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Please Fix The Road will have an official version just for pirates

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Please Fix The Road is an upcoming puzzle game I highlighted back in March because it looks simply beautiful and perhaps a bit of a challenge. The developer announced recently a rather unusual plan in the indie dev space, involving pirates.

A wonderfully styled puzzle game where you, as the name suggests, fix up roads by rotating and moving tiles. The end result doesn't need to look good, you just need to get people from A to B by manipulating multiple tiles at a time, insert new tiles, destroy them and more.

For this upcoming release and word of pirates being spotted, we're not talking about those who actually sail the seas and get up to no good, we're talking about software pirates here — obviously. Instead of going after them, or getting bothered by them, the developer has decided to make an "official" pirate version. While not a unique idea as a few other developers have done it in the past, it's not exactly something that's popular with developers with all sorts of arguments for and against doing it.

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Developer Ariel Jurkowski said on Twitter: "Pirate version will have all of the launch levels, but no updates. No strings attached. There's an extra pirate themed song at the start, altered intro sequence, a pirate face instead of the cogwheel options icon and a request in the options menu to buy the game. Cheers!"

Following up in another Twitter post in reply to a user, Jurkowski also said: "It would be pirated anyway and I don't blame anyone for it, it is what it is. I hope at least some people will appreciate the gesture, maybe I'll get some PR points from this. Cheers!"

You can follow it on GOG and Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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12 comments
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ridge 6 days ago
I've told myself many times if I ever publish a commercial game, I'll also pull off something like this. Pretty cool imo!
Geamandura 6 days ago
Respect for the dev!
Breizh 6 days ago
Many of the games I played the most were pirate version on start. I bought the game later when I had the money to do it, either to thanks the devs or to unlock online/multiplayer features.

That’s the case for Factorio, Minecraft, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Cities : Skylines, Dirt 3 Complete Edition, Watch_Dogs, Beam.NG Drive, Astroneer, Subnautica, Just Cause 3… well, I didn't think the list would be so long when I started typing it, and it’s not exhaustive.
MichaelDN 6 days ago
There exists a word for this SHAREWARE

As per wiki
QuoteShareware is a type of proprietary software which is initially shared by the owner for trial use at little or no cost with usually limited functionality or incomplete documentation but which can be upgraded upon payment.

There are many types of shareware and, while they may not require an initial up-front payment, many are intended to generate revenue in one way or another. Some limit use to personal non-commercial purposes only, with purchase of a license required for use in a business enterprise. The software itself may be time-limited, or it may remind the user that payment would be appreciated.

Those of us older folks know the shareware CDs included with PC magazines.

I don't like this idea of two separate game releases, as they only seem to be rewarding piracy by giving them the full game for free and with their permission to "steal it". If your gonna do that why not release the free version to everyone as shareware and use DLC or a code to unlock the new features and releases?
fenglengshun 6 days ago
I had some interest in this, but I'll definitely try this, and if it's good, buy this. I'll make sure to do it from inside the game too, as I want to show statistical support for this move.

It kinda reminds me of the days of Official Bootleg from DreamTheater that I heard from my friend a ways back.
Termy 6 days ago
This is absolutely the way to go - this will imho greatly enhance the chance of pirates buying the game at some point (if they like it) and is vastly superior to implementing some bullshit DRM that will only bother honest buyers and won't affect the pirates at all...
Pit 6 days ago
Quoting: MichaelDNThere exists a word for this SHAREWARE

Those of us older folks know the shareware CDs included with PC magazines.


Yes, and nowadays they are called demo versions, isn't it?

QuoteI don't like this idea of two separate game releases, as they only seem to be rewarding piracy by giving them the full game for free and with their permission to "steal it".

Hmm, neither shareware nor demos are (IMO) dealing with stealing. They are for those that are either fine only playing part of the levels, or just wanting to evaluate whether it's worth buying it.

Pirates will ignore both types anyhow, their greed is only satisfied by full versions.

QuoteIf your gonna do that why not release the free version to everyone as shareware and use DLC or a code to unlock the new features and releases?
ISTR having seen that, too.
Tchey 6 days ago
Several international studies (Australia, France, Britain...) show pirates are also actually the best consumers, buying up to 10 times more than "average" people (non-pirates). Also, a very large portion of pirates would never buy the things they pirates, so there is absolutely not 1 pirate = 1 loss relation. Pirating is often simply "trying a demo". For games, but also and mainly for musics, and movies.

About movies, i only want to watch original versions with english subtitles if it’s english, or english or french subtitles if in another languages. And, beside a few selective offers, there is no way to do it for everything i’d like to watch. France almost always dub movies, and i hate that, so i don’t go to theaters anymore but for a few movies in special theaters or occasions, but even then, it’s french subtitles. I think books are even harder to find in "good" editions.

About games, i don’t pirate a too much (i’d say 1/20 games i play) as i’m already very well fed from my own libraries and donations for articles/video i do. Almost always to try something weird, not-refundable, or not edited anymore, or not native to check Wine behavior, etc.

Based on my budget and place i live, if i had to follow the official rules and selections, i would have a huge loss in general culture. Thanks internet for bringing me choice and raw material, feeding my brain and social share...

Anyway, that’s a first world problem.
Eike 5 days ago
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I'm not sure it's useful to make the pirate's version different, apart from a buy option. It could make the version appeal to some people.
soulsource 5 days ago
Quoting: Pit
Quoting: MichaelDNThere exists a word for this SHAREWARE

Those of us older folks know the shareware CDs included with PC magazines.
Yes, and nowadays they are called demo versions, isn't it?
Strictly speaking, those are different things. A demo is a separate build, that cannot be upgraded to the full version (typically because it doesn't include all assets). A shareware version is a build of the full version and includes all content, but requires a license to access content beyond the demo part. (Not that the difference would matter in the age of fast internet.)
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