Pirates added to pirate-less indie game as a treat for pirates

The solo developer behind Please Fix the Road, a colourful puzzle game in which you try and rearrange tiles to repair and reconnect decrepit roads, is nearing release on PC. Ahead of launch, developer Ariel Jurkowski announced that Please Fix the Road will launch on Steam, GOG… and on torrent sites.

This is not a mistake, Jurkowski is intentionally creating a “pirated” version of their own game, which will be going live on popular torrent sites alongside official stores.

While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a version of this tactic, Jurkowski isn’t actually trying to make an inferior version of the game for pirates, or even guilt trip them into buying it. Instead, as the developer explained on Twitter, this torrent version of Please Fix the Road will include all of the content available to Steam and GOG owners.

To spice things up a little, or perhaps to make that version stand out, Jurkowski added a “pirate-themed song” at the start of the game, and made some changes to the intro to fit the theme. Pirates will also notice a different options menu icon, which replaces the standard cogwheel with a pirate face.

The only other major difference is that this version of the game will not receive any future updates. As for why Ariel Jurkowski is even going through all that trouble, the developer admitted that the game “would be pirated anyway”, though he doesn’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,” he added.

Though this may be a nice gesture that doesn’t punish pirates, it may not prove very successful. GOG sells a DRM-free version, so that’s the one that may end up getting traction on torrent sites regardless. Indeed, savvy pirates often look for the GOG versions of games to download, because it lowers the risk of getting a cracked copy that could contain malicious software.

Please Fix the Road has a diorama-style structure with a pleasing aesthetic. Jurkowski said you should expect it to be a “casual” puzzle game. It arrives sometime in June, and you can wishlist it on Steam today.

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