Hotline Miami Aids Pirates Instead Of Murdering Them

Unfortunately, there aren't any pictures of Hotline Miami's main character aiding someone.

If you can’t beat ’em, well… that’s not actually a phrase that exists in the world of Hotline Miami. It’s either beat (with a colorful assortment of bats, drills, pipes, and katanas) or be beaten black and blue and red and neon pink. There is, as Yoda says – presumably as a result of some LSD-induced hallucination – no try. Hotline Miami’s creators, however, are nothing like that. They, perhaps better than much of the rest of the gaming industry, understand the art of compromise. So when pirates started peddling a slightly glitchy version of Hotline Miami in the Internet’s seediest alleyways, Jonatan Soderstrom – aka, Cactus – decided to offer them a helping hand.

Soderstrom joined a comment thread for a Pirate Bay torrent of Hotline Miami not to harass those snatching his rather inexpensive game, but to offer them customer support.

“Hey there! I’m Jonatan Soderstrom, me and my friend Dennis Wedin made this game. 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. Hope everyone will enjoy the game!”

“I want anyone who plays the game to be able to enjoy it without stupid bugs that detract from the experience. 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.”

On top of that, he offered workarounds for controller support issues and general errors to those who asked for help, and many people commented that they went out and purchased legitimate copies of Hotline Miami as a result. Soderstrom explained his willingness to dive headlong into the lair of “the enemy” in a follow-up tweet. “I don’t really want people to pirate Hotline Miami,” he admitted, “but I understand if they do. I’ve been broke the last couple of months. It sucks.”

This isn’t the first instance of a smaller developer civilly making their case to pirates, either. Most notably, McPixel’s Sos Sosowski took a similar approach last month, which ultimately landed him an official weekend-long promotion on Pirate Bay’s front page.

And while it remains to be seen whether this type of thing can win creators some extra financial support in the long run (or even in the short run, for that matter), it’s amazing just to watch people treating each other like human beings on the Internet. Because pirates aren’t soulless blood, sweat, and tear black holes. They’re people. And developers aren’t need-abstaining vending machine monks. They’re human too. If nothing else, I’m happy to live in a world where – slowly but surely, inch-by-agonizing-inch – that’s starting to matter again.

(That said, I still think you should buy Hotline Miami. It’s available in both Steam and GOG flavors. Also cinnamon-cranapple.)


  1. Lobotomist says:

    By rule of the thumb i pirate the games that dont offer demo (unless I am 100% sure they will be what I wanted). I play them a little and than buy them if the “click” with me.

    For example i pirated Mark of the Ninja , just to try it and eneded buying it day after.

    And opposite for Retro city Rampage.

    • Mattressi says:

      You bought Retro City Rampage, just to try it and ended up pirating it day after?

      • KeyboardGato says:

        He bought Retro Ninja Mark and then pirated day after before buying day rampage

        • Lobotomist says:

          I bought Retro City Rampage , and didnt like it. So i pirated it just to make the point !

  2. KDR_11k says:

    You say that like there’s anybody Hotline Miami WON’T murder.

  3. Paul says:

    Every pirated copy is a potential sale, not a lost sale. Smart folks understand that. Good for Jonatan.

    • Sheng-ji says:


      Seriously, you’ve just summed up an angle that is often ignored either deliberately or through ignorance. It would be naive to suggest that no pirates ever play games for free when they are in a position to comfortably buy it, but it’s equally naive to ignore this point of view as well!

    • Xari says:

      Yes. It’s also worth mentioning that Hotline Miami had a temporary surge into the Steam top 10 sellers yesterday when this happened.

    • Aedrill says:

      Exactly, and treating them like human beings can actually release this potential. But you need to make a good game in the first place, that’s the tricky part.

      • mouton says:

        And that is exactly why some big developers yell “Zomg piracy” whenever their game isn’t selling too well. They can always do it, it costs nothing and is much easier than doing a good game in the first place.

    • JackShandy says:

      Hmm. Is that true? If people can play your game, are they more likely to buy it than people who can’t play it?

      • trjp says:

        There’s no such thing as “can’t” – few games have escaped piracy since the days of hardware cartridges (and even then, some did).

        Even MMOs get pirated through private servers – that’s a game where you’re only really buying about 60% of the game – some independant-minded soul having re-created the other 40%.

        When you look at it that way – your argument makes little sense and supporting a ‘torrent’ more than likely has the same effect as supporting your game in forums etc. – it promotes people into thinking they’re getting more and thus paying-up.

        The key to making a ‘digital’ product valuable is adding ‘non-digital’ content – stuff you cannot copy. That can be ‘you’ – your attention to the game – your attention to customer issues…

        or it can be a hat…

        • JackShandy says:

          If they have not pirated it, they can’t play it.

          The statement was “A pirate is a potential sale.” Now, anyone who can play games is obviously a potential sale, so I assume this means “People who have pirated your game are more likely to buy it than people who have not.” I am questioning whether or not this is true.

          (Heavily edited for clarity)

          • sinister agent says:

            I wouldn’t read it exactly like that, to be honest – I’d read it at face value, as in they haven’t bought it, but they might, so there’s a potential sale. But you could argue that on average, people who’ve pirated a game are more likely to buy that game than people who haven’t, simply because people who pirate it have shown an active interest in playing it, whereas at least some proportion of those who haven’t played it at all will have no interest regardless of what you do or say.

            People who want something you have are more likely to offer something for it than people who have no interest in what you have. Sure, they might just take it, but there’s still potential, even if it’s small, that they might give something back. Merely speaking directly to people can make a big difference. It works in person – touch someone on the upper arm when speaking to them and they’ll generally be more engaged with whatever you’re saying. Similar things happen online. Humans are a bit weird like that.

          • snv says:

            Well since you asked:
            I dont think that you can properly generalize here, but the first comment hits the spot: Some people actually do have learnt to not buy blindly. (Though the success of the preorder mechanism shows that these are not enough)

            Game Pre- and Reviews can only act as suggestions/prefiltering, but before handing over any money i have to sample a game myself first. (Though i occasionally violate that rule and usually get disappointed, but i do try to learn from that).
            And all that even though i live in a country where customer rights are strong enough to allow me to return a bought game.

          • Baines says:

            To be fair, the success of the pre-order system is in part because companies stack the deck to push people towards that commitment. Publishers and stores want people to commit up front, and offer both bribes and threats to do it. (The growth in pre-order DLC, taking over for general pre-order bonuses. The “limited availability” warning for niche titles. Retail stores stocking only to pre-orders, or even understocking, with smaller titles. Etc.)

          • Phantoon says:

            Depends on the personal whims of that person- but I’d say for sure, if you have a sequel, or the person remembers your company from a previous title they enjoyed, they’ll buy that one, even if they only pirated the first game. I didn’t have any interest in Darksiders, until I suddenly had it on Steam from some Dawn of War promotion or something (seriously don’t know why I have it). Then I played it, and preordered Darksiders 2, because I enjoyed it.

            It’s not like we all have memory loss.

          • Nintendude says:

            Depends on the motifs of the pirate. Some people pirate just because they wouldn’t ever pay for a game they can get for free somehow. That’s the vague thing here. We can’t really know how big part of pirates are like this.

            (I know someone who is like this but he’s being claimed to be a heavy narcissist as well so maybe his behavior can’t be generalized. Then again narcissism seems to be pretty common too so maybe I just shut up since I know nothing =P)

      • lordcooper says:

        It’s true for me at least.

        I’ll often pirate games without demos just to see if they’re my thing or not. My typical rule is I get an hour for free, then I delete it. If I want to play further at that point, I’ll buy it. So yeah, I definitely buy more games because of piracy.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          I buy more games that I’ve pirated than those I haven’t pirated.

    • Sardaukar says:

      The problem I have with this statement is that as a non-criminal, I had to work for an hour and a half to play this game. To see how fun it is, to try it myself, to enjoy any amount of it. Someone who pirates it did this for free. Sure, they might say it’s crap and stop playing and not pay any money, but they still enjoyed a product or service that an honest person could not for free. Someone who bought game took a risk in their act of support. Pirates don’t want to take that risk.

      I have trouble sympathizing with “I just wanted to sample it” when that right doesn’t exist for non-pirates outside demos, and even with a demo present they may sample much more of the game than I. They say they want to see if it’s good; There are plenty of sources on the internet to watch and read that will answer this question satisfactorily enough for paying customers, so what gives them the right to feel justified in doing for free what a legitimate consumer must pay for, that firsthand sample?

      • Brossacks says:

        This only holds true if you’re incapable of copyright infringement. It’s like saying “book-readers get to read all the words from used books, and I need to wait until a movie is made and pay 20(I haven’t been to a cinema in years, so I guess) bucks to see that story told”. Plus, you have the money to pay for games you want to try. I’m willing to bet you’re rarely in a position where you have literally no money, like most people who download games do. (Frankly a good proportion of them don’t have credit cards (becouse they’re children) but that doesn’t really devalue it, as a kid I bought like, 5 games.)

        • Sardaukar says:

          None of this stands up as a counterargument. The first two examples are detailing second-hand sales, not theft, unless you read the entire book at that store, or snuck into/pirated the movie. Of course, books and movies have legal venues for free experience of a sort- libraries or watching it at a friends house, but that’s a different kettle of fish.

          If you can’t afford a game, why does that justify you in not paying for it? I’ve been there before, watched the foreclosure agents inspect the home, and it sucked. Does it entitle me to go take things I want for free since I can’t afford them?

          • lordcooper says:

            Think of it as reading a few pages of a book before deciding if you want to buy it then. It’s technically illegal, but not particularly wrong.

          • Phantoon says:

            Sorry, are we arguing on a strawman here? No. You do not get to open with “as a non-criminal”, as if that’s a way to talk to people.

            Get out.

          • Sardaukar says:

            I’m not sure where you see a strawman here, but I do appreciate the accusation instead of an actual reply. Would you prefer I wrote something else? As a person who bought a game in accordance with society. A person who prefers buying things. A person who dislikes acquiring things that cost money for free illegitimately because caveat emptor should still matter. Do these work for you?

          • RvLeshrac says:

            “Caveat Emptor” is not Latin for “The buyer should just be completely fucked if they get a product they dislike.”

      • discordance says:

        copyright infringement at the level of individuals downloading something is a civil matter not criminal. Congrats on buying into the mpaas copyright fairytale. Piracy is still only a criminal matter at a commercial scale, ie people who profit from someone elses work.

        • Sardaukar says:

          Congratulations on hanging on one word and ignoring the rest of the post. If someone pirates a game, how do they justify that as “not a lost sale” when non-pirates had to pay money to play and decide if they liked something? Assuming both are (for some reason) ignoring reviews and gameplay videos before doing so.

          • Xzi says:

            Neither party HAS to buy the product. And it’s not hard to justify anything. You might consider using piracy as a means of demoing a game to be wrong. That pirate might consider some of the things you do regularly to be wrong. But ultimately, neither of you is hurting each other or other people, so you justify those actions and never give it a second thought.

            Straight-up piracy I think we all can agree is wrong. If you want to experience something in its entirety, then it should be worth the money. But piracy for the sake of demoing is like reading a tenth or a quarter of a book at a bookstore before deciding whether or not to buy it. Will some people frown on that? Sure. But is doing that objectively wrong? No. Is it even illegal? No.

            What you should really be asking is why developers don’t simply release demos for all of their games. Were that the case, this is a discussion that would not be happening.

