Hotline Miami "Torrented to Extraordinary Levels"

Hotline Miami "Torrented to Extraordinary Levels"

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It turns out Hotline Miami is really popular with those of the rum-drinking, parrot-toting persuasion.

Do you know what pirates like? Free games. Do you know what they like even more? Tiny games with easily-broken copy protection. Games like Hotline Miami, for example.

"It has been torrented to such a staggering level, and given the file size of it, I mean, you can't really be surprised, right? You could pass this thing around on the world's smallest memory stick," project manager, Graeme Struthers, told Eurogamer. "So it has been torrented to extraordinary levels."

Some of the game's torrent popularity might be down to developer, Jonatan Söderström's, decision to extend the olive branch to pirates rather than bellow legal threats at them. When a cracked and buggy version of Miami turned up on The Pirate Bay, Söderström elected to help users who couldn't get the game to run and even suggested that the uploaders should update the torrent with a patched version of the game.

"I definitely want people to experience the game the way it's meant to be experienced," he said at the time. "No matter how they got a hold of it."

While Söderström's pirate-friendly approach - and his willingness to engage with critics via social media - has bought him a lot of good will, it's unclear how many pirates he managed to convert into paying customers. Regardless, the game has done well for an excruciatingly hard indie project from an unknown developer, with around 130,000 copies sold in seven weeks.

"That's what he's like," explained Struthers. "He just felt he didn't want people playing the buggy version of his game however they got it. He wanted them to get the patch. He basically said, 'I'm not going to criticise this, it's a fact of life. It would be nice if guys could find it within themselves to pay for it, but that's the world I'm in, so you know, you just have to take it for what it is.'

Source: Eurogamer

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Buy the damn game. Show some support. It is worth it.

Surprisingly, the 'story' for me was incredibly engaging. Thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns and breakdown in reality. The game was a challenge. I appreciate that. Is it ultra violent and gory? Absolutely. Is it for everyone? Defintiely not. 'Rent' it, but didnt like it? Don't buy it. Otherwise.. support the good guy.

I imagine how a lot of people will say that these guys are awesome and how they should keep doing what they are doing, but I do feel bad for indie developers that spend so much time on a game only to get pirated, huge AAA games I rarely care about but the indie teams have to put up with a lot of shibin the sake of staying on the right side on the Internet. Now I'm not saying we should have godawful DRM (fuck no) but I do feel that developers don't need to say they are fine with piracy just to keep people happy, if they want the money they deserve then they should get it.

It reminds me of Witcher 2 when the company decided to send out letters asking pirates to pay for the game, when all of a sudden the community got mad and they stopped. I mean it was just letters, god forbid that they try and get the money they are owed. I see that as the best course of action, just send a letter asking for money to the pirates and hopefully they will be good enough to pay. Oh well piracy is always a bit of an issue for indie guys like them, at least they are taking it on the chin.

Pirates pirating a game, eh?

Nothing new under the sun then.

Grey Carter:

Do you know what pirates like? Free games. Do you know what they like even more? Tiny games with easily-broken copy protection. Games like Hotline Miami, for example.

You know what pirates really like though?
Pirating most everything.

Most pirates I know will download almost everything in such abundance that I'd be surprised if they're not the main customer to both Western Digital and Seagate.

...I do have to wonder how much cross-over there is between the people who rage against DRM & the pirates. I know someone's gonna say "uuh, all of them. duh", but it does make you wonder where we actually stand as a community. DRM is annoying at best & game-breaking at worst, so there's plenty of legitimate reason to dislike it. Needless to say why pirates hate it. What's the annoyed gamer/pirate ratio among people who throw tantrums over DRM?

besides, it goes on sale frequently, and if you can't shell out for that lower price, you're either a kid without online shopping capabilities (and you really shouldn't be playing such a bloody game) or you're just being petty

Hotline Miami was pirated to exraordinary levels first and foremost because it is an extraordinary game. Play it however you can, pay whatever you feel you can. Everybody wins.

Man. Piracy. Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out that a heavily pirated indie game with the good press of 'no DRM' actually gets excellent advertising from those two facts? Or if selling over 100,000 copies was doing exceptionally well for an indie team? Or if the net result was somehow that the piracy actually sold more games than a draconian DRM scheme would have in the first place (even discounting the cost of implementing that scheme), thus netting the team more money that it otherwise would have made with said DRM scheme and letting more people play a great game?

