After Bizarre Piracy Snafu, Vampire Smile Heads To PC

By Nathan Grayson on June 7th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

This single screenshot contains every gross thing ever happening all at once. As far as I'm concerned, it deserves a place in the Louvre.

I’m not sure why anyone would name their stylishly gore-spattered, guitar-fueled beat-‘em-up The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, but I assume it involved refrigerator magnets and the world’s smartest catapult. Sadly, the 2011 XBLA brawler never made it to PC, and the skies wept crocodiles which then wept crocodile tears. Oh, and so did a Russian developer named Barabus. So naturally, he decided to crack the Xbox version and make his own unofficial PC port, because by his logic, creator Ska Studios wasn’t planning to make any money off a PC version anyway. Perfectly logical, right? At least, until you think about it for three seconds. Ska head James Silva isn’t angry, though. Not really. But the fact is, Barabus misjudged his intentions. He’s been wanting to make a PC port since day one.

Silva (sorta) announced the port in a blog post addressing all the drama surrounding the Barabus’ unofficial version.

“Porting Vampire Smile to PC as an enhanced Director’s Cut has been something I’ve been wanting to do since launch (I was calling it Georgelucasing until Michelle made me stop), and we had actually broached the subject with Microsoft last Friday, almost a week before this happened. Nothing’s set in stone, but we got the go ahead to make a pre-announcement: we’ll be working with Microsoft to bring our stuff to PC.”

Presumably, that means Vampire Smile is just the beginning. If we’re lucky, we’ll also get prequel The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai and the equally cheery sounding Charlie Murder.

So that’s exciting – at least, assuming Microsoft ends up letting the port(s) go through without any arbitrary Windows 8 shenanigans. Has anyone tried these on Xbox, though? Are they really worth all the fuss?

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43 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    They are a good crack actually, but sounds like they are going to be a Win8 only thing.

    Sigh

    • The_Hunter says:

      That’s a real bummer to hear. No amount of exclusive games will ever make me switch to Win8.

      More power to Barabus and crackers like him…there is absolutely no logical reason to not release a game on PC.

      • Dan says:

        I have a lot of sympathy for guys who make something like World of Goo, port it all around, put it on sale, put it in Humble Bundles for next to nothing, and still see high piracy rates. I have far, far less for someone who made a deal with the devil/Microsoft to exclude PC gaming in exchange for personal gain. They have every right to exclude my preferred platform because Microsoft insists on it. It’s just that I don’t really care what happens to them as a result of making back-room deals with 800lbs gorillas.

        When exclusives come about because of technical limitations, like needing a keyboard/mouse (PC), a Kinect (Satan), or a … weird iPad-like device (Wii U) then I understand that the devs want to make something interesting, and it just so happens that the product can’t exist outside of a certain ecosystem. When it’s because a Big Company just says “no” arbitrarily, I see anyone who goes along with that as a collaborator in something nasty. If someone else comes along and undermines that completely unfair power dynamic, I don’t condemn them for what they’ve done to the Big Company and its pet Collaborator, I applaud them for what they’ve done for Us All. (Either that, or I recognize that it may be a Grey Area and neither applaud nor condemn either party, but this particular situation isn’t grey enough for me to take that stance here.)

        • RvLeshrac says:

          Yep, no sympathy at all for any asshole who, against every single scrap of evidence to the contrary, signs an “amazing” deal with MS for exclusivity, then releases to the PC… as a “Windows Store” exclusive. What horseshit.

      • TaroYamada says:

        Are we honestly encouraging fucking pirates because people don’t port the games they own to the platform of our choice? WTF? You and the people who agree with you have an insane sense of entitlement. You do not have a right to a video game on a platform of your choice, you have a right to buy or not buy content based on that but you do not have the right to steal it, period.

        Pirates suck ass.

  2. Rahaks says:

    I did play it on my console box.

    IMHO, it is the best Beat’em All in its very own category. A crapton of monsters to exterminate, ultra smooth gameplay that let you go “HOLY SHOOT” when you score a mind blowing streak of overly stylish executions, a nice set of weapons that really change the way you play it, and a HUGE atmosphere.