      • rkhan says:

        The problem I have with your post is that your complaint should be directed at the anti-consumer policies of the majority of the games industry, but you’re blaming the ‘pirates’. You are not affected in any negative way by someone else downloading a game and then deciding whether to buy it based on its merits. You’re just judgmental and envious that they get to do it and your own ethics don’t allow you to do the same (mine don’t either, by the way). If anything, this article shows that the some developers are beginning to see that being more consumer friendly is good business, and that should be credited at least partly to these very people (the ones who download as a trial). You complain that blind buyers take a risk in their support but ‘pirates’ don’t want to take that risk. I say the pirates are the ones helping the situation here, not the blind buyers. If you buy a game that turns out to be a crap game infested with ugly, online-only or other invasive DRM (you may have even watched/read several reviews, they’re usually bought and paid for by the publishers), you’re encouraging the industry to keep putting out crap, loading it with ugly DRM, buying reviews, and allowing no returns. The ‘pirates’ will vote with their dollars and help to discourage that behavior.

        The fact that you and I don’t have a right to sample games to find out whether they’re worth our hard earned money is not the fault of those who do sample them, it’s more our own fault for supporting the industry that is treating us so badly.

        Also worth mentioning, though it’s not really a direct argument with what you wrote, the ‘pirates’ also tend to be the biggest consumers of media. Here’s a link to an article on the subject: Yet Again, File Sharing Correlated To Biggest Buyers
        (I’m a longtime reader and newly registered poster, so I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post links. If there’s no link, search for this title “Yet Again, File Sharing Correlated To Biggest Buyers” on a site called techdirt) The article addresses the music industry, but the same applies to games and movies.

    • alilsneaky says:

      And that is why it’s so sad that very few games offer a proper demo anymore, or only offer a demo weeks or months after release….

      Go download the dawn of war II demo from steam, it’s like 3 hours long and instead of just showing you some shitty tutorial mission that doesn’t tell you much about the rest of the game, it actually lets you play a few missions and keeps your savegame for the full copy….

      They sold dow II to me at full price and chaos rising because of that demo, I never even bothered to dignify its existance before that.

      Probably half my legit library (and that is a lot of games) I bought because of a good elaborate demo.

      • Dark Malady says:

        I got the Recettear demo before the game came out, it was just the fist week or so of the game, but it really let you see how the game mechanics worked, and some of the truly delightful writing. the company released the demo early on purpose to whip up some enthusiasm, with the save game continuation feature it really shone, I then pre-ordered the game, because I knew that it was going to be something good.
        I remember that by the time the Game was released there had been a fair amount of excitement already over said Demo greatly increasing the potential Audience (thus sales). why can’t bigger companies adopt this method anymore?
        I seem to recall back in the day getting PC Magazine discs from my newsagents on the way home from school, really cheap (he would sell last months discs for a dollar-whats a school pie vs video games-) and playing through Demos and timed versions of lots of great titles getting very excited and then finding out that Mum had to sell my nintendo to pay the power bill so my chances of getting a new game were pretty damn low.
        we didn’t have the internet then so if i wanted a game … it was wait for christmas mostly… when we got the internet i was a pretty bad pirate for about a year or so (16yr old me) but then I realised that i barely played all these games, and that some companies are worth supporting… and that I have my own income now and throwing money around feels good, mostly the pride of ownership thing though.

        if it weren’t for those old Demo discs I would have thought the crappy ’98 computer we had, nothing more than something to type out assignments on, and my life would probably be quite different.

  4. 1Life0Continues says:

    It’s a beautiful thing when companies remember what it’s like to be human.

    Hotline Miami isn’t expensive, by a long shot, but sometimes even $10 is steep when you ride the poverty line. But that line shouldn’t exclude you from enjoying some entertainment, and I for one know that pirating a game tends to be the first step toward purchase in the future for many of those unable to buy at the time. Not always, but often.

    • Mattressi says:

      I can understand what you mean. I rarely buy games, but I also don’t pirate them either – I don’t have much money, but I just don’t feel like I could pirate something (well, maybe an EA or Ubi game just to spite them…and never play it). I’ve wondered before, though, if pirating games would make me more likely to buy a game. Normally I’ll wait for an extreme sale to buy any game, but by the time a game I was interested in is on sale, there’s no guarantee that I still want to play it, or even remember it. If I’d pirated it at release, I’d feel compelled to buy it at the earliest moment possible – but I didn’t, so I don’t.

      I’m not for piracy (else I would, you know, pirate things), but I do wonder if there’s some merit in indie devs…doing whatever these guys are doing (not encouraging piracy…maybe supporting pirates? Or just plain being nice). That said, I’m still not going to pirate this. Old habits die hard…

      • celozzip says:

        but who are these people “riding the poverty line” who still seem to have the internet access and a pc to download a game illegally in the first place? this is a publicity thing that’s all, not to say anything bad about the devs, they seem niec guys on the steam forums.

        if they’d released a demo of hotline miami i assume this whole article/viewpoint on piracy would be void, right? since we only like pirates who use downloaded copies as demos and not the ones who just do it to get the game for nothing, right?

        • RobF says:

          Lots of people. Because you can have a PC & internet connection but nothing else of use. Maybe you got the PC when you weren’t broke? Maybe it got passed down onto you? Maybe you share a house and the internet connection is paid for by someone else. Maybe you live with your parents still. Maybe you spend the bit of spare money you have on an internet connection because y’know, with not being able to afford to go out much it’s a communication lifeline.

        • RuySan says:

          A computer and an internet connection is pretty much mandatory for a lot of work and also school. I’m now working in Mozambique and i’m sure there’s loads of people in that situation but without much else to spend on.

          Unfortunately that’s probably a minority of the freeloaders.

        • Miltrivd says:

          There is another angle as well. I live in a country where, by currency conversion and cost of living, makes the costs of games about 2-4 times more expensive than if I was living in the US/Canada or Europe. So in my case US$10 wasn’t steep at all but at the same time was not a sum I can just throw “to try” (if I have any sense of money’s worth anyway), so even cheap games are something that as a responsible consumer I should pay a bit of attention to and research before buying.

          To put the above in perspective, US$60 allows to feed myself (cooking) quite well for about 3 weeks, nothing fancy tho, and a sadly still quite large amount of the population need to make those US$60 feed entire families for a month.

          • Synesthesia says:

            this is my situation too. When i have a job, i buy everything as long as i can afford it, but when i’m on the dirt, spending 50 bucks is a pretty big chunk of a paycheck. A pc and an internet connection is no longer a first world thing, you know?

          • klingon13524 says:

            Then support sites like GOG that charge a single fair price worldwide instead of Steam, which is terrible in that department.

        • RavenGlenn says:

          I’m one of those people riding the poverty line. I am currently unemployed and living at my g/f’s place. I have the internet only because she has it. I have a computer that I built two years ago.

          $10 is literally more than I have in my bank account.

          I still don’t pirate though. But to act like the internet and computers are things that only rich people have is absurd. Hell, I can go to any McDonald’s and use the internet for free.

        • socrate says:

          Since when is having a computer and internet connection considered being rich now a day?

        • Phantoon says:

          People will give up their heating before they give up their internet. Hell, people will give up their house before they drop internet. And it makes sense- you HAVE to be connected to get anywhere. Most places where I live don’t read applications you walk in with. You HAVE to apply online now.

          As strange as it is, an internet connection of some kind is basically a necessity now.

        • NicoTn says:

          Internet is a basic need where i come from.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          A PC is cheap, and an investment. It is, frankly, almost impossible to find a decent job now without one, and an internet connection.

          The internet connection? Slowest DSL is ~$20. Slowest cable is ~$30. VoIP can be free. Cheapest home phone service is ~$20/mo. So for ~$20-30/mo, you can have phone service and an internet connection. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

          Also, you seem to be using what I call “retard math,” though that’s a misnomer since the mentally disabled are usually a bit better at subtraction.

          If I have $30/mo in disposable income, and $30 of it goes toward paying for phone service and an internet connection, I have $0 to spend on other entertainment. If I spend money on the other entertainment, I lose the internet connection and no longer have a way to use (or even obtain) what I’ve purchased.

    • crinkles esq. says:

      Hotline Miami isn’t expensive, by a long shot, but sometimes even $10 is steep when you ride the poverty line. But that line shouldn’t exclude you from enjoying some entertainment

      I can’t disagree more strongly with this way of thinking. People don’t deserve some bit of entertainment just because they’re broke. There’s lots of legitimately free stuff out there to while away the hours with.

      A lot of people view creative products through this sort of abstract, dehumanized lens. Whether it’s games, music, films, whatever, somewhere along the line people started feeling like it’s just their right to have everything. That attitude devalues creativity, and devaluation of creativity and art is dangerous to society.

      Crowd-funding is a promising answer to this devaluation, and Kickstarter has been great for games, but I don’t think crowd-funding has necessarily been so much of a salvation yet for other artforms.

      • hello_mr.Trout says:

        ‘People don’t deserve some bit of entertainment just because they’re broke. There’s lots of legitimately free stuff out there to while away the hours with.’

        like long long walks on beaches, the sound of children laughing, and various reflective memories of a life well spent? comeon, most fun things as regards culture usually involve payment of some sort, and it seems unnecessarily harsh that people who have less money than others are excluded from participating in these various conversations/experiences, surely?

        • RobF says:

          I’m not sure what having money/not having money has anything to do with “deserving” anyway.

        • InternetBatman says:

          What about freemium games like LoL or Dota?

        • JackShandy says:

          More like the dozens of games that cactus has already made and released for free.

          link to

          Edit: Or the free game that Hotline Miami was clearly inspired by, Hakaiman.

          link to

          None of these will give you the EXACT experience of hotline miami, but I don’t think you’re being excluded from any kind of cultural conversation by playing them instead of it.

      • MichaelPalin says:

        Well, actually access to culture is a human right. So yes, everybody has the right to enjoy culture whether they are broke or not.

        • InternetBatman says:

          I disagree with this entirely. Human rights are food, sleep, shelter, and freedom. Everything else is a luxury.

          • Dr I am a Doctor says:

            Yeah I agree poor people can’t have nice things ever why don’t they bootstrap their way out of poverty????

            Have you been reading Ayn Rand recently by the way

          • InternetBatman says:

            No. I’m very liberal. I think we should have a 90% estate tax. I think no one should have to go without food, water, healthcare, or freedom. I think that the current distribution of wealth is horrendously unfair, and favor a much increased income tax. I think that rent should never cost more than mortgage payments, that minimum wage should be much higher, and welfare should cover the cost of food, internet, healthcare, and basic housing. I’ve also been extremely poor, and I went without buying games for a year for financial reasons.

            I also think that games are neither games nor entertainment is a human right, that people should have to work to achieve it, or make their own. But by portraying someone who disagrees with you out to be some crazy Randian anarchocapitalist strawman you are effectively trying to quash discourse.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Don’t underestimate the importance of mental health when considering what can and cannot be considered a human right – I’m sure you will agree that good health is a fundamental human right and mental health is an important vector in our overall health.

            I’m not agreeing with those you disagree with, I just feel there should be more to our human rights than the minimum necessary to sustain life.

          • InternetBatman says:

            That’s a valid point, but I feel like mental health (and physical health) would be better established by providing fair access to public places (parks, libraries, etc.) than sedentary entertainment (although providing that access to people with disabilities would be expensive).