Good thing I don't live in a world like that. In the real world it's obvious that every single person who pirated the game both had the extra cash and the incentive to buy it for full price or else they'd never have wanted to play it at all. And who can forget the basic fact of life that if you torrent a game you are forbidden from buying it after you see whether or not you like it? PIRACY BAD.

I know there will always be people who pirate everything just because they can, but I bet there's a considerable number of people who pirated it because there's no demo. It's a new developer, the screenshots tell you that it kinda looks like ass from an objective standpoint, and most people talk about how hard it is and how you die a lot. It's not fun to drop even 10 bucks on something you hate after 2 minutes.

That said, I'm not supporting the practice or saying it's okay, but it does happen. I know people personally who have no problem handing over the money if it's something they ended up enjoying, basically every torrent isn't a lost sale. But you knew that.

fenrizz:
Pirates pirating a game, eh?

Nothing new under the sun then.

Grey Carter:

Do you know what pirates like? Free games. Do you know what they like even more? Tiny games with easily-broken copy protection. Games like Hotline Miami, for example.

You know what pirates really like though?
Pirating most everything.

Most pirates I know will download almost everything in such abundance that I'd be surprised if they're not the main customer to both Western Digital and Seagate.

Bahahaha

That is so very true.

When I asked my buddy what he wanted for christmas all he wanted was a 2tb external HD like I have, because he filled up his last one with anime he downloaded XD

OT: Also the pirates spend more on media than everyone else yada yada yada

DrunkOnEstus:
I know there will always be people who pirate everything just because they can, but I bet there's a considerable number of people who pirated it because there's no demo. It's a new developer, the screenshots tell you that it kinda looks like ass from an objective standpoint, and most people talk about how hard it is and how you die a lot. It's not fun to drop even 10 bucks on something you hate after 2 minutes.

That said, I'm not supporting the practice or saying it's okay, but it does happen. I know people personally who have no problem handing over the money if it's something they ended up enjoying, basically every torrent isn't a lost sale. But you knew that.

This. Every pirate is increasing the value of the product by expanding its reach and therefore potential sales from everyone pirate or no.

In general my thoughts on piracy is negative, and I rarely, if ever, support it. I just don't see the arguments holding any weight. If you're pirating a game because of price, then you probably shouldn't have bought a console or gaming PC in the first place, and that's for games from $50-$60, which even I admit is pricey. But $10? Seriously, you won't shell out $10 for a game? That's not a matter of something being too expensive, that's just a matter of you (the pirate) being lazy and a dick.

This is a shame because the game is very good and well worth the $10. And all things considered the game did well, but assuming that not everyone who pirated the game ended up buying it (which is incredibly likely) then that's a bunch of extra success that's been lost.

If Jonatan actually feels the way he does about piracy then that's his thing, but frankly I don't think that an indie developer is required to (or should for that matter) embrace piracy or the community of it in order to obtain cred.

Popular games get pirated more ... real shocker that one, and no DRM doesn't change that it only pisses on the honst buyers parade.

... or pirated games become more popular?

Aureliano:
Man. Piracy. Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out that a heavily pirated indie game with the good press of 'no DRM' actually gets excellent advertising from those two facts? Or if selling over 100,000 copies was doing exceptionally well for an indie team? Or if the net result was somehow that the piracy actually sold more games than a draconian DRM scheme would have in the first place (even discounting the cost of implementing that scheme), thus netting the team more money that it otherwise would have made with said DRM scheme and letting more people play a great game?

Good thing I don't live in a world like that. In the real world it's obvious that every single person who pirated the game both had the extra cash and the incentive to buy it for full price or else they'd never have wanted to play it at all. And who can forget the basic fact of life that if you torrent a game you are forbidden from buying it after you see whether or not you like it? PIRACY BAD.

It's weird that your comments are going to be written by someone else with genuine belief behind them.

I haven't checked to see if they already have been, but its fairly mechanical here.

For the record I own this game, its VERY strange. But I like it. Would like to see them make a full GTA world game with this style of gameplay.

