Russian developer Barabus really wanted to see Ska Studios' Xbox 360-exclusive game, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile
, on PC – so Barabus created a cracked version and uploaded it to the web. Barabus didn't contact Ska Studios and didn't think creator James Silva would lose any money from the unofficial PC port.
On a game development forum
, Barabus cited the following reasons the port was ethical (in English from Google Translate):
"The view was expressed that, with respect to the authors is not very nice to publish the game on the PC. I have to argue that the part of the authors are not very nice to publish the game exclusively for the Xbox 360, making it impossible for PC gamers to play in such a great game," Barabus writes. "Piracy – yes, that is bad. On the other hand, we do not steal the game for the Xbox 360, we release it for the PC port. Given that developers ignore the PC platform, about any loss of profit for them is not out of the question. After all, if they wanted to earn money, then the game would be issued on all available platforms. If the game came out on PC officially, then this thread would not exist."
Of course many players own both PCs and Xbox 360s, and an unofficial PC port could potentially lure away paying console customers and impact Ska Studios' profits. And Silva expressed interest
in creating a PC version of Vampire Smile
after finishing his next game, Charlie Murder
. Silva responded to Barabus' port to Indie Statik
"I guess you could say my reaction is mixed," Silva said. "I'm flattered that there's this much interest in Vampire Smile
on PC. I'm not mad about the crack itself; in fact, I'm actually pretty impressed. But I'm bewildered by the cracker's attempt to justify the morality of it. He assumes a lot about why Vampire Smile
's not on PC yet, and he could have cleared up a lot of those assumptions by just emailing me. I get that piracy is a service problem, but that's a consequence, not a justification."
Barabus added the following justification in the comments of that post: "The PC version has a lot of limitations. Cooperative gameplay is unavailable, network gameplay is unavailable, achievments is unavailable ...
"Original Xbox 360 version for pirates is more attractive. I gave only the opportunity to play for those people who have no Xbox 360. This is not piracy. This is restoration of justice."