Indie game developer and publisher Amanita Design has announced a Pirate Amnesty Sale to encourage the purchase of its point and click adventure game, Machinarium (Mac, PC, Linux). The sale, which runs until August 12, is a smart assed response to internal figures it has unearthed showing that only 5 - 15 percent of those playing the game have actually paid for it. During the sale the game will be available for a mere $5 - down from the usual $20.
Part of the reason the game is so widely available and apparently heavily pirated is because the company chose to release it without any kind of DRM protection. For doing that Amanita Design deserves a bit of credit and some respect.
So how can it get that respect? By those that are enjoying the game to pay a little something for it. Here's a message from the developers on the sale:
Everybody who downloaded our game illegally (for free) has now a chance to redeem himself and get the latest version of the game (Win+Mac+Linux) and it’s fantastic Soundtrack only for $5 (instead of $20).
We released the game DRM free which means it doesn’t include any anti-piracy protection, therefore the game doesn’t bother players with any serial codes or online authentication, but it’s also very easy to copy it. Our estimate from the feedback is that only 5-15% of Machinarium players actually paid for the game. If you decide to buy the game, you can be sure you’ll support directly the developers, not any big publisher or distributor.
While the sale is geared towards those that pirated the game, Amanita Design wants to encourage those that don't own it to also take advantage of the $5 price tag. No judgments on anyone that wants to pick up the game - for whatever reason.