Indie developer gives free games to pirates

Indie developer 11 bit studios has used a popular torrent website as a way of promoting its new game This War of Mine – by giving away copies to would-be pirates.

[img_big]center,14365,2014-09-01/TWOM_Screen_PAX_01.jpg,This War of Mine[/img_big]

Karol Zajaczkowski, PR spokesperson from the studio, found This War of Mine circulating on The Pirate Bay and added a comment – including 10 keys to unlock the game on Steam.

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.

Here are some codes for the steam copy of the game, so some of you can take a look at it. And if you like the game after spending few hours in, then just spread the word, and you’ll help us a lot.

The developer explains that for some people, it wouldn’t matter if the game was 10 cents, they’d still pirate a copy rather than purchase one. Others have different motivations, and when reminded that there are real people behind the game, can be persuaded to hand over real world cash in exchange for hours of enjoyment.

If nothing else, the comment thread is making people think:

I myself am a big proponent of the pirate movement, but I don’t think I can firmly say that anymore. This single post has derailed the years of pirating I’ve done, and it really has touched me about what true forgiveness is to me, in a sense.

Over the years, we’ve seen an assortment of creative ways to catch or deter pirates: Garry’s Mod was unable to shade polygon normals unless you’d paid for your copy. An Aussie developer gave free copies of Lunar Flight to pirates, asking them to buy the latest version. Pixel Piracy lived up to its name and posted a direct link to a torrented version, promising it was safer than illegitimate copies. Most recently, The Sims 4 applied a pixellated mosaic to pirated versions – prompting gamers to out themselves online before a “fix” was found.

This War of Mine is out now for PC, and is available on, Humble Bundle Store and Games Republic, if you’re not a fan of Steam.

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