SpeedRunners, as you might have guessed, is a game about running real fast. It's also a game about jumping and grapple-hooking, two methods of traversal that go particularly well with the above. tinyBuild's game hit Steam Early Access a couple of months ago, though it's just been revealed that if you wait until release you can get an (offline-only) version for free. Wuh? Guh? It's a positive response to the inevitability of piracy - you can hear tinyBuild's reasons below.
In an email to RPS, creator Alex Nichiporchik stated the following:
"I’ve seen it multiple times when people pirate some sort of software, fall in love with it, and then due to constant updates reminders end up buying it, just for the convenience. Basically, when developers provide a good service, people see the value in spending money. Minecraft is a great example. With the constant updates, it’s so clear you should throw your money at the screen – simply provide a service, making it much more convenient than searching for cracks.
"We’ve decided to make SpeedRunners free when it comes out. The local version of SpeedRunners will be available completely free. You’ll be able to download it and play with your friends on a couch, or use any of the offline features (right now we have bots to play against offline). The online part of SpeedRunners will be what people pay money for, it’s the service we provide to players."
It's not the first time that tinyBuild have decided to deal with piracy in a non-self-defeating way. For their previous title, No Time To Explain, they uploaded their game to The Pirate Bay themselves, replacing all the unlockable hats with pirate hats in a move that's a) quite funny and b) taps into our innate desire to collect as many goddamn hats as possible. The move (and the resulting press attention) worked out quite well for the game - so piracy 'ain't all bad, it seems.
In the statement, Nichiporchik also revealed that he's an evil terrorism-funding worse-than-Hitler pirate himself - he's pirated Battlefield 4 (if only to test whether it works on his machine).
SpeedRunners is currently on Steam Early Access - if you buy it now, you'll get the full, online-enabled game when it releases for real.