Piracy is destroying gaming right? That’s what all these huge videogame publishers have been spouting for years. But if that’s true, Developer of Hotline Miami Jonatan Söderström never got the memo.

When Hotline Miami hit digital shelves it came with the typical issues of complaints of minor technical issues for some users and the seemingly routine appearance on pirating sites like Pirate bay. What isn’t typical, however, is how Söderström handled the situation. According to Jeffery Matulef of  Eurogamer, Söderström offered technical support for users and even encouraged them to torrent the patched version.

When I asked Söderström earlier this week about his motives for seemingly undercutting his own profits by encouraging piracy his response was straightforward and sensible.

I don’t see what I did as assisting piracy, but assisting people who are about to play the game me and Dennis spent a year of our lives making. I can’t do anything about piracy, I’m not sure I would want to, but I’m not explicitly condoning it. I’m merely choosing not to condemn people for it. If people are going to play the game, I want it to work the way me and Dennis intended it to . . . I think people need entertainment to cultivate themselves. If piracy is the only way for people who have no money to get entertainment, then that’s fine with me. It becomes a problem when people choose to be cheap and don’t support creative works that they highly enjoy, even though they have more than enough financial resources to do so.

How’s that for a novel concept? Having faith in humanity isn’t exactly a virtue we emphasize too much in this day and age, but if the comments here are any indication Söderström certainly seems to have garnered a lot of respect. Perhaps larger publishers will take notice. Smaller developers like Jonathan certainly have a lot more to lose.


Jared Chadwick

 
Jared Chadwick is an English major who takes writing about videogames more seriously than finding a respectable profession. Find him on Facebook