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Dev says game started selling 400% better on Steam after releasing torrent (polygon.com)
24 points by adrian_mrd 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

Reminds me of the Hotline Miami dev who posted bug fixes for folks on Pirate Bay


Steam does allow free demos. It even directly features free demos on paid game pages. A torrent isn’t required just to release a trial.

I guess the thought is that people wanting free stuff may not think to look on Steam, and might only look for torrents.

I suspect this is not about free access to the game but the perceived generosity of the devs. Everyone knows a demo is there to suck you in to buy the full version. This appeared different.

Maybe a free trial would have the same effect ? It would be really nice to have free trials of every game released;

This is not really conclusive. This might suggest that a torrent is better advertising than steam, and then things spread by word of mouth from torrent downloaders to people who for whatever reason weren't ok with torrenting the game.

It's possible that the dev could have done better by finding other avenues to advertise that didn't involve giving his game away for free.

No one is claiming that all games offering a free and clear pirated version increases sales for all of those games; the developer of that particular game is saying that after releasing a free and clear version on the pirate bay that their own sales increased 400%.

This article is also not saying that this is the only way to increase sales.

No claim was made otherwise by this article.

The developer here does have the benefit of people saying specifically that offering a free copy (not a demo version) resulted in the sale of a legitimate copy which otherwise would not have been sold.

If not making or at least suggesting that claim, what's the point, then?

Generally speaking, if an article is trying to lead you to a conclusion, that conclusion is specifically stated. Not everyone knows how to write, though, so sometimes it isn't there. This is typically rare, because people that don't know how to write often state their conclusion 5 times in 5 different ways and don't realize it. That isn't the case, here, anyway.

The point of this article is to give you what could be some surprising information; that giving away a game can, in at least this circumstance, can lead to additional sales.

And we're left to speculate on the repeatability of doing something like this and the underlying reasons that it worked.

Personally, I think it's an interesting idea for small developers because it's free publicity. Many people only pirate games, many never pirate games, and both talk to each other about games they like. Making a game available to pirstes before it's popular enough for someone else to do that means they get more eyes on the game that probably wouldn't buy the game anyway, but will recommend it to people that may buy the game if they hear about it.

This probably wouldn't work very well for popular game studios because they already have the marketing done, but it may work for smaller studios. I may consider this if I ever get around to finishing a game, largely because the potential negative is very small (this is a hobby, not my living) and the potential upside is large. And you can always add more content to the game that isn't in the torrent if it gets popular enough to try to capture the business of those on the fence.

To recount something happening.

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