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Game dev asks pirates to include patch in torrents

Jonatan Söderström, the developer of Steam title Hotline Miami, has asked piraters of his game to include the patch in the torrent.

(Credit: Dennaton Games)

Jonatan Söderström, the developer of Steam title Hotline Miami, has asked piraters of his game to include the patch in the torrent.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. This is the conclusion some content creators are arriving at when it comes to the piracy problem. Even when you have free content available, it will often appear somewhere as a pirated download — there's no good solution to piracy, and it's going to happen whether creators like it or not.

Hotline Miami, a top-down 2D shooter, is only US$10 on Steam, but it's also available around the web as a torrent, with nearly 800 seeders on The Pirate Bay.

When developer Jonatan Söderström found the link on The Pirate Bay, he weighed in — not to demonise the pirates, but to request that the torrent be updated to include the upcoming game patch, and offering a number of fixes for those finding bugs in the game.

I'm Jonatan Söderström, 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.

He added on Twitter (in two tweets) that, while he didn't feel great about the piracy, he still wanted people to play and enjoy the game.

I don't really want people to pirate Hotline Miami, but I understand if they do. I've been broke the last couple of months. It sucks ... And I definitely want people to experience the game the way it's meant to be experienced. No matter how they got a hold of it.

While we're not suggesting that creators ought to be polite to those who are illegally accessing their work, it certainly seems to work. Comic-book artist Steve Lieber found in 2010 that people were more likely to buy his work after he joined in the discussion about the scan of his book Underground on 4chan.

As for putting all the pages up here. What can I say? I get that this is how things go, and I'm trying to live in the same decade as everyone else. If nothing else, I'm flattered someone thought enough of the book to take the time to scan and post it.

And McPixel developer Mikolaj "Sos" Kaminski dropped by The Pirate Bay thread for his pirated game to leave the following comment:

Yay! My game is here! As weird as it sounds I am actually excited about this.

Anyways, I am not any average video game company, I am just one man making games for a living, so feel free to give me all your money if you like the game!

I get it that in some countries PayPal doesn't work, or the price might seem really high for some of you, so here are some gift codes for you ... Most of all, enjoy the game, tell your friends about it and throw some coins in my general direction if you like it!

It's probably not the most intuitive strategy, but it seems to deliver results.

If you want to help Söderström out by purchasing Hotline Miami, you can find it on Steam here.