Patreon essentially recommends I just be real with you guys regarding this issue.
First, let me just say that I’m no stranger to pirating. I have a low-income background, I couldn’t (and still can’t) always afford to shell out dozens and dozens of $$$ for entertainment. If AAA game companies or billion-dollar enterprises bleed a few bucks, I really don’t think it’s a huge deal. It’s not like companies like that ever get that big in a totally moral way.
I, however, am a newbie indie game dev. I am nowhere near the level of these guys. I lost my job a couple of months ago, so I have no other income. Now, I spend at minimum 6 days a week, from the time I wake to the time I go to sleep, working on this game, trying to make sure people get their money’s worth and to create something quality while at the same time trying to ensure that I will be able to continue to do so in the long run.
I do have a family to feed. My daughter needs braces. Last week we literally watched my utilities slowly shut off one by one while I waited on one of my itch payouts to finish processing.
I’ve spent thousands of my own money making this game, and still have a way to go. This isn’t a cheap endeavor, and I’m now at a point where I must spend thousands per month in order to meet all my obligations, so every little bit counts.
So, when I saw that my game had been re-hosted, I was baffled for a couple of different reasons. One, this means the game has reached enough people that this is now something I will experience. Two, the re-hosted file was blatantly posted in one of my own official threads that I use to push out content updates.
If someone wants to take paid content and go share it with some community of people, I realize there is very little I can do to stop them, and honestly I have very little interest in even trying to stop it anyway. In this day and age I’d say it’s even to be expected.
However, to do so directly in front of me, in one of my own channels, just seems downright ill-intentioned. The typical justifications for piracy don’t really seem to apply there so it comes off maliciously.
The game is about the cost of a fast food meal. If that’s too much, a month-old version is available for roughly half the price. I’ve held several free giveaways. There is a free demo that is even fully-featured. I’ve made efforts to make the game very accessible.
So then I spend hours traveling to different avenues every release, trying to drum up interest and investments, to try and reward everyone with a great game, and to try and provide for my family. Then, in one of these avenues, someone sets up their soap box right in front of me and blatantly redistributes my work, effectively siphoning income for my household from that whole avenue until the post can be taken down, if it ever gets taken down.
If you are going to reupload my work and share it somewhere, all I ask, and I feel it is very little to ask, is can you at least not do it in my own channels? E.g., my subreddit, the itch forums, other forums where I post updates, etc. Sharing my work literally anywhere else would be significantly less harmful than sharing it in my own channels where I’m actively advertising, than sharing it in my own posts, my own threads where I’m on that hustle. Obviously, I’d rather you not do it at all, but if you are going to anyway, I just ask you be mindful about where you share and the negative effects it has on multiple people and children.
tl;dr If you’re going to reupload my work, please have some empathy and do it in such a way that it at least does not directly hurt my family and I.
Anyway, here’s this update of Ms. Lane!