The Creator Of Hotline Miami 2 Tells Australians: “Just Pirate It”

The Creator Of Hotline Miami 2 Tells Australians: “Just Pirate It”

In an email screencapped by a reddit user, Jonatan Söderströmm co-creator of Hotline Miami, has told Australians that if they want to play the recently banned Hotline Miami 2 they should “just pirate it”.

“If it ends up not being released in Australia,” he wrote, “just pirate it after release.

“No need to send us any money, just enjoy the game!”

The email was confirmed as legitimate by Polygon’s Ben Kuchera. Ars Technica also confirmed that the email was real with Devolver representatives.

Devolver currently has no plans to challenge the Classification Board’s ruling on Hotline Miami 2, despite claiming that the Board was wrong to refuse the game classification. As per Devolver’s official statement: “[W]e are concerned and disappointed that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree and issue a report that describes specific thrusting actions that are not simply present in the sequence in question and incorrectly portrays what was presented to them for review.”

At this stage it is looking unlikely that Hotline Miami 2 will be officially released in Australia.


    • It is pretty funny, but really, they have a pretty solid argument and should resubmit the game.
      The resubmission process is there for that reason. It wouldbe easy as a censor to incorrectly calssify this as outside the rating system, there is a lot to get through, and they have to go a lot of the time on what they are supplied with from the game company, and what others in the community may have flagged as an issue.
      A simulated rape scene is an easy red flag for a censor to hit, so the resubmission process allows the publisher to explain how it isn’t what it might first seem.

  • Surely you can buy it from Humble Bundle Store or similar sites that don’t have Geoblocking and just register it on steam.

    • yeah it’s not hard to get it elsewhere, like on playstation for example you can just make another region account.

      • That doesn’t work for PS Vita though. It’s locked to a single account.

        It’s a shame – HM1 was (figuratively) MADE for Vita.

        • Yes and no… the account is locked on to your settings on the memory card.

          You can still log on to your accounts on Jp or NA but you either –

          a) Need to do a full system wipe (system not save!) and reconfig to the new region or

          b) Have a 2nd memory card with your other region settings on it and boot off that.

    • I dunno, wasn’t there talk about Steam stopping from accepting other countries CD keys? Or was that just a Europe thing with Russia’s currency drop?

    • Humble probably won’t sell it to us – they sell us censored Saints Row 4 and South Park, but Amazon, Nuuvem, Getgamesgo plus a bunch more I’m sure will have no qualms taking our money in exchange for a key.

      Funnily enough Humble is where I originally got my Risen key for steam from… just recently they seem a bit stricter.

  • Like a boss… taking the piss out of our ‘straight out of the 1950’s’ classification guidelines, while at the same time pointing out how useless the laws are when it comes to actually stopping people from accessing said ‘offensive content’, brilliant!

        • I deserved that. I like to think one day I will be the guy from the 80’s that is old enough to change the nanny state shit with the help of my generation as we influence our kids to all get over ourselves and our opinions…… maybe.

          • recently there were positions available on the classification board. As far as I know they haven’t finalised their decision yet so we may get some change soon

          • I am going to be cynical and say the type of people that already work there are going to do the hiring and as such, naturally hire more people like them.
            I hope I am wrong.

  • Since the Devolver have said it’s fine for us to pirate it, from a copyright standpoint is it now ok to do so? I suppose there are still the issues with it being a banned game and whatnot…

    • If they own the rights and say “go ahead, pirate it,” they’re unlikely to take you to court.

      If they don’t own the rights, and some publisher somewhere does, then Söderströmm’s words are just hot air.

      • Hmm true…

        Well I think I speak for Aussie gamers everywhere when I say we appreciate the words nonetheless.

      • if a publisher does own the rights then expect an article tomorrow with Jonatan apologising and spewing forth about the corruption and evil that is piracy 🙂

        • The publisher is Devolver Digital, they are as cowboy as the developer anyway, so expect them to support his statement.

      • Just illegal to be sold. So you can have a copy that you, say, bought in the US and then brought back with you and that’s fine, but your local JB can’t sell it to you.

        Then again, this was most likely going to be a digital only game so that example won’t really apply.

        • Actually I think technically it’s illegal to bring it here. In that it counts as the importation of controlled goods, or something like that. It’s all dandy if you don’t get caught, but if you are then you’d get hit with a fine. And I do remember ages ago in uni being taught that the downloading of something counts as importing too.

