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Piracy inspires No Time To Explain developer to publish next game free

S. Prell, @SamPrell
11.03.13
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"I am pirating Battlefield 4 right now," an email from Tiny Build Games' Alex Nichiporchik began. That may seem a strange way to introduce a discussion about piracy - and it is - but Nichiporchik wanted to make a point: piracy, he argues, is not a black-and-white issue. In fact, it's because of piracy that Tiny Build Games will be publishing a version of SpeedRunners, a multiplayer-focused game developed by DoubleDutch Games where you play as a superhero racing other heroes to the scene of a crime, for free.

Nichiporchik explained that the decision to release a version of SpeedRunners for free was due to the pirating community's reaction to their last game. "During the pre-Steam release of No Time To Explain, we simply created a version with pirate hats and put it on The Pirate Bay. Did it hurt us? Probably not. We got dozens of e-mails from people who found it via TPB and bought it afterwards, sending really positive comments about how funny the joke was. ... The press coverage spiked our sales. Don't buy into developers blaming piracy for lost sales, it's just silly."

The free version of SpeedRunners that Tiny Build plans to launch won't be the full game, mind you. Nichiporchik wrote that he believes players will spend money - sometimes eagerly so - as long as they see value in a service being provided. In the case of Battlefield 4, the service is multiplayer. Nichiporchik wrote that he's pirating the game to see if it runs on his computer, and if it does, he'll "happily" buy the game off Origin. In the case of SpeedRunners, that service is online multiplayer. The free version will only support local multiplayer and offline bots.

SpeedRunners is on Steam Early Access right now, so if you'd like, you can put your money down now, later, or, should you choose the free version, never. The choice is yours.

Update: A sentence from an earlier draft of this story that further clarified Nichiporchik's reasons for piracy was accidentally omitted. It has been re-added to the post body.

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