The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile unofficially ported to PC, but the original dev doesn't mind... much

UPDATE: Ska Studios responds to the hacker's assertion that, "this is not piracy. This is restoration of justice."

Update: Ska founder James Silva has responded to this bizarre turn events further by stating to Eurogamer, "I should add that I'm totally giving the guy the benefit of the doubt and saying he probably didn't mean to come across quite the way he did with that restoration of justice stuff."

Ska "art unicorn" Michelle Juett wasn't as forgiving. "James is always the good cop," she said in an e-mail to Eurogamer. "I'm kind of livid myself, I just see him as the overly-entitled gamer saying 'I deserve this because I want it!' I was saying earlier on Twitter 'Halo: Spartan Assault only on Windows 8 devices! That Russian guy should port it FOR GREAT JUSTICE!' Like James though, he's going to do what he's going to do and it's kind of impressive but trying to justify it morally really irks me."

The Ska Studios cats could not be reached for comment, because they are cats.

Original story: Ska Studios' stylish black-and-white-with-red-all-over slice-'em-up, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, has been ported from its native home of XBLA onto PC with one hitch: it's not an official port.

1

I forgot how much I love this game. Well worth the asking price, I reckon.

Instead, Russian hacker Barabus, took it upon himself to spread the joy and mirth of Vampire Smile to the PC crowd by pirating the 2011 game without Ska's permission. "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," wrote Barabus on the GameDev.ru forums (via Google Translate).

"We do not steal the game for the Xbox 360, we release it for the PC port," Barabus continued. "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, this does cut into sales in the sense that many people own both Xbox 360s and PCs, so one could potentially just pirate the PC version instead.

Amazingly, Ska Studios founder James Silva doesn't have that big an issue with his game being spread around the interwebs. "I guess you could say my reaction is mixed," Silva told IndieStatik. "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."

To this, Barabus responded in a comment to the IndieStatik report, "Users always have the option to pay for the game or not. This also applies to Xbox 360 which has the opportunity to play pirated games."

He then explained that the PC version lacked some of the XBLA original's features such as co-op, online play, and achievements. "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."

We've contacted Ska Studios about this so-called vigilante justice and will update as we hear back.

Comments (85)

Comments for this article are now closed, but please feel free to continue chatting on the forum!