Russian hacker ports Live Arcade title to PC
We’ve learned that a Russian amateur game developer known as Barabus has ported the Xbox 360 Live Arcade title The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile to PC. So what, you may ask? Unofficial ports aren’t something new. True. However the hacker in question had attempted to justify the morality of his actions. This set off a debate on whether the hacker’s actions could be considered morally acceptable.
According to his post on GameDev.ru (in Russian), the hacker believed that, while the fact that he made the port “isn’t very nice” the same can be said about the decision of the developer to not port the game to PCs (a full translation of the hacker’s original comments on this issue can be found at the end of this story). The hacker stated in the post that this unofficial port, which is being distributed via torrent sites, should not be considered piracy, as the developer of the game has decided to ignore PCs in favor of the Xbox 360 and no profit is being lost by SKA Studios. Barabus has stated that this PC port is a form of justice for all PC gamers who do not have the opportunity to play the game on the Xbox 360.
The response from the two-person developer, Ska Studios, has been somewhat mixed. James Silva, the lead “dishwasher” (developer) at SKA Studios, has said in a NeoGAF post, that he is “flattered, impressed, but still a little bit weirded out by the bizarre moralistic stuff”. His comments on the reason for the absence of a PC port shined some light on the creative process in SKA Studios. At the present time, James hopes to create a directors cut version of the game with new content, after the release of the most recent title in the SKA Studios lineup – Charlie Murder.
It is not uncommon for various forms of media to be altered by fans in an attempt to make the final product more accessible. The most prominent example is the translation of Japanese manga and anime by fans of the various series into English and other languages. In video games – mods and unofficial patches have been popular long since before the current console generation. An example of this was Evil Genius, a base-management game, that had many glitches and problems even after release, many of which were resolved with a fan-created patch.
The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile received 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, with excellent combat, but repetitive level design. Do you think that this PC port is justice or piracy? Sound off in the comments section below. For all things Xbox, PC ports and more, click on through to Gaming Precision.
Full translation of initial comments by Barabus:
The Ethics of publishing
The view was expressed that, with respect to the authors, it is not very nice to publish the game on PCs. I have to argue that the authors were not very nice by publishing this game exclusively for the Xbox 360, making it impossible for PC gamers to play such a great game.
Piracy – yes, it is a bad thing. On the other hand, we are not pirating an Xbox 360 game, we are releasing it as a PC port. Given that the developers are ignoring the PC platform, so any loss of profit for them in this situation is out of the question. After all, if they wanted to earn money, then they would have published the game on all available platforms. Had this game been released officially on PCs, then this thread would have never existed.