funny story about dishonesty, by simply asking the people who steal it to pay will reduce theft rates significantly, or so studies suggest. Maybe the first time it starts I can simply ask people to affirm to themselves that if they like it they will eventually buy it.

Captcha: urban myth - we'll see!
 

swimon

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Andy Chalk said:
Hotline Miami Developer Embraces Pirates

So you're a struggling indie game developer and you've just released your first game through a relatively well-known publisher to widespread critical acclaim
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Nitpick I know but this is hardly Cactus's first game. He's been making them since at least 2005 and his website lists about 40 of them, although this is the first "big" one and the only one he's sold.
 

Entitled

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Blargh McBlargh said:
Andy Chalk said:
I like to think that I balanced the scales by calling people who actually pirate this game "jerks."
Not all pirates are jerks. :p

Some are just poor gamers, as Jonathan himself mentioned, trying to find a little escape from the pressure of daily life. Many of these type of pirates will buy games when they can actually afford it. No malice intended. :)
Also, some are well-off gamers, who already spend significant budget on buying games and supporting developers, but not particularly concerned about ALWAYS following the letter of the law.

The kind of people who download thousands of songs just for the sake of having a music library on their computer, or download a popular game that's genre they dislike just to have personal experience of a hotly debated scene, or download a movie just to use a few clips from it in a remix.

I guess you could compare that kind of pirates to people who violate some traffic rules when they re sure that it's safe.
 

Swyftstar

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It's good on him to relate to the people pirating who are broke and not hate on them for getting the game. I hope when those people do have ten bucks to spare they repay his generosity.