This War of Mine Dev Responds to Pirates with Free Copies of Game

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This War of Mine Dev Responds to Pirates with Free Copies of Game

kosovostandalonepc 2014-09-18 20-54-30-75

11 Bit Studios' reaction to piracy is unconventional.

11 Bit Studios' This War of Mine launched on Nov. 14 on Steam, and then shortly thereafter the game was shared on The Pirate Bay. While many people would be upset about their work being pirated, 11 Bit Studios went into the comments of the most popular torrent to hand out Steam keys for the game.

Karol Zajaczkowski, PR manager for 11 Bit Studios, gave out 10 keys to redeem a copy of This War of Mine and thanked those who had chosen to purchase a copy, but he also understood why some had pirated the game.

"I would like to say thank you to everyone who decides to buy the game and support us - because of that we'll be able to develop TWoM further and create even better games in the future.

If because of some reasons you can't buy the game, it's ok. We know life, and we know that sometimes it's just not possible."

Zajaczkowski noted the game is also available on GOG.com, the Humble store, and Games Republic DRM-free.

11 Bit Studios' Pawel Miechowski told Polygon there are different kinds of pirates. "Of course there are people that would pirate the game even if it would cost 10 cents, but you can do nothing about them," he said. "What many of us often forget though, is that there are also other people. Folks that are doing that, because they are simply pissed about the current quality of many games, or those who simply can't afford the game at the time, because of some personal reasons. That's why we believe that instead of treating everyone the same way, where pirates are the most evil people on earth, it's better to talk and try to find a solution, where everyone somehow benefits."

Miechowski asked people who don't have money to support the game by word of mouth and to encourage friends to buy it.

Some commenters replied they would buy copies of the game to gift to friends when they had money or were torrenting the game to try it before buying.

"Thanks for all the support guys, it really means a lot to the whole dev team, not only me," Zajaczkowski said in a later comment. "After all, we are all gamers and I'm happy to see that this idea can unite people, no matter whom they are."

Source: Polygon

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Even if the people who say that piracy is like shoplifting, only far easier to get away with, would be right, that's a pretty big difference in itself.

Realistically, piracy is here to stay, however you feel about it, so you might as well feel about it positively.

These guys are kind of lucky. I wasn't aware of their game, and now I am. And this is the kind of attitude that makes me want to buy their game. And they're on GoG. Which means I get to support them and GoG!

And I just checked the game before I posted this. It looks amazing.

I bought the game and it's worth every penny.

I applaud their attitude, but I seriously hate that they have to take that stance. Pay your entertainers!

"or those who simply can't afford the game at the time, because of some personal reasons".
I happen to know this is the only way some people can afford to play games.
It really sucks, but sometimes people get too poor to get games even if they really want too (and used too) buy those games...

It is an unconventionally constructive attitude. I like these guys.

Perhaps "certain" devs could get over Piracy and just accept it as a fact of life instead of crowbarring in DRM everywhere.

That was a very noble move on 11 Bit Stuidos' part, and Zajaczkowski's statement was the icing on the cake. By stating that inability to afford the game is one of the reasons piracy happens, as well as sympathizing with that reason, he's showing that he understands that some software pirates aren't the demons other companies I've seen paint them as. Seriously, the company deserves every single penny it gets from this point on because of it.

I noticed that this attitude seems to be particularly prevalent among Eastern European developers. Maybe it has something to do with the culture there? Less wealth? Post Soviet occupation? I hope I'm not stereotyping now with these simplistic notions. That said, the folks who run GOG (the people behind the Witcher games) have made various comments along similar lines about piracy, DRM etc. in the past. It's an attitude worth supporting. While I haven't bought This War of Mine yet, I certainly am a supporter of GOG and their business model. They currently have an autumn sale and even just today I bought something from them. I'll probably get This War of Mine at some point, but I have to admit I was a bit put off by the rather negative previews at one point. Haven't really kept up with news about the game nor read any actual reviews yet, though. The trailer at least was extremely memorable, but that doesn't say anything.

I wasn't going to get this game, because, fuck DRM.

But, now that it's on GoG?
Yes, Please!

MY GOODNESS. It's like these dev's have a heart :-D

I've seen the trailer for their game before, and I was gonna keep my eye on it, but now this warrants a buy most definitely.

That is a hyper rational statement that should be applauded. Maybe if we applaud it, others will emulate it. It's a fact, you cannot stop people from pirating software.

Piracy is here to stay, and has been for a very long time. I applaud any and all unconventional methods of dealing with it.

Good on 'em for handling the situation in a constructive way. Also, free positive PR.