          • I thought you need to be importing it with th purpose of distributing it? Like if you brought in 100 copies you probably intend to sell it. But you could be right, I personally have never tried this.

          • I think that’s the difference between the fuckhuge thousands-of-dollars fines versus… whatever the smaller one is. I remember mention around here of a few people bringing in MK9 back while it was still RC, getting caught by customs.

      • Legal to own except in W.A, and i think maybe N.T
        Possession is a negative nelly here 🙁

  • I thought we had an R18+ classification just for this kind of thing? To be honest, I don’t even really know the in’s and out’s of the current standing in regards to the whole R18+ classification in Australia (and if it’s the same standing in every state) … perhaps it’s not as straight forward as most people would believe it to be? In any case, it just goes to show how antiquated the whole process is here in this country. Adults should be able to make these kind of decisions for themselves, not have a board of people making those decisions for them. If the game is that violent, or that full of adult themes, then why can’t they just slap an R18+ rating on it and call it a day? Like, seriously, what the heck is the goddamn problem?

    Anyhow, with all that being said, it was pretty big of the co-creator of this game to respond to someone who was legitimately concerned about not being able to buy a retail copy of the game in this country by saying, “hey, just pirate the game and enjoy it if it doesn’t end up being released in Australia”. I have to take my hat off to them – they obviously care more about people enjoying what they originally envisioned for the game over making sacrifices to have it pass ridiculous guidelines in a particular country in order to make more money. Kudos to them.

      • My granny once said to so me the world’s population is 99% idiots…

        Then she said I was one of the 99%

    • There’s still stuff that’s too hard-core for even an 18+ rating. For example, incentivising prohibited drug use, and in this particular case, implied rape.

      • All of which is routine fare for movies – take Leaving Las Vegas, Irreversible, The Shield, etc etc.
        Ah well..

  • Just don’t try and bring a hard copy in.
    “Can I import something that is banned in Australia?
    In short, no. If a film, computer game or publication has been classified RC (Refused Classification), or would be classified RC, it can be seized by Customs on the basis that it is a prohibited import. You should check the National Classification Database (NCD) to see if the product you plan on importing has been classified RC.”

    • It will as long as you recharge your account using a US prepaid voucher that can be purchased at an overseas online game retailer.

  • Australia has no NBN so they don’t know what the possibilities of internet give us. Refusal of classification is absolutely no concern to dedicated purchasers.

    • I was just thinking the same thing, when Ubi talks about how good their copy protection is I feel inclined to pirate it, when someone tells me to pirate their game I feel inclined to buy it.


  • Totally torrenting this game if it gets RC’d. I hope they have a PayPal account. Would like to send them some money.

  • I’m glad they’re not censoring it for our market.

    While the ratings system has improved since the introduction of the R Rating it is still a broken system and should not be validated by games changing to suit it.

  • I fully support the classification being rejected. I have no time for games that depict or implies a rape scene and have little concern for people that feel like they have had their rights taken away from them for not being able to watch it.

    • Hmm.. in general yes.. like RapeLay or whatever… but depends on context.

      If you look at the other article

      you can see the context of the scene
      It’s part of a movie being shot, there’s no actual rape, but you as a player do presumably press the button to knock the woman down which initiates the “rape” cut scene before it’s revealed that this is the case…

    • Except the game doesn’t actually depict the characters as being involved in rape.
      It depicts the game characters as adult entertainment performers, acting out a rape scene.
      As far as the characters you control and interact with, in-game: they are all consenting adults*.
      (*Edit: Consenting adults who are roleplaying something horrible and upsetting that makes me inclined to skip that section, and makes it very difficult to criticize the nonetheless still unfair decision made by the review board.)

      Additionally, there really doesn’t seem to be any glorification of the act either I couldn’t say for sure as I haven’t seen anything else of the game, but if I had to put money on it, I’d say the game is probably going to glorify being a porn star in questionable content about as much as Requiem For A Dream glorified drugs.
      Things didn’t work out real well for those characters, and I doubt things will work out terribly well for the characters involved in the offending game scene either.

      The fact that there is actually a warning screen about the scene before it happens, and it’s the only instance of it occurring, disproves any accusations of the scene being used to trivialize or normalize an abhorrent act. Warning screens reinforcing the serious unpleasantness of the one instance of the subject material tend to do the exact opposite of that.

