Cardinal Quest For Free

Today, you can get a fun little roguelike game called Cardinal Quest for free, if you use the coupon code one of the developers tweeted. You go to the purchase site, type in the code, put in your info and get the download links. The download is a 15MB .zip file with the game in it. It’s a fun deal, right? I mean, every logical atom in my brain says it’s a deal. I got a game for free which I would have to pay a few bucks for otherwise.

Pirate PC

Pictured: Piracy was a cultural thing in Croatia.

Piracy Broke My Brain

My pirate brain disagrees, though. Yeah, it’s free. But it would have been just as free had I pirated it. I wouldn’t officially own it, but what do I really own now? All I got was the executable and the receipt, nothing else. On the other hand, when I bought Avadon the other day, I got the game and the receipt to, but I also got some other stuff. I got the achievements on steam. I got it added to my Steam account so all my friends can see I own and play it. Some of you might find this funny, but as someone who has pirated for most of his life, just owning something on paper doesn’t mean anything. This is why it was easy for me to pirate. I get the same experience as everyone else, with no investment needed.

A pirate needs a reason to pay for a game, and added bonus on top of the stuff he can get for free. This is why even hardcore pirates sometimes buy a game or two. Maybe it has really good multiplayer, or it’s online only, or maybe it has fun account bound achievements which increase the gameplay value. Heck, even a nice box with a detailed manual full of game lore can be motivation enough. Any of those things increase the joy of buying a new game. This “discount”, on the other hand, brought no joy to my pirate brain. I will probably have some fun with the game, and I am very grateful to the developers, but my base “urges” aren’t something I control here. It’s just how it is, because I’m still a pirate at heart.

It’s Hard to Wrap Your Head Around That

So what am I trying to say? I don’t know, really, probably nothing. I’m just trying to explain how an (ex-)pirate like me thinks. Maybe a developer/publisher somewhere will read this and devise a new strategy of influencing people to buy the game. This probably won’t happen, but I can dream, right? Steam is doing a pretty good job, though.

The sense of community and the achievements it brings to games is actually pushing people in my area of the world to pay for something they never even considered paying for before. Notch did a good job with Minecraft to. Yeah, 99% of the game can be experienced without a legit copy, but an online account with instant updates and a promise of extra features in the future has convinced me and plenty of my friends to pay.

So, once again, thanks, Ido Yehieli, for making your game free for today. I will greatly enjoy it. Sorry my pirate brain isn’t grateful, but be assured that my reasonable side is.