They Pirated His Game, But This Dev Is Providing Support Anyway

Jonatan Soderstrom, one of the duo behind the fantastic Hotline Miami, should be the last person on Earth giving advice to people pirating his games. So it's weird/nice to see him actually being one of the first.

On the game's thread at torrent site The Pirate Bay (and spotted by PC Gamer), Soderstrom has dropped in to address complaints - yes, pirates complain about the product they've stolen — and give advice for people on how to get the game running.

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!

For the "Error defining an external function." problem, try restarting your system and play again, it can pop up when your computer has been running for a while. We'll try to figure out if there's more to it than that.

While helping out pirates may seem a fairly counter-productive thing to engage in, seems that unlike someone who makes a six-figure salary, he can at least sympathise with the plight of the broke freeloader:

Hotline Miami dev endorses Pirate Bay torrent of his own game, provides helpful suggestions [PC Gamer]


    That is really good of him, I am sure he will get a higher conversion rate because of this.

    I haven't pirated the game or honestly even bothered to look at it...but his standup and mature way of handling the situation has scored my money just on principle.

    While I applaud the sentiment, it's a lot easier to be able to do this when millions of dollars and shareholders aren't in the picture.

    I kind of want to buy his game name even though I have no idea what the game is.

    The difference between this guy and a big dev that makes a game for a publicly traded publisher that has to answer to shareholders is that these guys have been actively asking people to try their game, the game has issues and bugs that make it hard to play. They're at a point where they want more people to play, even if they don't pay.

    I'm sure if they had millions of dollars invested along with thousands of man hours of developers and potentially the livelihoods of staff on the line they'd be less than thrilled about people thieving their work.

    But good on him, if you're aim is to get your game into as many hands as possible he's got the right attitude and if he's got some real talent and flair for game development this simple little gesture could propel him a lot further forward.

    I definitely don't think this attitude can (or should) apply to the big guns - when you pour millions of dollars into a game, it makes sense that you can't support piracy. But in the position he's in, good publicity is probably worth more for him than the ten bucks you can buy his game for. Hell, I don't know how many hits an average Kotaku post gets, but if one in a thousand head on over and buy the game he's probably made up for all the pirates.

    Very clever.
    Everyone who thinks "Hey, that's great of him" puts themselves into a position where he has higher emotional leverage over them, which he can (somewhat) convert into money.
    Good marketing.

    Good marketing imo, being indie and inability to fight the pirates anyway he might as well turn this into "good-will" marketing. McPixel is the recent evidence of this and making a good promotion.

    It's because he's Swedish, and sympathizes with his country's cultural inclination to download torrents.

    Go and buy Hotline Miami, people. DRM-free depending where you buy, and a hell of a game. Well worth $10.

    From an individual project perspective, this decision will likely net additional publicity and sales for Hotline Miami. In short, it's a reasonably marketing decision that will benefit the developer in question. It's a terrible thing for the industry and the medium though.

    Developers embracing and supporting illegal downloading further normalises the behaviour and lends the tacit support of the entire industry. If some poor independent developer is cool with it, then the major developers are just money-grabbing or stuck in their ways. It undermines all counter-piracy measures by any company. Of course, a single developer won't have much impact, but it's becoming more common and, as a consequence, more damaging.


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