It's like somebody always says, probably: If you can't beat 'em, convince them to join you. We've got a new entry in the increasingly lengthy saga of clever developers realising that, shit, piracy is never gonna go away, so we'll make the best of it, I guess. Upon discovering a few pirated versions of their PlayStation Vita game, SUPERBEAT: XONiC, on the Vita Piracy and Vita Hacks subreddits, developer PM Studios joined the discussion. Here's what they wrote (via Torrent Freak):
We feel honoured that you enjoy our game SUPERBEAT XONiC so much, we would like to invite you to take this opportunity to purchase it on sale at the Playstation Store.
You can enjoy the original game and show support to the team for just $15.99 (60% off), no Playstation Plus required!
Have a nice day!
Others pointed out that PM Studios wisely acknowledged one of the less prominent functions of piracy: It allows people to try before they buy. Whether intentionally or not, PM both descended at the exact right time (when their game was in deep discount mode for a weekend) and made people feel like they weren't morally reprehensible cookie jar thieves for their piracy habits.
I really appreciate the position of @PMStudiosUSA on the /r/vitapiracy forums. It's nice to see ppl understand we can dl games and buy them!
— Nkekev / Kévin (@Nkekev) September 23, 2016
Sweet, sweet validation.
Granted, some users still tried to rein them in:
In other words, it's complicated. Some people simply don't have a ton of money, and piracy gives them a risk-free way to try games. Other people just want free shit, despite maybe having the means to pony up. In either case, piracy is not necessarily the best thing you can do. But it is what it is.
Still, this seems to be a case of "all's well that ends well". Or at least, as close to "well" as we're going to get.