Aureliano:
Man. Piracy. Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out that a heavily pirated indie game with the good press of 'no DRM' actually gets excellent advertising from those two facts? Or if selling over 100,000 copies was doing exceptionally well for an indie team? Or if the net result was somehow that the piracy actually sold more games than a draconian DRM scheme would have in the first place (even discounting the cost of implementing that scheme), thus netting the team more money that it otherwise would have made with said DRM scheme and letting more people play a great game?

Good thing I don't live in a world like that. In the real world it's obvious that every single person who pirated the game both had the extra cash and the incentive to buy it for full price or else they'd never have wanted to play it at all. And who can forget the basic fact of life that if you torrent a game you are forbidden from buying it after you see whether or not you like it? PIRACY BAD.

This, this, a thousand times this. Gotta love Escapist piracy stories, you've got to reach pretty damn hard in order to cast this story the way they did, but I suppose admitting that *shock-horror* piracy might have actually improved sales of a game would be far to contrary to the standing narrative of the evil rapacious pi-rat roaring gleefully as they put poor, innocent game developers out of business.

I'm not going to criticise this, it's a fact of life. It would be nice if guys could find it within themselves to pay for it, but that's the world I'm in, so you know, you just have to take it for what it is.

Well that's an awfully defeatist sentiment. I wonder if he feels that way about other things.

Also, look at all the people announcing how good piracy is! One data point game that is vastly different from the major AAA games that are usually the subject of this argument clearly proves their point entirely. You have convinced me pirates, I will repent for wanting to try and protect my ideas and offer in the face of uncertain data. In the terms of a Yahtzee review: "In meh butt!"

I could have pirated it, but no, I bought it instead. Well worth it.

Eternal_Lament:
This is a shame because the game is very good and well worth the $10. And all things considered the game did well, but assuming that not everyone who pirated the game ended up buying it (which is incredibly likely) then that's a bunch of extra success that's been lost.

Some people who pirated the game had no intention of buying the game at any price and that percentage does not tranlate to lost income for the people who made the game.

porous_shield:

Eternal_Lament:
This is a shame because the game is very good and well worth the $10. And all things considered the game did well, but assuming that not everyone who pirated the game ended up buying it (which is incredibly likely) then that's a bunch of extra success that's been lost.

Some people who pirated the game had no intention of buying the game at any price and that percentage does not tranlate to lost income for the people who made the game.

But that's my point. Here we have people who take the time to download the game but don't bother paying for it, either because they don't feel like paying (in which case they're just being a dick), because they don't have the money for it (in which case they probably shouldn't be spending their time doing this), or because they feel entitled/justified to do so (in which case they're just spoiled dicks)

A pirated copy doesn't mean a lost sale.

I used to pirate music all the time, and if I couldn't find and album I wouldn't go "Oh golly! I guess I better go buy it then!"

I'd just wait until someone uploaded a version.

Eternal_Lament:

porous_shield:

Eternal_Lament:
This is a shame because the game is very good and well worth the $10. And all things considered the game did well, but assuming that not everyone who pirated the game ended up buying it (which is incredibly likely) then that's a bunch of extra success that's been lost.

Some people who pirated the game had no intention of buying the game at any price and that percentage does not tranlate to lost income for the people who made the game.

But that's my point. Here we have people who take the time to download the game but don't bother paying for it, either because they don't feel like paying (in which case they're just being a dick), because they don't have the money for it (in which case they probably shouldn't be spending their time doing this), or because they feel entitled/justified to do so (in which case they're just spoiled dicks)

Whatever your point is, you evidently missed his; none of those things you said have any bearing whatsoever on whether or not they would have paid. How, objectively, better off would the developer of a game be if a person who would have pirated their game(and thus not paid for it) simply not bought it(and thus not paid for it)? They get no money in either case, they incur no loss in either case, so why is it better for a developer to chase such people through the courts in an effort to bankrupt them out of spite as opposed to putting that time, money, and effort into making a better product which more people will want to pay for?

Casual judgement and name-calling are easy enough, the reality is that it IS possible to "compete with free", and this Hotline Miami guy understands how to do it.

And don't try pulling any "oh but I'm sure there's loads of people who'd buy it if there was no other option", because A; the exact ratio of Would Have Boughts to No Chancers is impossible to determine with the currently available data so any assertions on that matter would be pure supposition, and B; you were specifically discussing people who would not pay even if there were no other choice.

