Like the sea, online file-sharing is too great a force to be held back in any meaningful way for any sensible length of time. Despite this almost inevitable eventuality, the world’s largest media companies never stop trying.
While their huge resources give them a better chance than most of achieving some progress, for mere mortals one of the easiest ways to go crazy is to invest huge amounts of energy into trying to change things that cannot be changed. This past weekend that was recognized by the two-man team behind the RPG/adventure game Anodyne after their product was uploaded to The Pirate Bay.
Instead of crying like babies and heading off to lobby the government, Sean Hogan and Jonathan Kittaka (together Analgesic Productions) decided to use the leak to their advantage, courting Pirate Bay users and posters on Reddit with positive vibes and free download codes.
The move went down well with their fanbase but was cut short when a Pirate Bay moderator accidentally nuked the torrent uploader’s account which removed Anodyne from the site’s indexes. But nevermind. Today Sean, Jonathan and Anodyne are back with a full, front-page Promo Bay promotion, fully supported by The Pirate Bay. TorrentFreak caught up with them to find out about how this ‘madness’ began and developed.
“Funny story, the uploader had contacted me on Twitter to let me know that he really liked the game. I said thanks, and then he said he cracked the game and was sorry!” Sean told TorrentFreak.
“I told them to not worry and that I was waiting around wondering when someone was going to upload it to TPB anyways – he asked if it was okay to do it, I said ‘sure!’ – couldn’t hurt to know the initial uploader, after all – and well, the rest is history.”
Sean says that before he was contacted by the uploader, out of curiosity he had been monitoring The Pirate Bay. Once Anodyne appeared there he waited a while and decided to chime in on the discussion “..to say hi, and also to sort of match a human persona with the game itself.”
Jon (left) and Sean (right) enjoying Taco Bell
Although he doesn’t have much time outside of schoolwork and game development, Sean says he has been keeping an eye on interactions between the torrent and gaming world, such as with Hotline Miami, McPixel and Under the Ocean.
“In general, I’ve been a fan of file-sharing sites, for giving access to creative works that people could not obtain on their own for whatever reason. The Promo Bay is quite awesome, too, giving exposure to so many artists,” Sean notes.
And today, a week after the original upload to The Pirate Bay, The Promo Bay is helping Sean and Jonathan with an official Anodyne promotion.
So what sent the guys down this route? A combination of feedback from Reddit and TorrentFreak readers it seems.
“These people gave me the idea that since the game was going to be pirated anyways, it would be better to have some control and upload it myself. So I did that. And then I was contacted by one of The Pirate Bay admins, who asked if I wanted to do the promo. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so I said yes!” Sean reveals.
So in addition to much-need publicity, what do Anodyne’s creators hope to achieve?
“[The Pirate/Promo Bay] reaches a world-wide audience, and I’m not sure what could top that! People all over Earth will get to explore the world you’ve created, and that’s really cool,” Sean told us.
“I was talking to Jon (the artist/writer of Anodyne) and we decided that this weekend’s promotion could only have a positive outcome – at best, we’d get enough votes to get greenlit in the next Greenlight round on Steam, plus fans, more thoughts on Anodyne, and some money to support ourselves. At worst, we’d have all of the previous, minus having enough votes! So there isn’t much difference between the two poles.”
Although they’re sailing through largely unchartered waters, Sean says that after speaking with Sos of McPixel who said he had good Promo Bay results, his gut feeling is to give it a try, and see where it ends up. And that very human skill of reading gut feelings plays into Sean’s overall approach when it comes to appreciating and interacting with his fanbase.
“I just think it’s important to realize that works of art, in any scale, are created by humans – which is why I try to come off as a human as much as possible when talking with players, and why I’m so curious as to people’s responses,” he explains.
“This is an upside to the piracy – since more people will play and see ‘hey two guys made this! and they are normal, like me!’, maybe that can change the general public perception of video games to be more than just an entertainment medium only capable of killing time, and help to get people to take games more seriously.
“While I can’t offer the game for free and be able to work full-time, totally rejecting access to anyone who can’t afford a game is basically denying the right to a large group of people whose perceptions and thoughts on your game are just as interesting and valid as those who would have the money,” Sean concludes.
Anodyne (and music written by Sean) is up for free on the front page of The Pirate Bay right now and available to buy over the weekend on a pay-what-you-want basis. Anyone who appreciates the guys’ approach can also Flattr them here.
Source: Pirated Indie Game Devs Get Full Pirate Bay Support To Crack Steam
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