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Absolutely, I’m certainly not insinuating that access to computer games is a human right, just wanted to point out that humans do require a bit more than food, water, shelter and freedom

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            WTF do you even mean by “freedom?”

          • InternetBatman says:

            The ability to move, speak, and pursue desires that don’t harm others without fear of reprisal.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            In this day and age, when people get bored, they become serial killers and/or mass murderers. The ones already slightly off their rockers, anyway.

            The human brain needs some positive way to cool off or else it finds other ways to do it.

          • D3xter says:

            Uhm, he is actually very right, access to culture *is* a human right, like literally, he wasn’t making that up, it’s not that far away from your “food, sleep, shelter, and freedom” either.

            “Article 25

            (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

            “Article 27

            (1) Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.”

          • drewski says:

            Writing something in a document doesn’t make it true.

            I can write my own personal Charter of Me Rights and include #17 – I have a right to a free Ferrari, but that doesn’t mean I actually have that right.

            In any case, going to the UDHR for justification for piracy is pretty stupid when you look at the very next article:

            “(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.”

            So yeah, you have the right to share in your communities’ culture – when you pay for it (if that’s what the author wants).

        • darkmouse20001 says:

          If you can’t afford something you can’t have it. Simple. Not paying for things would ultimately lead to people not making things. Also, I have no sympathy for the people who say,”Well, they already earn enough to live on, that should be enough for them.” Thats communism, and why shouldn’t people enjoy the rewards of their creativity?

          And almost all the people I know that spout utter bullshit about the distribution of wealth (generally speaking other peoples hard earned wealth) still buy lottery tickets each week. Why? They want to be rich, but don’t want to work for it. I just read your comment about 90% estate tax. What?! If I work hard all my life why the hell should the government take that off my nominated beneficiary for the benefit of others?

          Everything that you consume has been developed and manufactured because it creates wealth for those involved in the process. Taking profit motive out of the equation would lead to a very dull and unrewarding life indeed. Would you work only for food, shelter and basic amenities given the choice? I think not.

          • Jenks says:

            Good luck explaining that to the most ridiculously self-entitled generation ever.

            Also, if you’ve been paying attention, it isn’t stopping the game industry from making games. It’s pushing them towards unpiratable “games” like MMOs, facebook games, and always on DRM like Diablo 3. Thanks pirates!

          • InternetBatman says:

            I believe we should have a high estate tax because people should enjoy the fruits of their own labor, but there’s no reason their beneficiaries, who did absolutely nothing, should have huge amounts of capital. I believe that an idle class is ultimately harmful for society, and that the people who would really be affected by a high estate tax would already have an abundance of other competitive advantages if they chose to take them.

            Also, it’s amazing that you know my econ professor, who also talks about the distribution of wealth. I don’t buy lottery tickets, bought one on my eighteenth birthday just because I could and that’s it, but the sad, dark secret of lottery tickets is that people don’t buy them because they think they will make them rich. People buy them because their lives are so miserable that the three seconds of hope for a different life make it worthwhile to them. Lottery tickets don’t represent wealth, they represent freedom from responsibilities and change.

            It’s amazing that you think I’m a communist because I have slightly different ideas about how society should operate. Later on in the thread I defend unequal wealth distribution as ultimately a good thing, because it encourages people to work. Using labels with a negative connotation is a way to stifle debate, and a way to ignore ideas without considering them. As is creating a strawman who complains about unequal wealth distribution and plays the lottery.

            Also, the Diablo III’s DRM had absolutely nothing to do with piracy and everything to do with protecting the Auction House. Piracy was huge when Diablo II came out, and its been huge in the intervening years where it was still selling regularly.

            And finally, I’m sick of people calling my generation entitled. Assholes who know absolutely nothing about us feel free claiming that we’re entitled, lazy, and selfish. When in fact, we worked very hard in school, and thought we would be able to get jobs using the skills we worked to obtain in school. That didn’t happen, so we’re going back to school and learning more. I worked full-time in a kitchen job and then a warehouse job once it shut down, and neither of them payed enough to for me and my partner to make food, rent, and insurance in a one room apartment in the shitty part of town. So we moved where rent was significantly lower, couldn’t find a job. So I plowed a fucking field by hand with a mattock to grow a significant vegetable garden, partially to save money and partially just to do something. Then I watered it for an hour a night over the summer with a fucking bucket because my landlord was too lazy to take the padlock off his outdoor spigot. When the drought took that (because you can’t farm in an unmowed field with buckets during a drought that bad), I made pots out of cement and bookshelves that people were throwing away. I grew peppers, apples (saplings but they’re growing), watermelons, and cantaloupes from the seeds I saved from kitchen scraps. Using that and (cheap farmer’s market vegetables on their last legs) we canned, pickled, and made jellies out of all of the produce we could buy in the harvest to make it through the winter. My classmates have learned construction and bartending just to be able to do something. My partner, who has her masters, gets paid less to teach people English than her well-connected 19 year old students get paid by their governments to learn it. So please, cut the “entitled” bullshit.

          • NicoTn says:

            Us entitled? Get off your damn high horse, it was not our generation who fucked up the economy and the job market.

          • RobF says:

            Aww, cute. Someone who truly believes that DRM is about stopping piracy. Maybe it was once predominantly that but those days are long gone now. Now it’s something to protect real money auction houses, it’s something to make the selling of virtual fluff more secure, it’s there to lock people into subscriptions and to secure those subscriptions and it’s there to cream money from the second hand market with online passes and the like. Piracy just makes a lovely convenient excuse doesn’t it? Because how’s revenue working out for companies? Oh, spending is massively up year on year on videogames you say? All these kids are buying more you say? Oh, where does that leave your argument?

            So Facebook games are the new cash cow, it’s where there’s money so there’s companies. The same for every boom previous, goldrush-o-geddon. If you think they go to Facebook because of piracy, you’re a loon. They go there because there’s a nice locked in market and they can virally market their way to riches a la Zynga. They want that pie. Diablo is always on to preserve the RMA and so it goes. Nothing to do with piracy so don’t kid yourself there.

            MMOs aren’t the answer to piracy either, they’re a great way to lock people in to playing one single game and giving you money for the privilege, or at least, that’s the theory outside of lots of people playing. What’s more alluring? Stopping piracy on a one time title costing $40 or $15 a month every month?

            Turns out there’s only a finite amount of those folks so we’re gonna have to look elsewhere or, hey, maybe we could get more people in if we dropped the entrance fee and charged them as we went along? Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to F2P.

            But cock it, right? People have more of a right to pull that stuff than people do to protest or resist it? Because if you resist the flow of this bullshit then you’re the one that’s entitled. Not the big megacorps trying to find new ways to screw the kids out of every penny they can, not the old men who’ve screwed the economy up and continue to do so, the generation that’s trying to reset most of the progress of the 20th century on women’s rights, steal the pensions, force people into low paid jobs and screw the kids education. Haha, no. The kids are the most entitled generation ever, right?

            So yeah, maybe downloading something that the author has a price tag on it is the wrong thing to do a lot of the time but it’s got nothing, not a single heartbeat on the things that the generations previous are doing. That’s not a defence of piracy but it’s certainly calling out anyone who calls the kids entitled.

            Thanks old men! You’re great! Oh no, you’re ruining everything. Ah well.

      • citiral says:

        As a developer, I prefer that people pirate my game and enjoy it, but not buy it rather than people just ignore my game (or are too poor to buy it), never play it and not buy it.

      • IDtenT says:

        What was that? I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome my bittorrent client is.

      • Miltrivd says:

        Empathy is the ability to try to understand what others feel. This is by no means easy or allows for a 1:1 understanding, but is a good habit to nurture and practice. Usually requires having an open mind and the capacity to ignore your own experiences and extrapolate knowledge of situations different than your own to “put yourself in the shoes of others”.

      • jalf says:

        You disagree with the creator of a piece of entertainment, when he says that people deserve to experience his entertainment even when they are broke? That is pretty damn ballsy.

        • Unaco says:

          Would you disagree with the creator of a piece of entertainment, when they say that people don’t deserve to experience their entertainment even when they are broke?

      • BigJonno says:

        Ahh, so rich people are better than poor people, because they deserve things that poor people don’t. Gotcha.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          All people deserve things that are actually free.
          Things that are not free require you to pay money for them. Without money, you cannot have them. Its not elitism, its economics.

          In all this polarisation, there is a fundamental question not being asked: How about the conversation about what is a FAIR PRICE to charge, rather than whether someone deserves something free? £30 / $60 is expensive. Half that is less so. This is a conversation about supply and demand, and the price point at which people are most willing to purchase. If they are poor, that point is lower. If the majority of your target market is poor, find a way to make the product cheaper. If publishers wont do that, why? Lets have THAT conversation – rather than this one about the ethics of piracy that cannot be solved.

          The whole issue of piracy bad / piracy good completely obscures the issue of what is a FAIR price to pay for pre-recorded media, and which has been raging for years in the music and film industry.

          • RobF says:

            Being able to make a financial transaction is not about deserving/undeserving. It’s about ability to pay for a product. So whilst yes, it’s good to discuss whether something is appropriately priced, it’s also good to understand that whether someone is deserving of something plays no part in that discussion whatsoever.

            Financial transactions have no morals after all.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            I may be misunderstanding you Rob, but you seem to be playing both sides of the argument here. On the one hand you are saying that those with money are not “more deserving” to have (something I agree smacks of an inherent value judgement but which may or may not actually be present), but you are also saying that those without DO deserve to have the game.

            As I have said elsewhere, I appreciate that there is social and financial inequality in the world, which ideally would be abolished. I am just struggling to see why video gaming is particularly being championed as an element of culture that everyone has the right to, in the manner of visiting the British Museum for free. I’ve said it elsewhere, but commerce is a cold mistress, and bank notes do not care if people see you as better or worse than others. Its a basic rsource issue – like being able to build that next unit in an RTS. Without resources, it just doesnt get built. There’s no value judgement present or necessary.

            EDIT: Having read your post back, I think we are basically in agreement, but you object to the use of the word ‘deserve’. It is somewhat loaded and implies a judgement – but one which I did not intend. I am using the word in the sense above – one of resources. Damn internet and lack of social cues.

          • InternetBatman says:

            That is completely wrong unless subsistence (food, medicine, water, shelter) is free. People have a right to live, and a society that does not value the lives of its members is substantially poorer and ultimately unstable.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Hi IB. I am not sure if that response was directed at me, but if I understand you correctly I would respond that in certain cases, food, shelter and medicine ARE free. In the UK we have the NHS and welfare. Are you suggesting that quality of life itself should be something that is factored in too? I like the idea of it, but I think it would be hard to justify politically and pay for and, like anonymous charitable gift giving at chistmas, is really the preserve of interpersonal generosity.

            Lets not lose sight though that we are talking about the specific issue of video games, not welfare systems and inequality as a whole.

          • elderman says:

            [PART 1]

            Reposting and breaking this up into two parts. Sorry RPS, I’ve had substantive comments stuck forever in moderation hell over the weekend before. I wouldn’t mind if someone looked in to pass them through, but I’m going to risk the wrath of the mods for the chance someone might actually read this.

            In all this polarisation, there is a fundamental question not being asked: How about the conversation about what is a FAIR PRICE to charge, rather than whether someone deserves something free? […] If publishers wont do that, why? Lets have THAT conversation – rather than this one about the ethics of piracy that cannot be solved.