    • Rape is an extremely common violent crime. Censoring fictional representations won’t change that. Pretending it doesn’t happen and restricting discourse perpetuates the silence that often surrounds such crimes.

    • Well then you can go ahead and live in your little self-assure, ignorant bubble. Don’t assume people consume media the same way you do, the reason you don’t understand is that you simply aren’t educated enough. It’s not about “time”, it’s about you reaffirming your own prejudice and ignorance.

    • But it’s totally cool if it’s in a movie. As movies with rape or implied rape in them don’t need to be banned and just given an MA15+ rating. Nor do we need to censor them which would ruin the directors and/or writers artistic vision.

      But yeah you can’t put something like that in a Video game meant for adults. /sarcasm

      I have not played Hotline Miami, I don’t think I’ll play the sequel but you adults who want to play it, should have the option of buying it.

      • The argument is, that interactivity is the issue. I’m not sure there is any interactivity in this case, if there isn’t, then they made an error.

  • Wait, he told one guy (who was trying hard to give him money) that it was OK for him to pirate it.
    That’s not really “telling Australians to pirate the game”.

    • You’re right, he did just tell that one guy. Whilst it would be a bit dumb of them to say that and only have intention of that one guy doing it, I don’t think you can instantly expect the same invitation for every Australian out there.

  • Very classy position by the dev. If it doesn’t release here, I reckon I’ll gift Hotline Miami 1 via steam to a couple of friends who haven’t played it, then pirate the new one.

  • I have never wanted to give a developer money for their game more than I do now, right after they tell me to just pirate their game. Oddly interesting.

  • That is awesome. Its weird, I was going to pirate it anyway, but now I want to give them money.

  • Now THIS is how you tell censorship boards to shove it! I take my hat off for these developers! I was going to DL via US PSN as I normally do anyway, but the fact they care more about us enjoying the game than money, it truly earns respect in my eyes.

    F the ACB and just DL for free…Best developer ever! I already buy US PSN digital codes in order to save 50% on all of my PS4 games, so playing HLM2 will be oh so simple. I loved HLM so I can’t wait!

    What can the ACB or Customs do about it? Absolutely NOTHING! Major lols @ all the ultra religious politicians who created these laughable censorship laws.

    See idiots, your subjective morality based laws are useless!

  • In other news, yesterday I watched the film Homesman which contained 3 rape scenes. One was even male. But phew, am I glad the classification board saved me from having to view contextual rape content as performed by.. what looks to be… torn up paper napkins? – takes me back to when I watched Fellini’s 8 1/2-bit.

  • Rather than encouraging piracy – why not just provide it online, for free, for people from Australia?

    • Because he can be seen as breaking the law then openly. If they ever come here, or do business here, that can impact them. Piracy is our choice, but supplying it to us when its been RC’d can get them into hot water technically.

  • Well I wasn’t going to buy it. Still haven’t bought the first one. But now…. Streisand effect….

  • Wrong! They wouldn’t be supplying it on AU servers so its not illegal. That’s like saying Ozgameshop is breaking the law by selling RC games, when in fact the games come from overseas and the store sells to anyone from any country.

    Provided it’s not hosted in Oz, they are not under Oz jurisdiction. Period. The police, customs or the government can’t do a damn thing. Downloading from a dev supported server for free would be the perfect legal solution. Despite popular belief, Customs generally don’t give two hoots about importing banned games. They have more important things to attend to…Like guns, drugs and other “real” issues – I know from experience as I have imported many MANY banned games. Some unlucky people get the odd pigish customs officer who thinks games are worth wasting time to confiscate, but 99% of the time they simply don’t even bother.

    But all that’s irrelevant with the age of the internet. You can now simply take 5 seconds to download via US PSN, XBL or pirate a banned game/buy it legit online for PC. It means nothing even if RC games are illegal in WA/NT, as downloading is impossible ro regulate. The government will never understand this though and keep thinking that a board of 5 or 6 people actually serve some purpose when they decide to “RC” game X or Y. Legally bound classifications are pointless in this day and age – we don’t have to rely on brick & mortar stores anymore, soooo….The ACB & government can keep thinking they matter while WE make our OWN entertainment choices using OUR OWN judgement.

  • government stands to gain tax from the game sales, this is just their way of letting them know that.

  • They are real developers. They don’t care about money. So I’ll buy this game for my friends too
    These devs deserve more

  • A great company and a great game. I would send them money just for saying that. We live in an over-policed controlled hub here in Australia.

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