Magichead:

Whatever your point is, you evidently missed his; none of those things you said have any bearing whatsoever on whether or not they would have paid. How, objectively, better off would the developer of a game be if a person who would have pirated their game(and thus not paid for it) simply not bought it(and thus not paid for it)? They get no money in either case, they incur no loss in either case, so why is it better for a developer to chase such people through the courts in an effort to bankrupt them out of spite as opposed to putting that time, money, and effort into making a better product which more people will want to pay for?

Yeah, there are people who will never buy the product, that's why they pirated it in the first place. Just because it happens and will likely always happen so long as there's a means to do so doesn't make the subject free of criticism. Of the two cases who mentioned (person pirates and doesn't pay, or person doesn't pirate and doesn't pay) both indeed earn the developer no money, but the pirating does incur a loss. If a player pirates a game, plays it, and then doesn't pay for it, that is a loss for the developer, regardless of whether the person WOULD HAVE payed for it, because they still earned the full experience as if they had payed for it without actually doing so. Or, to put it bluntly, a person who steals a game from a store because they had no intention of buying it is still someone who stole the game and is still a loss for the developer. I was arguing that the excuses that those people use just makes them come across as dickish.

Also, haven't you somewhat answered your own question as to why a developer would rather take punitive action rather than investing more money? If it's agreed upon that there are people out there who simply will never pay or will pirate what they want, then why would a developer bother taking money to make the game better if it's all the more likely that those same people will pirate the game again? If a developer thinks it's going to earn more money out of someone by taking them to court rather than creating an experience that they're likely to pirate again, then they're probably going to take the more cynical approach and go after the people in court.

Casual judgement and name-calling are easy enough, the reality is that it IS possible to "compete with free", and this Hotline Miami guy understands how to do it.

The name-calling, I think, is fair because if you are someone who pirates games for the reasons I said above, you are either not in the position to be doing this in the first place (because you should probably be focusing on more important things in your life) or you're just being a dick. Because really, there is rarely any justification to pirating games, let alone ones that cost only $10. You may call it judgmental, I call it a simple truth. As for if Jonatan made the right move, who knows. If, by some luck, official numbers indicate the percentage of pirates who pirated the game and then bought it, I'll concede to either point (whether the pirates did help with the success by buying afterwards or if they didn't buy and therefore didn't help with the success)

And don't try pulling any "oh but I'm sure there's loads of people who'd buy it if there was no other option", because A; the exact ratio of Would Have Boughts to No Chancers is impossible to determine with the currently available data so any assertions on that matter would be pure supposition, and B; you were specifically discussing people who would not pay even if there were no other choice.

I wasn't even having that argument in the first place, thus I wasn't going to use that argument. I argue that those who pirate the game even if they are never going to pay for it are a) dickish or have misplaced focus, and b) still technically represent a loss, because a person who pirates a game, plays it, and doesn't pay for it is still earning a paid experience without actually paying, i.e. a LOSS

Too bad... the game is very much worth the asking price, and with regular Steam sales that low price gets slashed even further. I sure as hell don't regret buying it.

Wow, the number of piracy apologists in here is very surprising. Didn't think we had nearly as many of those here as we apparently do. :\

OT: Bit sad that it was pirated so much. The game really is very good and deserves the hype. Oh well, hopefully the pirates will convert to paying customers and actually pay for the the game. :P

Aureliano:
Man. Piracy. Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out that a heavily pirated indie game with the good press of 'no DRM' actually gets excellent advertising from those two facts? Or if selling over 100,000 copies was doing exceptionally well for an indie team? Or if the net result was somehow that the piracy actually sold more games than a draconian DRM scheme would have in the first place (even discounting the cost of implementing that scheme), thus netting the team more money that it otherwise would have made with said DRM scheme and letting more people play a great game?

Good thing I don't live in a world like that. In the real world it's obvious that every single person who pirated the game both had the extra cash and the incentive to buy it for full price or else they'd never have wanted to play it at all. And who can forget the basic fact of life that if you torrent a game you are forbidden from buying it after you see whether or not you like it? PIRACY BAD.

Must people like you see everything in binary? Or would being honest and passing up the cheap shots just kill you inside?

I only heard about this game because people reported on the Developer helping pirates run the thing. Wouldn't have heard of it or bought it otherwise, so piracy certainly got them my purchase.

I actually bought it, have yet to finish it though.

 

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