    Yeah i’m a fanboy. This game rocks. Just buy it. Two times.

  3. aymanpg says:

    read the DSOGAMING article,if he wanted to release on PC why wait two full years and then after someone else does your job suddenly you announce the game?!!

    • Tacroy says:

      Halo 2’s PC release was 3 years after its Xbox release, and Bungie has a lot more resources than any indie studio.

      • Lemming says:

        The resources in this case isn’t an argument. It’s purely down to publishing. He made the game in XNA as far as I know, which is about as hard to port to a PC game as it is the draw breath He signed his game away to MS, so what happens to it and where it appears is completely down to them.

  4. povu says:

    Maybe he was too busy working on the new game to port it? The reason he wants to port it now is probably because his chance of actually making some money off the game is going to be severely hampered if the unofficial port has been available on torrent sites for a year.

  5. Tim James says:

    I loved ZSX2. We don’t get a lot of beat-em-ups on PC, so I was sad to hear him go console exclusive. I’ll never forget his blog post 4 or 5 years ago complaining about what a bitch it is to release an indie game on PC. He was right. It really was the dark ages. But right after that, Steam took off in a big way. Bad timing, I guess.

  6. jonfitt says:

    The fact that a studio has to ask Microsoft nicely if it can bring its game to Microsoft’s operating system is just the saddest state of affairs (in gaming) right now.

    Small studios wanting to get their games on console toys have to bind themselves to these dreadful exclusivity deals. I’d say it’s like making a deal with the devil, but your classical devil is not so tricky.

    • Warskull says:

      This is why indie developers are leaving XBLA in droves. If you want to release an XBLA game you need a publisher. If you are an indie dev Microsoft will force you to take them as your publisher. They then put a bunch of rules and restrictions on your game. For example, it has to be an XBLA exclusive for X years and you have to ask for Microsoft’s permission to release on their PC. Plus there is their latest favorite catch, it must be a windows 8 only game.

    • Bhazor says:

      I really don’t understand why Microsoft is trying so hard to kill PC gaming. I still don’t get the whole Xbox thing. I mean they spent billions on making a gaming platform when they already had one.

      • Christo4 says:

        Stop trying to bring logic into this…

        BUT if i may Microsoft got big through Windows, i don’t get why they wouldn’t support that for gaming and why they are investing so much money in console developement.

      • Uboa Noticed You says:

        Think about it. A large majority of the world’s population don’t really associate “computer” with “video game” because consoles have existed for the past 40+ years. Microsoft is just trying to appeal to that market. They don’t care about genuine gamers, they only care about whatever gets them the most money. Looking at Xbox 360 sales, it seems to be working. I just hope the failure that was Xbox One begins to open people’s eyes.

        • malkav11 says:

          The Xbox One isn’t even out yet. It’s waaaaay too early to talk about its “failure”. I mean, yes, every detail Microsoft reveals about it is astonishingly consumer-unfriendly and ill-judged, but just because a product is a terribly unwise purchase and is designed to screw people over doesn’t mean it won’t sell.

      • Raiyan 1.0 says:

        Well, maybe it has something to do with the fact that on the Master Platform MS can’t charge $60 for every PC AAA title, get a cut from all that profit, be the sole distributor of software, make people pay for multiplayer subscription that doesn’t actually go to the devs and their servers, control every aspect of your software, even bricking your platform hardware remotely if it detects some copyright or contract infringement, force developers to pay them $50,000 for a patch update, and force advertisement on you every time you turn on your machine whether you like it or not?

        I can imagine the Three Hundred & Sixtieth Box of X generating them quite a silly amount of money, even after the original XBox (not to be confused with the XBone) bled resources like a stuck pig in the assembly line of a saw factory.

    • Premium User Badge

      darkChozo says:

      They have to ask Microsoft because Microsoft is their publisher. Not to say that Microsoft has been particularly indie or PC-friendly recently or anything, but this is less about asking Führer Gates whether you can use his glorious operating system and more about asking your boss for funding for a new project.

