Impromptu Studios, developers of the recently released game Influx, have provided a torrented version of their own game, to allow players to pirate it in the hopes that they will then decide to buy the full version.
Joe Wintergreen, the head of Impromptu Studios, even issued a personal plea: As they’re ‘not a big company’ they would ‘really appreciate’ some support on their first commercial PC release. The game itself is described by Impromptu as a ‘relaxing puzzle game’, and trailers of the game show that it sets a high standard of visual design for what it is. You control a mysterious alien sphere, traversing an island as you encounter and struggle to complete ‘glasshouses’; beautifully designed puzzle orientated structures. Currently unavailable on Steam, the game can be downloaded for $9.99 from GOG and Amazon.
The logic behind offering games in this manner is generally that as games will be pirated, it is worth using the pirate community to get attention and appraisal, supposedly according to an ‘honor system’ according to the Influx website. At this early stage of the game’s release, this could be a sound tactic. Pirates may have been unlikely to purchase the game anyway, but these kinds of offers can help such releases to gather acclaim and, once the game is available on Steam, it could find audiences already eager. The main issue is, ultimately, that sales may suffer as a result of such tactics, and Joe appeals that he seriously has ‘no idea how I’m paying rent this month’. It is difficult to predict whether such a tactic will prevail at this point in time.