It’s an unfortunate side of videogames, but piracy happens. Obviously, companies have tried a variety of methods to lessen or eliminate their games being pirated, but it always seems to be that hackers find a way. In the case of Acid Wizard Studio and their recently released game, Darkwood, they took the “beat ’em at their own game” approach.
After Darkwood was released on August 17th (and became one of the Global Top Sellers on Steam), Acid Wizard Studio decided to upload the game themselves to Pirate Bay. One of the reasons behind doing this was that the team wanted to “ensure that people who can’t afford [Darkwood] can download a safe version of the game”.
Acid Wizard Studio aren’t the first devs to do this with their games. 11 bit studios did much the same thing with their game, This War Of Mine, after it was released back in Novermber 2014.
Obviously, the question of “Are you guys nuts?” comes to mind, but it’s an interesting strategy. Yes, for a small developer, it’s a huge gamble. But, the goodwill gesture in theory can lead to those who normally wouldn’t have paid for the game (or couldn’t) to buy a legit copy at some point. Think of it as a revised concept of a demo: Instead of getting a piece of the game, you get the full game. But, in order to receive updates/fixes, you have to buy the game yourself.
Again, it’s a gambit that can backfire. But on the other hand, fighting hackers to prevent the game from being pirated can potentially waste more energy and resources that could be better spent on the game itself.
To download a legit copy of the game, as well as see some cool concept art (and the devs explaining their reasons for going this route), head here. And as always, if you like the game and want to support the team, buy it. You can do so on its Steam page.