Having said that, whatever happened to willpower and self-control? Call me old-fashioned, but if I can't afford something...I go without it. If you're boycotting a company or product, then you're willingly forgoing the use of said product. You're not going to die if you miss out on a video game you want to play.

Neverhoodian:
whatever happened to willpower and self-control? Call me old-fashioned, but if I can't afford something...I go without it.

That makes sense when going without has it's own benefits (for example if you don't want to take away a scarce product from someone else).

But self-control for the sake of self-control, is just asceticism.

Would the world be really be a more just place, if some Ukranian teenager with his dad's desktop PC, would act oh so righteous, and instead of keeping up at least with this aspect of culture, accept his deserved place as a poor person whose entertainment must consist of terrestial TV, and old library books?

Copyrights exist as a means to an end. In cases where that end is no longer relevant (no profitability is in question), 11 Bit Studios seems to be in the right mind, you might as well be permissive and let people have some fun, than getting all anal about expecting abstinance for it's own sake.

I was going to wait and get this on sale (as I usually do), but thanks to this I'll buy it at full price.

It's easy for you first-worlders to judge, but imagine yourself living in country like the one depicted in the game and tell me you wouldn't pirate a game because "it's wrong".

You know while I don't think Piracy is the worst thing ever, I've yet to be properly convinced that it's the best thing ever. Sure I have no problems with that the devs say about this, but really it almost feels like devs can't get angry about their games being pirated without being accused of being anti-consumer. No matter what the circumstances are. Yeah, it's nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be, but it's hardly flawless.

Not trying to make a point here, just rambling.

I feel... all warm inside. And this time it's not the whiskey. Would like to see this developer grow, almost like Undead Labs. Will spread the good word!

Why not just wait for a sale? I'm dying to play the new Dragon Age, but I have to save up for a new PC and then save up again for the game itself. I'm not gonna cheat someone their due, particularly when I'm learning to program a game of my own.

Go play football, or learn an instrument, or language for fun while you wait. I mean you might even make some extra money on the side doing that. Piracy is just kinda shitty, particularly if it's a small indie group like these guys. I actually feel sorry for them as they can only go on the defensive here, or risk being called sell outs or money grabbers.

Smart move. This is a game I only recently found out existed and that I have no interest in, but now I kinda feel like buying their game simply to support good people.

Neverhoodian:
Good on 'em for handling the situation in a constructive way. Also, free positive PR.

Having said that, whatever happened to willpower and self-control? Call me old-fashioned, but if I can't afford something...I go without it. If you're boycotting a company or product, then you're willingly forgoing the use of said product. You're not going to die if you miss out on a video game you want to play.

That's nice, very upstanding etc, except he's not talking about College Duder #918 who chooses to buy beer with his recreation money and pirates a game rather than waiting a few weeks, he's talking about actual poor people. People who, if they didn't pirate, would have to give up gaming completely - I've been there, it's no fun. For a period of about six years I was stuck on disability payments; I started out that time with a reasonably specced rig from my previous job, and if I was extremely frugal with food and energy bills I could barely afford the cheapest internet package available, and that was it. I was very grateful to my family for buying aforementioned PC a modest upgrade in the fourth year, since it was almost seven years old at that point and struggling. I pirated games, I pirated movies & TV shows(I had to sell my actual TV to pay a particularly extortionate heating bill one winter), and I'm quite certain doing so prevented me from going nuts out of sheer boredom.

These days I'm(slightly) better off, so as you say I save up and I buy games when I can afford them, because if you can you should. But there are still plenty of people out there who barely have enough money to cover bare essentials, and frankly I think saying to such people "Hey, you know that only tiny shred of joy you get to experience in an otherwise grey and hostile world? You're a bad person for allowing yourself that, you should have more willpower mumble mumble bootstrap bootstrap" is pretty twisted.

I just bought this game right now after watching TB's video on it and reading this article. Not only is the game something interesting that I would enjoy but the developers are upstanding developers. I hope this game gains traction.

This game looks REALLY interesting, and after a video today I really felt like trying it, but it's a shame that I just can't get into this type of game anymore, as much as I want to like it I'd probably stop after half an hour.

Skeleon:
I noticed that this attitude seems to be particularly prevalent among Eastern European developers. Maybe it has something to do with the culture there? Less wealth? Post Soviet occupation? I hope I'm not stereotyping now with these simplistic notions.

I would say it's partially the culture over here and partially just the difference in income levels. In Eastern Europe if you are making a game and it nets you a million dollar profit, you are already on the top of the world and don't care if you could have made two million by plastering DRM all over the thing. If you were a Western developer, you would get your ass fired for putting out a financial dud and thus you would desperately want to squeeze every single cent out of the sales.

It's pretty much the same difference as between an indie game being a success by selling a few hundred thousand copies and Square Enix bitching that Tomb Raider didn't sell 10 million.