            I think I can make a point here and directly relate it to the original RPS post. Wish me luck.

            I’d like to suggest that in trying to isolate ethics from the way people spend money, SuperNashwanPower, you misunderstand the way markets work and more specifically, you misunderstand what the Hotline Miami creators are trying to do. On the contrary, judging people socially and ethically is part of the decision of whether to trade with them. I disagree that spending money is a cold and unemotional experience. It’s not, which is why economists talk about things like ‘animal spirits’ and trust.

          • elderman says:

            [PART 2]

            People face the decision every day between two ways to spend money that have approximately the same utility and the same cost. For example, you decide which corner store to shop at or whom to hire for an unskilled job. This observation is the basis for the marketing industry which tries to engage consumers’ emotions over products.

            Marketing isn’t necessarily a cynical effort. It can be a matter of connecting with a business with consumers who share their experiences and values. In any case, that’s what’s going on here. The Hotline Miami developers are betting that by identifying a shared identity, and by telling pirates (potential customers) they have something in common, the game will eventually make more money.

            On the flip side, one reason big publishers don’t lower prices, reach out to game pirates, although this might improve their bottom line, is because the decision makers are not gamers. They don’t understand their customers and see illegal downloaders (who actually are their best customers) as ‘other’, dangerous and not worthy of accommodation. Big publishers would prefer to spend their time and money working with legislators, law enforcement, and other computer companies who make DRM software.

          • Phantoon says:

            Rather than post a rant, I’ll just say I think that anyone that thinks greed is good should be set on fire. Until no one starves to death, you don’t deserve a Ferrari. No more Ferraris.

        • The Godzilla Hunter says:

          Come on now, you can disagree with what someone is saying without completely twisting their argument.

          Nowhere did he say that anybody deserved luxury entertainment, in fact he said the opposite: people don’t deserve luxuries, and thus if you can’t pay for them, you don’t. Furthermore he didn’t even get close too saying that rich people are better than poor people, so stop trying to make him out to be a elitist twit.

          When you use a straw man arguments, the only person that looks wrong is you.

        • InternetBatman says:

          While the American (I’m speaking for my culture and can’t for others) distribution of wealth is horrendously unfair to the point where it’s practically unjust; an uneven distribution of resources is good. It encourages people to build things, make things, and go to work.

          • BigJonno says:

            It’s not a straw man at all. We live in a capitalist society where the sole basis of whether you can have things or not is how much money you have. I think most people, especially anyone who isn’t rich, would agree that that money isn’t distributed fairly, but at the same time we’re supposed to think that it’s fair that money is the great gatekeeper.

          • elloco says:

            oh come on!
            this is the usual US thinking of haves and soon to haves!
            That’s ideological nonsense. The unequality of resources at different places has no good for those that have the natural resources look at Afghanistan, Nigeria and so on.
            It’s always about who has the power (the guns).
            Uneven resources lead people to do stupid things. In Afghanistan it’s opium in the U.S. it’s crystal meth. Or do you think It is those who got the money=resources that produce the stuff?
            I know this is totally offtopic but it (in my opinion) just had to be said.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Pretty much! Without that, there’s no motivation to work to become rich, and society collapses.

          The issue is mobility (“rich get richer, poor get screwed”, etc.), not that the distinction exists.

          • Claidheamh says:

            I don’t think becoming rich is even in the top 5 of the “motivations to work”.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            certainly doesn’t motivate me

          • LionsPhil says:

            Since we’re talking basically the cheapest hobby going, for “rich” read “having basically any disposable income at all”, then.

        • crinkles esq. says:

          What are you talking about rich and poor people? I grew up in the 80’s. We didn’t have widespread piracy then. You had a few games which you played over and over, unless you had wealthy parents, which I didn’t. If you’re lucky you might get Falcon Flight Simulator for Christmas or your birthday instead of the Twin Pod Cloud Car. Getting access to game rentals from video stores broadened my game experience, but it wasn’t the same as owning the game.

          I never felt that access to all games was some sort of innate right, because it’s not. The wealthier you are, the more ability you’ll have to own things. That’s just how a capitalistic society works. But I never felt limited by this reality. I’d play games over, I’d mod them, and eventually made my own games. This is not a class issue.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            You didn’t see the guy down the market selling copied tapes/floppies then?

            Hehe – I do agree with your point :)

          • porcelain_gods says:

            The 80s was when piracy kicked off, I couldn’t afford any games yet played hundreds on C60 and C90 tapes for free (most of them were awful).

          • RobF says:

            Yes we did. Piracy was absolutely rampant in the eighties. C90’s full of games, disks full of games too by the time the 16 bits came round – entire fares dedicated to copying games, the rise of the cracktro, X-Copy and beyond.

            If you personally didn’t experience it, cool! But man alive, where there were videogames, there was mass piracy. Always has been.

          • jrodman says:

            To give you a taste of the 80s.

            I lived in a upper middle class neighborhood (for a while anyway) where we could have all bought games, I’m sure. Probably 5 families ended up owning commodore 64 systems. All of us shared basically all our games. We knew where to buy floppy disks for the cheapest amount and had mastered cutting out the notch to make disks double sided that claimed not to be.

            We *certainly* did not pirate just the games we bought for each other. I copied games from someone I met at day camp who lived an hour away or so, and those enctered the circle, and others did the same. There was a constant flow of new games entering the pool and very few of them from the store (though some were).

            But that’s not all. My dad worked for Commodore Business Machines, and was one of the best sources! He was some sort of VP of inventory management and supply chains, but was given pirated games by software developers to bring home to us kids. The only reason why we did not return the favor is that they already had everything we had. People writing games and other software at commodore had basically pirated the entire software library and were freely sharing it with anyone else they could find. On business hours.

            And no one got mad or made them stop.

            Sure none of us had the internet, and modems didn’t start becoming useful for piracy until 1986-7 or so, but PLENTY happened.

          • D3xter says:

            History of DRM & Copy Protection: link to

      • InternetBatman says:

        I disagree with this argument for multiple reasons.

        One is that creative endeavors are not devalued by people looking at them for free. Since effective creative expression is about the power to alter and leverage the collective conscience, it gets more powerful as more people experience it. Creative expression is a natural impulse that all humans feel at some time and creativity cannot be devalued because it is inherent to us as human beings. A lack of financial compensation will not diminish this impulse, only change the way it is expressed.

        Furthermore, the dissemination of a work of creative expression is part of the expression. Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is a great example of this. Finally, the power of mass patronage and online distribution has transmuted the idea of value beyond something that’s static and producer defined, of which Kickstarter is an incredible example. Once you enter a continuum of values, it is reasonable to expect that some people will set the value at zero.

        • crinkles esq. says:

          You’re conflating creative expression and the product of that expression. Ideas might be cheap, but making them into a tangible thing is not. Creative expression may not be devalued, because the impact art can have on someone cannot be strictly measured in a monetary sense. But the work itself — that thing which the artist’s creative ideas and blood were distilled into through incantations and long, aging hours — that is devalued when society believes such work should be priced at 0. There will always be some artists who toil away in poverty, but most works of creative expression (that are intended to be distributed to a wide audience) are made with the intent of making money to support the author.

          Society doesn’t have a ‘right’ to any particular artwork. The person who made it does, and he or she can share it with no one, one person, or everyone. It is not society who can claim to set the price of the artist’s suffering in making it.

          • InternetBatman says:

            I wasn’t saying that society has a right to anything, only that by spreading an idea you are giving it more value, and to a lesser extent empowering the artist. Conversely, an idea that is not shared is effectively meaningless.

            Furthermore, the only intrinsic value of a work is defined by its material components (and that means that the intrinsic value of software is effectively nothing), everything else is a negotiation between society and the creator. An artist can charge whatever they want but that does not mean people have to buy it. That negotiation is being redefined by pay what you want systems, because the work has no intrinsic value, so the value of digital goods is what society will accept. I’m not saying that piracy is right or proper, just that it’s reasonable to expect that some members of society will value that good at zero.

    • Walsh says:

      I love this noble pirate argument. If you treat them not like savages, but like men they will give you money after they already took something. I wonder how many pirates are actually poor. I wonder how many bought the game after pirating it. I wonder how many people read .nfos.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        If we were treated like paying customers to begin with, most of us wouldn’t actually be pirating.

        • Ragnar says:

          Correlation does not imply causation.

          I used to pirate games, over a decade ago. It wasn’t because I was poor, or couldn’t afford them. It was simply because the internet offered an all-you-can-eat buffet of games to download. And much like at an actual buffet, I gorged myself just because it was right there and I could. Most of the games I downloaded I never even played.

          Then I read something on a PA post about how you should buy games to support the developers who make them, so that they could make more games. So I stopped pirating games, or buying used games when new copies were available, so that I would support the devs that make the games I like. So now I buy games on Steam sales, most of which I never play.

          If you treat the pirates as people, and humanize the devs, showing that there’s a person who worked hard behind the product that they’re downloading, it should certainly encourage some to give them money as a “Thank you.”

  5. Alenthas says:

    I wasn’t thinking about buying this game. But after this, I’m seriously considering.

  6. Tom OBedlam says:

    Cactus is lovely. MOTHERFUCKING WEREWOLF

  7. Kreidos says:

    I totally passed on this game the first time I saw it. After hearing this I was curious enough about the game to watch the Giantbomb quicklook and I just purchased it from GOG.

    Carry on good sir.

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  9. Suits says:

    I didnt buy it before but now.. I still won’t, not like the game is suddenly become better geez

    • tobecooper says:

      But the person behind it suddenly become better and people want to reward that.
      Geez… A simple concept, this is.

  10. Tei says:

    Fun facts: people with a lot of money simply dont understand poor people at all.

    This is smart and will result in some extra sales, but is understandable if somebody dont want his game pirate, at all. No so much wen people decided to step on everybody rights to protect his temporal right of distribution control.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I’m not so sure that your “fun fact” has any basis in truth. I think it’s more related to your stereotyping of people with more money that yourself according to common “rich person tropes”.

      • Tei says:

        All generalizations and all. But I think is true for most rich people. Completelly lost or have never had the most remote idea what is like being poor. The horrible thing is that rich people run the world, so these misguided ideas how people run his lives is damaging. It would be much less important if these rich people would stay at home and not control other people lives.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          You wouldn’t be the only person to think something that wasn’t true!

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Oh but it’s completely true. In general there is a class divide, the poor don’t understand the rich, and vice versa. But one of them has a lot to say about how the other lives…

    • celozzip says:

      “Fun facts: people with a lot of money simply dont understand poor people at all.”

      yeah as a man who works hard to earn an (actually quite modest) income it’s hard for me to understand why a poor person doesn’t simply go without certain luxury items(!) like video games(!) until they’ve, i dunno… saved the money(!) or improved their lives(!) to the point where they have a better income.

      alien concepts to most of you, i know…

      • Dave Mongoose says:

        I think the real fact is that a lot of people who consider themselves poor don’t understand what poverty really is.

        If the $10 – $50 you saved by pirating a game needs to be spent on essentials like food or rent or bills then you can say you are poor, but I doubt many people are in that situation.

      • strange_headache says:

        Income is not a thing you can choose deliberately. You said it so yourself, you work hard for a modest income. Now shouldn’t you be allowed to be able to afford the same things as somebody who works as hard as you or less and earns even more money? Poor people are not poor because they chose so or because they are lazy.

