Handling Piracy the Right Way: Anodyne
A few days ago, the developers of the top-down, Zelda-like game Anodyne, noticed that their game was being widely circulated through piracy channels, including everyone's favorite deviant: The Pirate Bay.
But instead of unleashing a frenzied team of attorneys upon the internet (let's be honest, who has time/money for that these days, anyway), the makers of Anodyne sponsored their own link on the popular peer-download site, and sat back and waited. They released a statement with the torrent link, explaining why the game was pick-your-own-price (over $1) until Monday:
We’d like to make a living by making games that will give people memorable experiences, but we know not everyone can afford them. So that’s why you can download a torrent of our game, Anodyne, and if you’d like and are able, also purchase the game! We’re also on Greenlight, trying to get onto Steam. So please consider giving us your vote!
The neat part about this whole advertisement campaign is that The Pirate Bay didn't charge a dime of advertising fees for the entire 72 hours it was advertised. So, just as a recap, Anodyne was receiving free advertising on one of the most wildly-regarded torrenting sites in the world, turning absolute pure profit.
And what happened, you might ask?
They made a truckload of money. The first noticeable result was on their Greenlight page, which jumped from 28,000 votes to 41,000, putting them in 59th place (and rising).
The game is on sale in a number of places, the page TPB pointed to primarily pushing the Humble Store purchase options, as well as linking to Desura and GamersGate. During the three day promotion, they saw around $11,500 come in via Humble, $577 from Fastspring, around $200 from Desura and GamersGate, about $100 in BitCoin donations, and around $175 for the soundtrack on BandCamp. So that’s a total of $12,552 for the two-man indie team.
It seems like pretty fair advice to tell game developers to embrace torrenting these days. We all know that your game is probably going to be ripped, cracked and uploaded, so why not hire the monster instead of smothering it?