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Indie developers use “piracy” to promote game

While big game companies like Crytek complain about losing millions of dollars because of piracy, a number of independent game developers are embracing the world of piracy as a way to encourage people to try their games, and maybe eventually pay for them.

Whenever you open up a blog post about gaming, chances are you are going to read about some big name gaming company complaining about how piracy is destroying their business.

From Crytek claiming that Crysis 2 has been illegally downloaded 4 million times to Sony Interactive claiming that its Football Manager series has seen a piracy rate of 80 percent (even Madfinger having to go to a free-to-play model because of rampant piracy of their Shadowgun game), you would think that everyone creating games would like nothing better than to string up every pirate they could find.

However, that is not the case with all developers, especially the smaller indie game developers like Sean Hogan, the person behind the old-style RPG Anodyne game, or  Jonatan Söderström, one of the developers behind Miami Hotline. In fact, developers like these two are actually embracing “illegal-file-sharing” as a viable way to get their games out in front of as many people as they can.

Sean Hogan said recently on Reddit that, rather than complaining and fighting against piracy, small developers should be embracing it.  Moreover, for anyone who has downloaded the action adventure RPG game Anodyne, Hogan would like for them to upvote it on Steam's new Greenlight Indie Game platform. He also stated that it was a way for the people who couldn't normally afford to buy the game to at least be able to play it, and that it is better for indie developers to have as many people playing their games as possible and then spreading the word about them.

Jonatan Söderström said much the same thing in a recent thread on a torrent site where he and his co-developer had relied on to announce upcoming fixes. Like Hogan, Miami Hotline dev, Söderström, said that he understands the hard economic times and not everyone can afford to spend what little money they do have on games.

For him, it is about getting the name of the game out there and as many people playing it as possible, with the payoff hopefully being that they will tell their friends about the game.  Söderström hopes that the studio’s generosity and understand will thereby encourage gamers to pay for the game later down the line.

via Develop Online

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