        • Archonsod says:

          “Income is not a thing you can choose deliberately.”

          Pretty sure it is. Unless of course you’ve managed to write this via a time wormhole and are actually working on a cotton plantation in the eighteenth century of course, but then I suspect the choice of pirating or not pirating something would have a completely different meaning to you ….

          • beekay says:

            “”Income is not a thing you can choose deliberately.”
            Pretty sure it is.”

            That’s an interesting opinion, but given not everyone posting on this article has an annual income of $10^10, it’s blatantly wrong. Am I allowed to call opinions wrong? If not, ‘stupid’.

          • strange_headache says:


            Ever heard of the term “social mobility”? Apparently not…

          • InternetBatman says:

            No it’s really not. If you live in an area without enough jobs and have no capital with which to create something, move to a better area, or pay for education your income is effectively zero. Unless everyone who is unemployed wants to be unemployed.

          • Fattsanta says:

            “Income is not a thing you can choose deliberately.”
            “Pretty sure it is.”

            The most ignorant thing I have read on this entire post.

          • darkmouse20001 says:

            It certainly is. There is a reason why education in the western word is free – to give everyone a chance to do something constructive with their lives. If you wanted to get good job, all you had to do was pay at least a little attention at school, get a decent haircut, but a Tesco/Walmart suit and try.

            And don’t give me any bullshit about ‘having to have’ further education to earn a decent living. I know plenty of people who left school at the earliest possible opportunity who manage perfectly well to make money.

            One thing you certainly do have in the developed world is choice. So choose to try, stop worrying about other peoples salaries, stop feeling like a bloody victim and do something with your life.

      • hypercrisis says:

        Not everyone is you with your experience of life, show some sympathy and stop being a dick. There are countless reasons people struggle with money.

        • celozzip says:

          so?? if you can’t pay you can’t play. tough shit. i can’t believe this mentality. it’s become so prevalent online lately, it’s worse around the people who pirate films and music. they actually think they’re freedom fighters taking on the evil corporations who keep the musicians and filmmakers locked in a dungeon forcing them to make “product” for slave wages. morons.

          i tell you what it is, it’s because games are available illegally online with no risk to the thief! that’s all it is. if we weren’t able to download a game off a torrent site would you idiots really be condoning the shoplifting of games from your high street shops? exactly. these discussions are so stupid. it’s just a bunch of freeloaders justifying being a freeloader because they’re freeloaders. zzzzz

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Pirating a game is not the equivalent of shoplifting a game.

          • Soon says:

            True. But they’re both habits supported entirely by paying customers. I think he’s looking for some introspection from pirates to ask themselves whether that’s fair.

            The problem is there isn’t a tidy split between pirate and consumer. A majority (I’m guessing!) of pirates are both, where piracy will “complement” their buying habits. That still doesn’t make piracy right, of course. But they’re still people contributing to the industry as a whole and not all just freeloaders.

          • Nick says:

            I hope you get laid off.

          • Jenks says:

            If he gets laid off, he’ll have better things to do than sit around jobless in his parents basement pirating games, like absolutely no one in this comments section I’m sure.

        • jrodman says:

          Well, obviously, you *can*, so your statement is as inaccurate as it is shallow.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        I was signed off work for a great length of time and lived on disability. I could pay my rent and my [minimal] food bills, and the costs for the medical treatment I needed (which was not available on the NHS). I didnt buy clothes, I didn’t go out drinking or socialising. Hell I even thought twice about buying chocolate bars.

        I couldnt have games, so I did not buy them. The argument “why shouldn’t I have them when others can” is one of believing you deserve something, despite there being no evidence that actually backs this up. You DON’T “deserve” a game – no one does. You could argue that you deserve a roof over your head, food and protection from danger. Those rights are enshrined in the welfare and policing systems of developed countries. But you do not deserve video games unless someone decides freely they are yours to have. Charity is a gift, not a right.

        That is why I replayed older games, or stuck to £2 steam sales. Despite being poorer even than when I was a student, this still didnt make me feel like I had the right to just take it. Now I am back at work, I still always pay. I realise that I am paying for games development so that others in this thread can continue to enjoy them for nothing. This does not make me feel particularly warmly about you, no matter how much you defend your human rights with respects to playing those games.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Good. The problem is how to fix a self-centred, short-sighted generation that have grown up being told they’re special to think like this.

          • Donkeyfumbler says:

            I don’t think it’s as much as they think they deserve it as the fact that we are constantly having our noses rubbed in the fact that those with the money and the power have cheated and lied their way to the top (for the most part – I’m sure there are honorable exceptions) with seemingly little consequence even when they are found out.

            Inequality breeds resentment, even when that inequality is actually fair (i.e. people worked for their advantage). When that inequality is blatantly unfair, and society is percieved to be rotten from the top down then is is terribly surprising when peoples morals become a little more ‘fluid’?

            In short, it’s not a case of ‘I deserve it’, more ‘everyone else is doing it (bankers, politicians, businessmen) so why shouldn’t I’

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Donkey, you’ve got this argument down.
            It isn’t about what’s right or wrong, because there’s no such thing.
            It’s all okay. People can argue all they want, but it’s all okay.

          • LionsPhil says:

            It isn’t about what’s right or wrong, because there’s no such thing.

            This is the sentiment of a deeply broken society.

          • rkhan says:

            “The problem is how to fix a self-centred, short-sighted generation that have grown up being told they’re special to think like this.”

            It’s much too late to teach the boomers. They don’t want to learn, and we wouldn’t be able to undo the damage they’ve done anyway.

          • nil says:

            It isn’t about what’s right or wrong, because there’s no such thing

            This is the sentiment of a deeply broken society.

            It also happens to be a ground truth of physical reality. You may extend it, without loss of generality, to “There is no such thing, but people often act as if there was.”

      • InternetBatman says:

        Because when you’re actually poor there are many situations where you cannot save money, or do not get adequately compensated to meet basic necessities.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        “People with lots of money” isn’t you, though.

      • johntheemo says:

        Well, they don’t go without them because they don’t have to since they can download them for free. I’m not sure which part of that you don’t understand. It’s actually really simple: people sometimes do selfish things because they feel like it. If you can’t wrap your head around that, then I seriously doubt that you have a job at all, because you’re obviously 6 years old.

    • Mctittles says:

      I currently live in America and split $1000 a month between my brother and I. Our rent is $700. That leaves $300 for power and food between the two of us, which is fine with me, I could still buy this game if I wanted.
      My question is. Who is “rich” to me? Is anyone in this comment thread complaining about “Rich” people a rich bastard that doesn’t understand anything from my perspective if they make more than me?

      Fun Fact:
      No matter how much people make they complain about the person next door who makes more than them.

      Fun Fact #2:
      People would rather complain their entire lives than do something to make them better.

      Also, thanks RPS for posting a link to a site with ads for prostitutes.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I would have thought RPS would have known better than to link to ThePirateBay or sites affiliated with it, to be honest.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          I didn’t think anyone in the UK could access pirate bay anymore, without VPN’s or similar.

      • InternetBatman says:

        1. Not true. New Boho culture is an example of this.

        2. Not true. It’s silly to make one sentence generalizations assumptions about anything as diverse and complex as human beings.

      • jrodman says:

        I for one and well aware that many of my neighbors are more well off than I am –it’s obvious in how they decorate their homes, dress, the cars they drive, and so on. Home ownership in the bay area requires a fair bit of capital that I don’t currently have, and these things on top kind of clinch the deal. But the only one I resent is the one with the dog that barks its head off all the time.

        I do resent rich people when they overtly express a ridiculous sense of priveledge, like parking diagonally across multiple parking spots because they don’t want their fancy car to get scratched. But that sort of thing is quite rare in my current world.

        • InternetBatman says:

          I park parallel to them. Not because they’re rich, just because it’s an asshole thing to do.

          • rkhan says:

            I did that once and my car got key-scratched for it while I was gone. Since then I don’t do it, but always want to just key scratch the space hoggers.

  11. Drake Sigar says:

    I don’t know how anyone can read “I’ve been broke the last couple of months” and then take this for free. This isn’t like taking a game owned by a big faceless publisher who screwed the developer out of the IP and spends free time diving into swimming pools full of money. Nobody gets hurt in that scenario.

    • rkhan says:

      I’m sorry, but how exactly would the dev be better off if someone who couldn’t afford the game didn’t download it, or worse off if he did?

  12. Coccyx says:

    It would seem people are trying to Hotwire Miami.

  13. MichaelPalin says:

    Good to hear! And another example to explain people that when someone pirates a game it does not mean she/he wont buy it. Pirates generally understand that developers need money to keep making games, treat them right and they will buy.

  14. citiral says:

    Wow, that’s awesome!
    Also, I see so many people saying that poor people shouldn’t pirate games, but play free games instead. I wholeheartedly disagree.
    As a developer, I would much rather see people pirate my game and enjoy it, instead of never buying it and thus never play it. (Making games for people to play and enjoy is, in my opinion, the true indie spirit)

    And also, a pirated copy does not equal a lost sale. I even think that pirated copies often lead to new sales. If people just ignore your game and never buy it, that’s a lost sale. But if that person pirates the game to try it out and sees how awesome it is, you gain a sale.

    • Dave Mongoose says:

      I agree with the ‘piracy is not lost sales’ argument, but my greater concern is the morality of it. If the industry is more accepting of pirates, then there is a danger of piracy becoming more acceptable.

      Everyone has a moral compass, but to some extent that is influenced by what is socially acceptable and what risks are associated by ‘breaking the rules’ – if everyone’s doing it and/or I won’t get punished, why shouldn’t I join in? It’s why you get such big differences in, for example, the drug and drinking cultures of different countries (or even within different areas of the same country) even when they have similar control laws.

      • IDtenT says:

        How is pirating becoming more socially acceptable a bad thing?

        • Kaira- says:

          It encourages mentality “I don’t have to pay for this product”, which in turn leads to loss of incentive.

      • MOKKA says:

        Yeah and it clearly shows that when you morally condemns drinking and drug usage, that people would stop doing it right?

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Drink driving used to be a common occurrence in the UK – thirty years ago, I remember my father being pulled over, clearly blind drunk and wound up sharing a pint or two in the pub with the policeman. The law has not changed regarding drink driving, but the social acceptance of it has. It is no longer common and it is not something many people would freely admit to doing. I don’t have the exact figures on me but the levels of detected drink driving have dropped through the floor.

          Moral condemnation works.

          • jrodman says:

            I’d tweak this to something like “broad moral condemnation”, which is I assume what you meant. When the perception overall becomes that society at large completely condemns something, that’s a big push. Certain sectors doing so does not necessarily have much of an influence.

            Aside: For me personally the strongest shift I’ve ever had in feelings towards respect for copyright has been the huge copyright maximalist legal push from around 1998 until now, which has strongly eroded my respect for the system. At this point I tend to look at the moral scenario on a case by case basis, having no firm respect for the system by default.

    • mackemforever says:

      Firstly, I do pirate games. I can’t afford to spend £30+ on something that I might get a few hours of use out of before I realise it’s not very good, so I use pirated games as an extended demo. If I really enjoy the game I’ll go and buy it, if I really want to access its multiplayer, I’ll buy it, if however it isn’t good then I just uninstall it and leave it at that.