      • Bhazor says:

        The difference is that unlike any other distributor Microsoft doesn’t let you self publish. Publish on the arcade and they own yo’ ass.

        • Premium User Badge

          darkChozo says:

          Yup, valid. All I was saying is that the OP made it sound like it was a weird state of affairs for Ska to have to talk to Microsoft for a port, when that’s just the publisher-dev relationship in action, regardless of the circumstances under which that relationship was formed. It’s no different than, say, DICE broaching the subject of a new game (let’s call it Super Battlefield Racing) with EA before they go out and start development work.

  7. Bhazor says:

    “XBLA exclusive” is there a single developer who didn’t regret that decision?

  8. InternetBatman says:

    Good on Barabus. The game doesn’t look like my kind of thing, but I really don’t see the problem.

  9. Shantara says:

    For developer, porting XNA games to Windows is as simple as rebuilding a project with a different target. The real work would be adding multiple resolutions and various PC options. The reasons we don’t see this ports very often are not technical, but purely due to terms of contract indies are signing with Microsoft.

    If there was no hint of PC version in the last two years, I find it highly unlikely, we would have seen one if not for this pirated port.

  10. Premium User Badge

    kdz says:

    Great, I played the game back in 2011 on my friend’s 360 and it was awesome: stylish and crazy satisfying. Will most probably buy it on PC, if only to support the dev.

  11. karry says:

    So, anyone else think this stinks of publicity stunt ?

    • The Random One says:

      Kind of. The Russian hacker was like “LOL if ur not publishin on pc then if i publish fake pirate game it not hurt your money because you not publish anyway PWNED!” and then Silva was like “Nuh huh, we’re totally publishing on PC, and in fact I’ve been meaning to publish on PC for ever and it’s just that no one has ever said to me ‘hey Silva will you publish your game on PC’ because if they did I’d always have been totally like ‘totally’.”

      If what you mean is that they wouldn’t announce this if it hadn’t been for the snafu, then you are indeed correct.

  12. kwyjibo says:

    It might be a coincidence and they were genuinely planning a PC port. But the timing makes it look like that their hands were forced due to the cracked version – I’m not sure if that’s a good message to send out.

  13. Eclipse says:

    “we’ll be working with Microsoft to bring our stuff to PC.”

    that means Windows 8 Store, that’s better than GFWL, but not that much :\

  14. Khalme says:

    I don’t think this kind of “port” is doing any good.
    Ska Studios are made of 2 (two) people, and if I remember right James Silva made the first game Dishwasher Dead Samurai entirely on his own. So I kind of believe him when he said that he didn’t have the resources to make a proper pc port.
    He also added that Dean Dodrill (Dust an Elysian Tail) spents several months just porting the game to pc.
    I mean, he has the right to say : “no, there are only two of us, we have plenty of ideas for a new game and we want to make it first, we’ll port Dishwasher on pc later, end of story”.
    I don’t see how it is reasonable to have hackers like Barabus go : “hey, we ripped your game out of an xbox and put it on pc with broken shaders. No we didn’t ask for your permission, but y’know this is (his words) JUSTICE RESTORED”.
    Sorry but no, this is not justice imho.

  15. FriendlyPsicopath says:

    Watch as they use the cracked version to release the pc version, so they cut costs and make money with free publicity. Yay for cracker making the company earn some money, cause if it was not for him no one would care for that game( i still don’t).

  16. malkav11 says:

    Silva’s previous games (Zombie Smashers, Zombie Smashers X2, Blood Zero, Survival Crisis Z, etc) were both awesome and thoroughly nuts. If the Dishwasher games do make it to PC in a non-poison-pill form (i.e. no Win8 exclusivity), I will totally be supporting the man by buying them.

  17. Shooop says:

    it involved refrigerator magnets and the world’s smartest catapult

    Best sentence anyone will read on the internet all week.

  18. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    Bound to be Win 8 only when MS get involved!