This post was originally published on Techdirt.
While many large game development and publishing houses complain about and attempt to fight piracy and torrents of their games, smaller, more flexible studios are attempting to use such avenues to their advantage. Such is the case with No Time To Explain developers tinyBuild.
TorrentFreak points out that tinyBuild saw an opportunity with the Pirate Bay to spread word of their game. The developers posted their game to the popular torrent site after adding pirate hats to all the game characters. A lot of people laughed and ended up buying the game. As tinyBuild told TorrentFreak:
We thought it’d be funny to leak a pirate version ourselves which is literally all about pirates and pirate hats. I mean, some people are going to torrent it either way, we might as well make something funny out of it.We saw very positive WTF REALLY feedback from users, and saw reactions that people bought it simply because they liked the joke. So we don’t see it hurting sales in any way.
While such a move might not work for everyone, it does show that if a developer is willing to connect with fans, they can garner a lot of good will and possibly some extra sales. Even if that connection happens on one of those dirty pirate websites.