      It’s that last point that I think disagrees with your statement about how somebody pirating a game and not buying it equals a lost sale. I honestly don’t think it does, for the simple reason that in the vast majority of cases I don’t believe that somebody would buy the game if the free copy wasn’t available. Pirated games for me and many other people I know tend to be games that you are on the fence about buying, and I think most people now would stick on the side of the fence that doesn’t involve risking money, if they weren’t able to try the game for free first.

      • citiral says:

        I agree that a pirated copy does not equal a lost sale. I pirated a lot of games myself, and bought a lot of games by trying out a pirated copy beforehand. A pirated copy is the perfect demo. (And even if you don’t buy it after pirating it, i’m okay with that! :) ). I might not have made my opinion very clear in my post.

  15. LeeTheAgent says:

    I think that’s pretty cool of them, and makes a lot more sense for devs (especially small ones such as them) to do, instead of attempt to combat piracy. It fosters goodwill on the internet, and that can payoff incredibly well. There are games I buy from certain indie developers just because I think they seem cool and friendly (like Dejobaan and Aksys). I was seriously considering pirating this game after talking to a friend of mine about it last night and watch the Giant Bomb video of it. However, that was because there’s no demo for it on Steam, and from watching the video, I really can’t tell if I’d like it or not. And I’m always looking for a good game that might run on my netbook (which would push a “meh” opinion of it into the “buy” category pretty easily).

    I used to pirate a lot of games several years ago, and it’s amazing to me now to think of how many of these I’ve bought now that there are services such as Steam. Hell, I’ve bought 2 copies of games like Oblivion, KOTOR, and X2, and even 3 copies of several of the Bit Trip games (from the original Wii download version, the Wii Saga version, and the ones released so far on Steam).

  16. caddyB says:

    Only reason I pirated it is it’s a national holiday for 6 days here and I didn’t have enough cash to put on my bank account for my credit card before the holiday started.

    Now I do, and first thing I’ll do in Tuesday is buying this little gem of a game. Maybe I should have waited, but as long as I buy it before it goes on sale, I don’t see the problem.

    I’ll probably end up buying another copy for my best friend, because how bad I feel about this and how awesome the developer guys have been about it. We really need more people who care about more things than profit in the world.

  17. Fede says:

    @Sheng-ji: actually, after seeing the reaction to Steam Greenlight’s 100$ entry fee thing, I have to agree with Tei. Try reading this (from Rob Fearon, who is an RPS reader and commented above): link to

    Reading the title I wondered whether the game automatically made itself easier for pirate copies. That would have been hilarious.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Trust me, I really do understand what he is going through – I’m critically disabled myself and unless you run an electric wheelchair, you are unlikely to know just how expensive the damn things are! When you have to pay so much money to give yourself any quality of life, it can be galling, however I can’t agree that it is impossible to raise $100 in your spare time.

      For me, I would carve some kiddies toys from wood and sell them to a market stall (This isn’t wishful thinking – not so long ago this was the thing I did to literally keep food on the table), or head down to the estate agents and ask them what I can do to earn some extra cash – they will have you putting up and taking down signs, photographing houses or cleaning, vacuuming and polishing their empty rentals. How about knocking on the door of every house with dirty windows and offering a “downstairs window clean” for $5. Easy money if you can get hold of a bucket of water and a couple of cloths.

      Everyone has their skills and at the end of the day, if they are making a computer game, those skills can certainly earn an extra $100 over a month. Yes I accept that because of time restraints, this means that development on the game may have to be halted for a month but no I do not accept that it is impossible to hold down a full time job and earn a little extra on the side. Worst comes to worst, trawl the neighbourhood and mow peoples lawns for $10 a go! Ten lawns and you’re on greenlight – a month off development is a small price to pay for the publicity you will get.

      No, the problem is absolutely that people feel entitled to a place on greenlight and they get butthurt when achieving that involves a bit of effort on their part. We live in a world where people never leave their broadband connections, never move from a computer screen and never spend any time outside except to move from computer console to computer console.

      Try this (and I did, at about the time of the greenlight debacle for a youtube channel) Go to your local park on a weekend. Talk to as many people as you can, ask them 1 question – “If you have to earn an extra $100 this week, how would you do it?” You will get a huge number of really good answers. Now repeat at a LAN party. I found the lan parties were virtually unable to come up with something that wasn’t insanely high risk, conning people or requiring an initial investment. In my opinion, this is because these people, friends of mine, spend their lives sitting, the concept of labour is alien to them.

      • RobF says:

        “however I can’t agree that it is impossible to raise $100 in your spare time”

        Then it’s bloody lucky I never, not once, not for one second, not even so much as implied that it was impossible then. Nor, as far as I know, has anyone EVER said this aside from people inventing magical arguments.

        Frustrating. I wish you and everyone else who keeps doing that would just stop it because I’m so, so tired of arguing about things no-one posited in the first place except for the people trying to lay these things at mine and my friends doors.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          “I’ll admit, I was caught by surprise and increasingly upset by the number of people I’ve encountered on the internet who couldn’t possibly conceive of a scenario whereby you own a computer, you own all the development software and you make videogames but you can’t possibly have $100”

          I interpreted this statement as you saying that you believe there are video game developers in this world incapable of earning $100

          So, what is your problem with greenlight’s $100 fee if you agree that it doesn’t limit accessibility of greenlight to any game dev no matter how little money they have?

          • RobF says:

            If I’d have wanted to say that, that’s precisely what I’d have wrote. I didn’t though. You’ve just interpreted something from those words that is in no way implied, is no way suggested and in context can certainly not be read that way.

            As I say, it’s frustrating.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I’m obviously very stupid, that’s OK. Could you do me a favour, one that will potentially increase your frustration a little and explain to me what your point is.

            I know you and your wife both got ill with serious conditions at the same time. I know you struggled for money and I know you got frustrated with people questioning your seriousness.

            I am in no way questioning your seriousness. I am in no way questioning how awful a time you had of it. I am only questioning the quote I posted:

            “couldn’t possibly conceive of a scenario whereby you … but you can’t possibly have $100”

            combined with

            “Sheng-ji wrote – however I can’t agree that it is impossible to raise $100 in your spare time

            RobF wrote – Then it’s bloody lucky I never, not once, not for one second, not even so much as implied that it was impossible then.”

            So we are in agreement that unless you too sick to work, you can raise $100 in your spare time – at expense of game dev time if need be, but what the only scenario I can think of is that you spent the money on something else. Hardly a cause to complain about not having it really.

            Now I accept that life is expensive, and that bills need paying, but I hope you don’t prioritise game development over that – whatever pays the rent and bills should come first. When I talk about spare time, I am talking about the time you are not earning the money that covers your life. If you need that $100 to pay important stuff, it was not spare time work. If you have no spare time, you don’t have time to be a game dev. So I guess I can see a second scenario – the one in which you are drastically mismanaging your life/time/money – again not something you have much traction to complain about.

            So please explain in nice easy words for me, what your point is?

          • RobF says:

            If you honestly believe that people can’t conceive of a myriad of different ways they can raise $100 then I honestly don’t know what to make of that. The idea that there’s people out there, more so writing games, who are so tremendously stupid, so idiotic, so unable to think that they can’t conceive of ways to raise $100 without someone pointing out that yes, it is possible LOOK, just do this…

            Seriously. Think about that. Then think how absurd that is. And if you think “hey, they just don’t want to, they’re being lazy” then I suggest that’s even more absurd.

            Now imagine telling that to someone who was in my shoes last year. Imagine how that would feel. To be sitting there as I was struggling on a daily basis with both my health and with money, now picture me there with my wife by my side screaming in agony but now with someone ranting on at me that I could just get out and mow a lawn if I needed $100 for Greenlight. Imagine how that would make me feel.

            Now realise how far from my point whatever your rambling on about is and why I find it frustrating that people continue to do so.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I don’t wish to write what situation I was in two years ago but believe me, I understand chronic pain, I understand disability to the point of being unable to function without help and I understand going through all that when my husband is going through his own illness which is similarly incapacitating. I understand all that whilst trying to make ends meet and I understand having a game in development during that time.

            What I don’t understand is that if you are well enough to enter code into your computer or draw art assets or whatever you were able to do, why could you not do data entry for someone or design some t-shirts. I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. I don’t know you and maybe you were trying to develop your game when realistically you were too ill to do so.

            I meet plenty of disabled people these days, I volunteer to help those with new disabilities lead the life they wish to. There are two very common reactions to this situation – Some people are deeply in denial. They try to lead normal lives and get very frustrated very easily. Some people are lethargic. They give up on everything. I don’t know you and I wouldn’t want to judge you but I do wonder if you were trying to continue with your game development when the appropriate thing would have been to concentrate on your health for a year or so. I just feel that if you are so ill you are incapable of earning any money, then trying to get a game on greenlight is deep denial of your situation. I couldn’t imagine how difficult your life would become if your game was greenlit, getting a game on steam was a manic time for the games company I once worked for – implementing steamworks was no small task.

            Shrugs. I’m not convinced and clearly you are not convinced by my argument that if you are so incapable of doing anything then you shouldn’t be trying to make a game – a difficult and work intensive task for anyone. I respect you a lot from your posts on here, you make a lot of sense. I think its OK for us to agree to disagree on this one issue, I have genuinely tried to understand your position and I just don’t. I will continue to think about what you have said, I’m not writing your opinion off and one day, maybe I’ll get it!

            Still friends?

          • RobF says:

            Obviously! I just find it frustrating having to go through this over and over rather than detesting you or owt because I know this isn’t your fault but it’s the same conversation over and over again! I STILL LOVE YOU. (in an over the internet respect you and your point of view kind of way, natch)

            The thing about game development is that it’s a weird thing. You can do it from home. You can do it even whilst you’re unwell, you can do it from the sofa and you can do it (now) with a slender and basic amount of equipment. I know plenty of people who do from one or the other. It’s not so much about trying to lead a normal life, lord knows I haven’t had one of those in over 10 years for lots of reasons, it’s just that it’s one of those things that if you can do it, if you enjoy doing it, there are plenty of ways to do it. And it’s a job, y’know? It’s not -my- first job, I’m a carer, that’s my work. But it’s a job. Like being a carpenter is a job or being an electrician is a job. Yet people look at them differently. You don’t tend to hear many people telling a sparkie they should go and mow a lawn etc…

            And I could, no bragging intended, I could make $100 like *that*. As could pretty much everyone I know by one means or another. Getting and raising $100 isn’t really and hasn’t ever been the issue around Greenlight. Having $100 to *gamble* on something with no certainties on the other hand… that’s different. Previously, only a few months back you could submit to Steam’s admittedly awful black box for no money. If Steam rejected you, you lost no money. Now it’s $100 and if Steam don’t *accept* you or you don’t raise enough votes (because you treat people like humans not resources, say), you lose that $100. It’s a subtle but important difference.

            More so when that $100 can guarantee something else. Sliding scale from teabags to art and beyond depending where you fall. And that’s not a healthy scenario. It might *only* be $100, it might be $100 you can get from elsewhere but it’s still throwing away $100 on a race you might not win. The less money you have to spare, the heavier that decision weighs.