I think I'm going to buy this game asap because of how cool the developer is!

I watched Jesse Cox do a Fan Friday of it, and it looked like a very interesting and different game. If they will make more interesting games by supporting them, while not being jerks about certain practices, then I'm all for them.

It would be very interesting if someday for PC games there was a Netflix like service for games. You could pay a certain amount of money per month for access of many games a month, some which stay all the time and others that come and go. There's probably a lot for complications for that, but maybe it would help with the piracy aspect for those who can't afford all games.

Edit: im blind and cant read apperently.

On topic. This is a good outlook at piracy. there are many different types of people in the world, some pirate, some dont. Not all piracy is bad and not all coypright is good (heck one could argue that most of copyright nowadays are bad). And then of course there is often problems with companies being stuck in 19th century politics when they think "Regions" is a thing that isnt insane in its concept.

I don't even know what this game is about but I'm now considering buying it just because the developers are good guys.
Anyone else out there in dev-land watching? No? Didn't think so.

SHit becomes harder to steal from someone when they are looking at you and saying "well I hope you enjoyed it. I understand what you're doing." So uncapitalistic.

Entitled:
Would the world be really be a more just place, if some Ukranian teenager with his dad's desktop PC, would act oh so righteous, and instead of keeping up at least with this aspect of culture, accept his deserved place as a poor person whose entertainment must consist of terrestial TV, and old library books?

Plenty of people have paid for this game. What makes him so much more important than them that he doesn't have to pay?

Neato! This news brought an interesting-looking game to my attention and the dev's commendable actions have convinced me to buy a copy and check it out.

Well played, 11 Bit.

Teoes:
Neato! This news brought an interesting-looking game to my attention and the dev's commendable actions have convinced me to buy a copy and check it out.

Well played, 11 Bit.

So you would pirate it yourself if they hadn't conceded to the pirates?

[quote="Aeshi" post="7.865430.21623572]Plenty of people have paid for this game. What makes him so much more important than them that he doesn't have to pay?[/quote]

The difference isn't that he's more important. It's that he's unable to pay for it. Nor will he be able to pay just by waiting till next week's paycheck/allowance, unless he wants to deviate funds from vital things like food, housing or educations. And if he does, people who typically don't need to defer buying small luxuries for more than a week will blame him for his poverty. Because he could've easily pulled himself up by his bootstraps if he didn't waste money on frivolities.

I'm simplifying and exaggerating, obviously, but this dynamic does play out a lot in these types of discussions.

odolwa:

Teoes:
Neato! This news brought an interesting-looking game to my attention and the dev's commendable actions have convinced me to buy a copy and check it out.

Well played, 11 Bit.

So you would pirate it yourself if they hadn't conceded to the pirates?

I'm trying to re-read my post, but dammit I just can't seem to find any reference to piracy whatsoever.

I said the news post brought the game to my attention.. implying I was not previously aware of it.. and that the dev's good actions have earned them a sale from me.. implying I will exchange legal currency for a legal copy of the game. (edit: Past tense. Have now exchanged.)

Nope no part of that says that I at any time considered pirating this or any other game.

Have another go.

Teoes:
and that the dev's good actions have earned them a sale from me.. implying I will exchange legal currency for a legal copy of the game.

Their 'good' actions have 'earned' them a sale? Was taking the time to craft a game that has reviewed reasonably well not good enough in the first place?

odolwa:

Teoes:
and that the dev's good actions have earned them a sale from me.. implying I will exchange legal currency for a legal copy of the game.

Their 'good' actions have 'earned' them a sale? Was taking the time to craft a game that has reviewed reasonably well not good enough in the first place?

You are intent on picking away for some reason, aren't you? Did someone piss you off earlier? Not sure why you have such a problem with me.

I was not previously aware of the game. Had I been aware of it, I might not have bought a copy. I have not bought many games of late as I'm trying to save some money. I don't know if this particular game will be up my street; I could not tell on first glance if this is the sort of game I would normally appreciate. On reading the article I decided that did not matter and that I would take a chance on something I may or may not enjoy, as I felt the developer deserved extra sales for their good actions.

edit: Also, am I supposed to buy every game that reviews reasonably well? That seems neither reasonable nor plausible.

Are you satisfied? I do hope so, I would hate to think I've not adequately explained myself to you.

Teoes:
I felt the developer deserved extra sales for their good actions.

There you go again with the 'good actions' argument. They're only good for would-be pirates. You'll never see EA or Ubisoft handing out keys for a new game after a bout of piracy, because they have stock options to soften the blow. A small dev team, on the other hand, has to bow to public pressure and perform 'good actions' in order to prove themselves. It's pathetic.

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