Devolver Digital, the publisher behind indie high-octane, top-down action game Hotline Miai, has revealed in a recent interview with Eurogamer that the title has sold 130,000 copies since launch but at the same time has been pirated at extraordinary levels.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Project manager Graeme Struthers has revealed that while the game has sold a nice chunk, "it has been torrented to such a staggering level," something that doesn't come as a surprise for the game's creators Jonatan "Cactus" Söderström and Dennis Wedin.
"It has been torrented to such a staggering level, and given the file size of it, I mean, you can't really be surprised, right? You could pass this thing around on the world's smallest memory stick," he noted. "So it has been torrented to extraordinary levels."Luckily though the team hasn't let that get them down, stating that it's "a way of life on PC", something developers like Minecraft's Notch know all too particularly well. Recently creator of Hotline Miami Jonatan Söderström released a patch for pirated copies, Struthers saying that "he just felt he didn't want people playing the buggy version of his game however they got it." While the number might not be as large as other indie titles have recently seen, the creators are still happy with the numbers no matter the size.
Devolver Digital has also released a new trailer, this time consisting of various voicemail recordings from an actual Miami landline that could receive voicemails and texts from fans. Check it out below for the creepy but cool atmosphere.
Hotline Miami is available now on various digital platforms for PC.
It's one of those things. Looks bad on paper but at the same time, every time it's pirated doesn't mean it's a lost sale. And getting massive coverage is a problem you would want to have, as an indie developer. At least I'd imagine so.
For the record, I bought it on the Steam weekend sale just passed. And it's a great game. Go buy it.
Everytime it is pirated doesn't mean it is a lost sale, neither does it mean it is a saler. For every 10 pirated versions of it maybe 1 buys it (could be 5 could be 9, who knows) but it wouldn't be 100% I imagine.
Whether indie developers see it as a good thing - ie getting their product to the masses, is for them to ultimately decide particular with future releases. Maybe it will pay off with future releases if they establish a name as a good developer to a lot of players. Maybe those pirates will instead buy the next game. Or maybe they will keep on pirating because it's free and it's "naughty"
Plenty of gamers out there think they are entitled to any game they can get their hands on and that developers/publishers etc don't need to be paid for their work and it's a trend that seems to be getting worse.
I often see people offering excuses such as "oh it's like a demo for me they should of released a demo" or the classic "get out of theft free argument" a friend gave it to me". "I can't afford it" is another one that seems to be paraded about as well, which begs the question, if you can't afford it does it give you the right to just steal it? People wonder why there is increasingly draconic DRM out there you can thank those who don't think they need to pay people for what they produce. When people steal things the end result is never a better deal for all involved. Quite frankly piracy is theft, just because it is easy to do and the grand majority of pirates are those at the end of the chain - who don't have first hand dealings with the act, doesn't mean it is an innocent act.
Meh it's turned into a mini-rant, the fact remains though piracy is indeed a type of theft. Just sad at the increasing loss of gaming companies who are outright going bust or being gobbled up by the "IP wringer" companies (ie Activision and EA). Of course it's not all due to piracy but margins seem fairly tight for most developers out there and every pirated copy is pretty much a loss to them and people who are regularly pirating games aren't going to suddenly pony up the bickies for all those games, not by a long shot.
It's an 8.5 game for $10. Can't believe some people even bother pirating it.