            BUT! This is why it’s *really* frustrating! None of that was my point nor why I wrote the article. I wrote the article in response to a large number of people saying it was inconceivable that someone could have a computer and the tools to make a game and make a game but not be in a position to submit to Greenlight with its fee. That not having that $100 to throw down on Greenlight made you a lesser developer, a less serious developer. Circumstances be damned, by their logic I could not and should not exist, I should not have made anything, I should not exist at all. My whole point was yes, things can happen, things can go wrong but it doesn’t mean someone is suddenly a lesser developer, it just means things went wrong. And it means then, you can’t just bootstrap, you can’t just mow the lawn but you can still make a bloody good game. You don’t need access to a spendable $100 to do so either, you can have had all the things from before things went mup.

            So then to take that and make it about the fee and ways to get the fee was at first saddening but then more so, it just became frustrating when everyone just runs off the same stuff over and over about how easy it is to get $100 if you really need it. Yes, it can be for some but it’s to ignore the more important point that there are developers in all sorts of situations and sometimes, no amount of platitudes and attitudes makes the decision to spend that $100 on a gamble easier, or indeed any more less possible depending.

            So, y’know, rather than anyone running their mouth off on how easy it is to raise $100, listen to someone when they say it’s not that simple. It very rarely is and no amount of lectures will change that. No-one anywhere ever doesn’t know a thousand ways to find $100 but circumstances, well, they’re things you’ve got to take into account, right? And the thing about the internet is you never know what someone’s circumstances are so play it safe rather than assuming.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I’m going to take my time and read everything you’ve written very carefully, several times over the next couple of days!!! Like I said, I’m not always the brightest spark in the fusebox, but I always try to understand what others are saying and why! I really hope this offsets some of the frustration I caused you today, knowing it wasn’t all in vain!

            Part of the problem was that I forgot that you hadn’t posted the opening comment which very strongly linked your article to Greenlight, hence why I made the incorrect assumption about it being all about Greenlight! I definitely see your point about throwing the money away on an uncertain proposition though and sorry, I didn’t mean to insinuate that you couldn’t make $100 via any mean other than the manual labours I mentioned – it was just what was in my head at the time!

    • InternetBatman says:

      I had my issues with his article originally, and I still do. The only one I’ll say here is that Steam is not the only store on the internet. Minecraft didn’t go through steam and plenty of people use desura and gog. If you can’t get 29 people to buy your game at $5 each on those other sites, it probably won’t be successful on Steam anyways. It certainly won’t be successful on greenlight, which expects you to drive traffic to it, not the other way around.

  18. greg_ritter says:

    >”I don’t really want people to pirate Hotline Miami,” he admitted, “but I understand if they do. I’ve been broke the last couple of months. It sucks.”

    Oooh, nice one, mr. Cactus.

  19. BigJonno says:

    I loathe this concept of “deserving” access to games. It suggests that the richer you are, the more virtuous you are. It would be sort of understandable if we lived in a perfectly fair world where everyone got paid based on how hard they worked, but we clearly don’t. Games aren’t just luxury goods either, they’re cultural artefacts. So not only is it saying those poor people can’t have fun, but they can’t participate in our culture, either.

    It’s easy to make blanket statements like “if you can’t afford it, you can’t have it” but why should that line of thinking apply to digital media that can be freely and endlessly distributed? Downloading a game doesn’t deprive anyone of anything, but it could bring a few hours of happiness into a life that is probably pretty bleak. I can’t see how anyone can condemn that.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      It sounds like you are angry with the way capitalism as a whole works, rather than this one issue. Would it be accurate to say that you are angry at people who have money, and feel that because someone has actually earned the money to pay for a thing, they now somehow think they are better than you? I don’t believe thats whats happening here in the comments. Its more that they worked for it, now they can have the thing they want. Being better or worse doesn’t figure in the equation at all, as its the sense of reward for putting in those hours.

      Seeing someone come along and gleefully snap it up for nothing is galling. The anger you are seeing from others is not an arrogant: “I’ve got money and therefore you are shit” – its actually the sense of being taken for a mug because you are getting it for free. Being taken for a mug – ironically, the same thing that seems to be making you angry too.

      • jrodman says:

        Someone actually did frame it in terms of ‘deserve’, so the indignation is quite appropriate.

        People with more means have access to more than those with less means — that’s capitalism, and some don’t like it.

        People with more means *deserve* access to more than less means — that’s.. objectivism? Or something foul anyway.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          I think the problem is the implicit shame or criticism that seems to be wrapped up in all this. Personally, I do not feel ‘better’ than anyone who cannot afford a game. There are things I want, but growing up broke I got used to accepting when I couldn’t have something. Its not something that causes me pain as much as it used to. Yes I WOULD like certain nice things, but I cant have them. I don’t regard those who have it as better than me, or somehow using it as a weapon to place me in an inferior position – and please believe me when I say that is not a veiled criticism of anyone.

          If others have used condescension as a means to win an argument, then boo to that. The internet is rife with it and I can understand any anger. But economics is a cold hard mistress with no emotional judgement to be made – if you can afford it, buy it. Dollar bills and Bank of England notes have no interest in what manner of person you are. I still think that a more important conversation, that is not being had, is the one about what is a FAIR price to pay for games. The price point that would allow those with less to enjoy games whilst preserving revenue that ensures more future games. Similarly to music and video, game pricing is in need of serious redress.

          • jrodman says:

            You’re just continuing to pretend the framing was in terms of economics only, when it wasn’t.

            Your points are valid but you’re still trying to reject that there was a real non-economic message which was being objected to.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            I think you are putting words in my mouth that belong to the “someone” else you mentioned above, Mr Rodman. I haven’t seen that post so cannot comment (please advise which one?). However I’ve read your posts before and you seem a nice bloke, so no harm no foul.

          • jrodman says:

            The point was that you recontextualized bigjohno’s post pretty strongly and then even when this was pointed out explicitly did not adjust your stance. So I’m not putting any words in anyone’s mouth.

      • BigJonno says:

        A game can be downloaded at no cost to anyone. It makes absolutely no difference to the creator of that game. Apparently, doing that if you can’t afford to pay them anything is wrong, but I can’t get my head around that concept. How can it be wrong for someone to do something that improves the quality of their life when it has no negative impact on anyone else? The only difference between someone torrenting a game and someone buying it from Steam is the financial transaction, thus the ability to make that financial transaction becomes a measure of merit.

        Again, if we lived in a society where those who worked the hardest and contributed most earned the most money, then there would be a valid argument that people with more money were more deserving of things. We don’t live in a society that is even vaguely close to that.

        I have not heard a single good argument why it is morally wrong for someone who cannot afford to buy a game to download it.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          As an experiment, lets assume its a good game, and everyone who played it loved it. Can you talk me through what would happen if literally no one paid for it?

          • BigJonno says:

            Why? I’m not talking about people not paying for things they can afford, I’m talking about people who genuinely can’t afford them at all.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Because what you are not directly acknowledging is that without payments, companies cannot afford to make further games. It relies on someone paying, somewhere. What you are saying is that for those who cannot afford it, they should be allowed it for free. The logical result of that is that someone else picks up the slack, because they CAN afford it.

            You may not be thinking in these terms, but the direct consequences of what you are saying is that games should essentially be means tested, and that those can afford it, pay. There has to be a revenue stream – without it, companies do not function.

            Either that or gaming as a whole becomes indie projects and kickstarters that make their money in a different way or that the standard ‘corporation’ approach to gaming dies (some may feel that to be a good thing).

          • BigJonno says:

            I’m well aware of the basic fact that games cost money to make, I’m not for a moment suggesting that they don’t, or that those who make them don’t have a right to be financially compensated for their efforts. Which is why I’m talking very specifically about people who genuinely can’t afford games. Speaking for myself, if I have any disposable income at all, I feel morally obligated to only play games I can afford to buy, but at the same time, if I have no money (and I don’t mean I have spent all the money I have) I don’t have an issue with downloading a game that I couldn’t afford to buy anyway. I have done so in the past and I have later bought every single game that I have downloaded and played at length.

            I don’t have a solution, but I take great issue with words like “deserve” coming into the conversation.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            “I don’t have a solution, but I take great issue with words like “deserve” coming into the conversation”

            Thats fair enough and definitely a point of agreement. It is a loaded term, though I would equally take issue with the idea that everyone deserves a game even if they cannot afford it. Impasse!

            Anyways, thanks for the brain workout and friendly debate. Nice to be able to disagree without things getting “a bit internet” :D

    • Jenks says:

      I genuinely can’t afford to buy games right now because I’m saving for a boat. I still deserve to play the games for free, right? Or does this not fit into your bizarre ethics code for theft?

      • BigJonno says:

        Theft involves taking something away from someone and is thus entirely irrelevant to any discussion of piracy.

        • darkmouse20001 says:

          You are stealing from the developer – he/they spent invested a considerable amount of time and effort into making a game – if you want to play it, you pay them for their time and effort. Fancy mowing my lawn, or doing my dirty dishes, etc, which all take time and effort for free? Didn’t think so. They didn’t make you a computer game for free either.

          Also, as an aside note, I am actually disgusted by the attitude on display here to other people salaries and the ‘unequal distribution of wealth.’ I accept some people do seem to get paid far more than their work seems worth, however, in general he system works very well. A doctor gets paid more than a general labourer because it takes years of study and financial investment, not to mention effort to become a doctor and therefore their supply is relatively limited. The exact opposite of manual labouring. Both jobs are recompensed accordingly. Likewise with pilots to busdrivers. Engineers to electricians. I could go on and on. The vast majority of people in western society earn according to their worth or contribution.

          Some people get payed vast sums of money – but if the ceo of a company adds £20 million worth of sales/revenue to a company in the span of a year, why begrudge them their £500k salary. Chances are that money was used to expand the company, create jobs and continue the distribution of wealth.

          Also no one in the uk is unable to earn decent money if they try. I’ve done quite a lot of temping between what I consider my proper career, and when I’ve wanted cash I work 9-5 doing something like data entry 7-11 behind a bar, and then shift cases of fruit in a distribution warehouse on a saturday, all for near minimum wage. I easily earned enough to cover rent, food, beer, a few well chosen games etc.

          Last thing – I grew up in the middle of Africa. Poverty exists there. Poverty does not exist in the uk, except by ones own making.

          Get off your arse and do some work you lazy bastards, or accept that you can’t buy luxuries like computer games – definitely don’t steal from the developers, who have to put a roof over their heads, food on their table and fund their luxuries, just like you. Stop trying to impose your ‘poverty’ on others.

  20. wodin says:

    I hold my hands up to pirating games. Ones I’m unsure if I’d like and many I uninstall the same day. If I do enjoy it I will further down the line ask for it say for Birthday or Xmas. Some genres I play no one pirates but they are my favourite so I wouldn’t anyway.

    I’ve never pirated a game straight off that I’d have gone and bought anyway. and if I enjoy it as I said I will buy it. I’m one of those on the poverty line..disabled single dad and money is very very scarce. Most games I buy are ones for my daughter, I never pirate a game she wants but she hates waiting a few weeks for me to save for it.

    I did pirate this game, played three mins..hated it as it just wasn’t for me, it’s just too fast for my neuropathic fingers..uninstalled.

    The main thing I pirate is rare CD’sAlbums that are well out of print, usually music from the sixties.

  21. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Having had the conversation with a few people, I am now genuinely intrigued (no veiled sarcasm, I mean that as written). Lets assume we live in a world where you physically cannot pirate, just hypothetically, and there is no ‘free’. What do people feel is a fair price for a game, given distributions of wealth, content, quality etc? Or rather, what price is most likely to make you feel “hell yeah, gimme”?

