Indie dev makes $12k through piracy promotion

Indie dev makes $12k through piracy promotion
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

February 20th 2013 at 10:30AM

'The promo bay far exceeded what our sales cycle would have been if we just went on as normal,' says Sean Hogan

An indie developer has made more than $12,000 after advertising its game through the Pirate Bay.

In a blog post, Sean Hogan wrote a post-mortem of the experiment to advertise action-adventure RPG Anodyne through piracy channels, and noted a significant upturn in website hits, Steam Greenlight votes and sales.

News of the promotion came to light last week when Hogan posted about the title on Reddit advocating piracy, and suggested that as it was inevitable, it was better to embrace it.

A promotion on the Pirate Bay itself cost $7, and Hogan claimed the game had “far exceeded sales from the past ten days of review/videos, traffic was huge”.

The game’s Steam Greenlight page rose from 28,000 users to 41,000 uniques, while a increase in votes pushed it to 59th place on the service.

Hogan said he hoped that Valve would take on the title given the increasingly attention and popularity the game is receiving, but if not he still hoped the title would reach the top ten.

The majority of web traffic is said to have come from the Pirate Bay and Reddit, with around 240,000 unique users landing on the game’s website.

The majority of the game’s sales - $11,500 - were made through the Humble Store.

It should be noted however that large subsequent media attention would likely also have played a part in the title’s popularity and sales.

“The promo bay far exceeded what our sales cycle would have been if we just went on as normal – sales were dying down around the start of the promo,” said Hogan.

“We made twice as much revenue as we did in the past 10 days (plus the pre-orders), many more visitors, votes, etcetera.”

Despite the game’s apparent success, piracy has still proven a big problem for a number of developers in the industry, with the likes of Sports Interactive, Crytek and Madfinger previously speaking out about astonishing rates of piracy, ranging in the millions.