Jonathan Blow’s The Witness has been the subject of much discussion over the past week. From controversy surrounding the price announcement to raving critical reviews, the message has been inconsistent, though it has followed one through-line: people are interested in The Witness, for better or worse. It appears that further events have solidified that truth, unfortunately not in the capacity that Blow would have hoped.
On January 28, 2016 Jonathan Blow tweeted the following:
“It seems The Witness is the #1 game on a certain popular torrent site. Unfortunately this will not help us afford to make another game!” — “I’m glad that a lot more people will be experiencing the game! But I also want to be able to make another comparable game next,” said Blow in several frustrated tweets.
Blow is attempting to address this issue positively, but come after some in the gaming community had previously expressed shock at the higher-than-average indie game price. Piracy in video games, and all popular media, really, has been talked to death; and we all know that guilty pleasure of snagging a recently released Blockbuster, sitting on your couch, and basking in the pleasure of free entertainment. It’s an easy choice, but sometimes its far more damaging than one may think.
Blow’s messages to the public are saying exactly that, and the twitter conversation didn’t stop there. Another user engaged Blow on the topic of anti-tampering software.
Blow’s comments show a considerate and deliberate choice, not an oversight, which was made in order to allow consumers the freedom to call the game their own – a decision that is now biting him in the ass, causing a considerable loss in profits.
Unfortunately, it may also be a decision that dictates that future products from the creator are less expansive, and not to mention potentially accompanied by software that prevents our actual ownership of it. While wanton piracy is so easily accomplished in today’s internet culture, the simple pleas for discretion from, what essentially boils down to, a starving artist — should hold far more weight.
An optimist would hold onto hopes that a large percent of those who obtain the game illegally would do so as a trial period, obtaining it legally once the decision is made to see it through. But pessimism is far stronger surrounding matters such as these and, let’s face it, that won’t happen.
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Source: Jonathan Blow on Twitter