    I personally think that £15.00 is a fair price for a triple-A game – that feels like a sweet spot for me. I would struggle to resist that, whilst not being insultingly cheap. For an indie title of reasonable length, I think about £3 – 5.00 is what would get me to bite. I live in the UK.

    What is it for you?

    • BigJonno says:

      I’d agree with you on that, possibly pushing the £15 price point up to £20.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Yeah I feel similarly. £20 for a 300+ hour game like Skyrim, maybe. I do think that £30 is excessive.

        • NathanH says:

          I think that £20 for a 300 hour game (assuming you enjoy it!) is outrageously cheap. I’m not going to say that the price of a game should increase linearly with how much play you get out of it, but £20 for 300 hours is basically nothing.

          The problem with the concept of a fair price for a game is that fair prices are inherently extremely individual things, if they indeed exist at all.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            I am wondering if there is a rough guideline emotional price point at which the desire for a game outweighs the perception of not having enough to pay for it. Being able to afford something can often be just as much a felt sensation as much as a numerical reality. I wonder if the emotional barrier was lowered , a person’s perception of whether paying for it is a good idea or not would change, and as a result, cause a reduction in the numbers torrenting it instead.

            I just bought pathologic for £2 and would not have paid more. I wonder how many would not pirate given what is FELT to be a fair price. As its subjective that’s why I’m asking opinions.

          • NicoTn says:

            A big part of piracy is not always the money, it is the anti consumer practices, Milking, day 1 DLC bullshit, DRM and my biggest point of frustration is region release dates / prices. Sometimes it is just ridiculous lets take this for an example: AC3 comes out in the US on may the 1st, however the EU version comes out on April the 1st., why would i as a consumer take this corperate BS? I won’t, i will use the best available option to me and most of the time its turning to piracy.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Whatever the market sets, in the face of moderate regulation to prevent e.g. price-fixing.

      Which, in reality, usually means tuning a range of different prices, regionally, and across time (by having sales), so that as many people buy the game as possible, but each group pay as much as they are willing. If you can sell 1,000 copies for $50 or 10,000 copies for $5, the best thing is to get those 1,000 people to buy it on release and the other 9,000 on sale a few months later. (Numbers are, of course, stupidly exaggerated to make the point.)

      Release prices are held down by competition. Eventually, the price of the game will drop to something “reasonable”. If you don’t like this, don’t buy games that cost millions to produce.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        You raise a good point – do you think that the industry is guilty of price fixing? Its an accusation thats been leveled at the music industry many times. I would be curious to find out what that standard £29.99 / $59.99 (? Not sure of US prices) release price is made up of in terms of profit distribution.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I don’t really have any reason to believe that that’s the case. If anything, the price of “big” games on release seems to have been holding pretty stable for a long time, despite inflation. I remember them being in the ballpark of £30 back in the ’90s*, and that will get me Dishonored, XCOM, or Borderlands 2 from Steam’s frontpage with no sale in effect today.

          I would have thought if sinister machinations were afoot, we’d have been gouged a bit more by now.

          * I had a quick Google to see if my memory is playing tricks, but the results are coming back console-flavoured. (The consensus there seems to be that they’ve fallen since, especially considering inflation.)

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            OK cool. I am trying to remember what I paid for Amiga 500 games, and seem to remember about the £25 mark, so it does seem quite static. That said, I am quite intrigued to see what the profit margins, and who gets what, actually are.

            Anyone remember what an LP used to cost, as compared with CD’s now?

          • LionsPhil says:

            If you go back much before the PC gaming early/mid-’90s golden age, I suspect development costs plummet somewhat, since the credits list does too.

            Hmm. The price labels for my Lemmings/Oh No/2 boxes are long gone, but there’s still one on One Step Beyond for £20.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            A game about Quavers. Awesome
            Now I’m hungry.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Every game is unique and would have a different price. I’m less likely to buy Borderlands 2 at the price I would pay for Dragon Age.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Cheers IB. What would be your sweet spot for release-day Borderlands 2?

        • InternetBatman says:

          Borderlands 2? Probably about $15. Borderlands was a time waster, but it’s not like I learned or gained a wealth of experiences from it.

  22. Caiman says:

    I don’t think this has all that much to do with pirates being poor at all. It’s got more to do with Cactus understanding the mentality of pirates far better than most, and being smart about it.

  23. Entitled says:

    The idea that all people are entitled to play games, is just as preposterous as the idea that all artists are entitled to get paid every time someone plays their game.

    In other words, they are both reasonable, but in the end, equally arbitary ideas.

    The “intellectual property” euphemism is inherently flawed, because knowledge and ideas can’t be property. They can’t be stolen, and they can’t be taken back from the “thief”. Neither the artist’s nor the buyer’s, nor the pirates, can truly “own” a game, because the game is not an object.

    The best analogy I have heard about this, is that an IP is related to it’s creator, as a child is related to a parent. It can be “your” child, but you still don’t own it as your “property”. You have certain rights over the child, but so does the government, the extended family, the child
    protection services, etc, can also have certain rights and claims over a child’s treatment. It’s the same with games: the artist has certain rights over it, but so does the publisher, the audience (fair use; parody, criticism), the copy’s buyer (right to resell), all of society (public property) .

    To pretend that the debates between the pirates and the industry are about who owns the game, is like pretending that child discipline laws are about who “owns” the child, the state or the parent.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Yes, but while that’s very noble, we live in a world where you have to give money in order to feed and cloth yourself. If you want new ideas in this world, you need to allow people to earn money from the new ideas they come up with, otherwise less and less people will have the means to innovate. Stagnating innovation is not a good thing.

      So by allowing a person ownership of their idea, you allow them to earn a living from it. If that person chooses to exchange ownership of their idea for the security and increased skillset of a corporation – i.e they innovate for a company whilst drawing a regular wage, knowing that the company will use it’s employees to maximise the profit to enable the thinker to come up with many more ideas while feeding the family – more power to them; but don’t doubt that if you try to circumvent paying them for the idea they had, you are not helping innovation, you are hindering it.

      And by the way, all of society does not have the right to access to my children and I would literally kill to protect them from some aspects of society.

      • Entitled says:

        “To allow people to earn money from the new ideas” is a very different thing from “allowing a person ownership of their idea”.

        We are *NOT* allowing IP holders real ownership that is comparabe to owning physical property. We are giving them certain unique monopolies, such as the right to be the only one who sells copies for money, the exclusive right to distribute merchandise, the exclusive right to make future works with the same characters/settings/etc, and, the right to stop people from making their own personal copies.

        Only that latter is relevant to the piracy debate. This is an imortant distinction, because whether or not IP is real property, changes whether the direction in which we are going, (as seen from the above news), is necessary good, or necessary evil.

        It would be necessary evil, if you would believe that artists totally *own* their works, and anything that happens to them without their permission is violating their natural rights. From this perspective, Jonatan Soderstrom is giving up his rights, which is an utter tragedy.

        But if we are talking about creators having series of monopolies, of which Jonatan Soderstrom is forced to give up the latest, then as long as there are enough buyers to fund his works anyways, there is nothing wrong about the change, it’s just a matter of reorganizing a business model.

        We could even say that the world is getting richer for it, as we are now allowed to deal with content more openly, while also sustaining the industry.

  24. Freud says:

    We already knew he had a twisted mind after his previous games, but communicating with pirates? That’s just sick.

  25. Hahaha says:

    Paying 2 quid for 5 games is fine
    Pirating 1 game is BAD

  26. Borborygme says:

    Aids Pirates!

  27. Wolvaroo says:

    I would bet a sizeable majority of people who pirate games (any game for any reason) are people who could reasonably afford to pay full price and the people who swear they buy every game they pirate and like are a vocal minority.

    I’ve read through all the comments thus far and still see a lot of people justifying it as a demo or that they can’t afford it or whatever. I just can not agree. We live in an age where nearly every game you likely know about will go on deep discount within a year or two. You have so much information available to determine if the game is worth the asking price to you post-launch. There are unfathomable amounts of free or exceptionally affordable games on the internet of superior quality to today’s AAA offerings. As a matter of fact most of my favourite games are completely open source.

    I imagine plenty of people put more effort in to pirating games then they would have to work to pay for them!

    Now understand that I’m not some rich kid who’s known wealth his whole life. I’ve been a cook for the last 10 years making barely over minimum wage, long hours, late nights, weekends. I believe I work very hard for my modest income and I manage my expenses accordingly. I can often afford to buy any and all games I want at release without a second thought while still living on my own and maintaining a vehicle in a city with some of the most outrageous rent and insurance premiums in the country.

    Now I’ve been between jobs for a couple months and have got my steam wishlist up to nearly 15 games, and I regularly reflect on those choices and trim some off accordingly. At this point in time I CAN NOT afford games. I CAN NOT even afford food outside of day old baked goods from a local shop and tap water. I start my new job Monday morning and by my calculations my monthly expendable income will be in a double-digits until August 2013 and I still WILL NOT pirate these games. If my situation was so dire I would never be conceivably able to purchase games legitimately and had no other hobbies or interests I probably would and I’m sure I would have the developer’s blessing in doing so, but as I am so sincerely trying to emphasis here, most people are not in this situation and if they can not afford a purely luxury hobby as video gaming, they have some much more serious things to worry about in life than not playing the latest releases.

    The one game I am honestly constantly staving off the urge to throw my credit card at is a free browser game (and not in the freemium model either, I legitimately want them to have my money!). And that is out of all fantastic releases these past couple months.

    tl;dr: If you can’t afford to buy video games consider other hobbies.

  28. frosty216 says:

    Hippies, get a job/haircut.
    -Or if you don’t want to pay for a game, lucky for you, you don’t have to buy it (BUT I DESERVE IT).
    -Or if you feel you “deserve” so much culture, you can turn on your FM radio. Or open the door, and take a walk outside. It’s free, I promise. Give it a try (BUT IT’S NOT THE THING I DESERVE THAT I WANT).
    -Or you could direct yourself to one of the many websites that offer free flash/3d games (BUT IT’S NOT THE EXACT PRODUCT THAT I DESERVE THAT I WANT).
    -Or you could just discuss the finer points of capitalism and economics on a gaming blog (DEAL!!).
    …Funny how the biggest illness of this generation is not the plague, or HIV, it’s entitlement.

    First world problems.

    • darkmouse20001 says:

      Well said.

      Get off your arse and do some work you lazy bastards, or accept that you can’t buy luxuries like computer games – definitely don’t steal from the developers, who have to put a roof over their heads, food on their table and fund their luxuries, just like you.

    • Nick says:

      “…Funny how the biggest illness of this generation is not the plague, or HIV, it’s entitlement. ”

      That has to be one of the most moronic things I have read on the internet. Well done!

  29. Jimbo says:

    Lost a sale to me – I don’t support devs who condone piracy. They’ll gain more than they lose though, because people like to be told that what they’re doing is ok, especially if it isn’t. It’s other developers who will pay for this display of ‘understanding’.

    • rkhan says:

      I don’t ‘pirate’ and I’d rather give my money to devs like this who understand that ‘piracy’ is not the problem. ‘Piracy’ is a symptom of the flawed and consumer abusive business practices that are predominant in the videogame, music, and film industries.

      And don’t kid yourself, you are not a lost sale unless you were considering buying this game before this article, and there’s a pretty high probability that you wouldn’t have even heard of it if it weren’t for the author doing this.