Hotline Miami - A Pirates Dream
Hotline Miami has sold up to 130.000 copies since it launched and while that number is reasonable in its own rights for a game of this kind, the number will of course not put it anywhere near the big titles. Then again, it didn’t really have any PR but was still a surprise hit this year. A lot of controversy reigned over this title not only due to its difficulty and violent nature, but also because the developer actually aided pirates to get their game running. While considered a PR ploy by some, this has, together with the small size of the game, led to extraordinary levels of pirated copies. To defend his move he said:
“I don’t really want people to pirate Hotline Miami, but I understand if they do. I’ve been broke the last couple of months. It sucks.”
If Jonatan Söderström might have acted under a peculiar marketing scheme or acturally meant what he says, is debatable. The official story stays the same and Hotline’s Project Manager Graeme Struthers of Devolver reinforced this version in an interview with Eurogamer by saying:
“That’s what he’s like. He just felt he didn’t want people playing the buggy version of his game however they got it. He wanted them to get the patch. He basically said, ‘I’m not going to criticise this, it’s a fact of life. It would be nice if guys could find it within themselves to pay for it, but that’s the world I’m in, so you know, you just have to take it for what it is.’”
It seems that the publisher had anticipated certain queerness in Söderström for Struthers continues:
"We knew who ‘Cactus’ [Söderström] was. If the guy wanted to make a chess game we would have said yes."
Hotline Miami has certainly hit the headlights since its launch and has been a constant cause for debate since with a second one already annouced. What more could a game and developer want?