Loop Hero devs support piracy to avoid sanctions

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The Russian studio behind Loop Hero have encouraged would-be-players to pirate their game if they’re unable to buy it due to the sanctions against Russia. Access to some payment systems has been lost following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so the devs say if you can’t figure out a way to buy it, hey, just download it. The route-building dungeon-crawler’s publishers, Devolver Digital, have supported this.

Four Quarters, who stated their opposition to war on the first day of the invasion, laid out their stance in a post on VK (a Facebook-like Russian social network) on Sunday. With the main payment methods on Steam currently disabled for users in Russia, Four Quarters explained people had been asking how they could buy Loop Hero these days, and suggested a simple solution if would-be customers can’t get anything to work.

“When all this will end is unknown, so everyone in such difficult times can only help raise the pirate flag (along with VPN),” they said (or, a machine translation says they said), going on to share a link to download Loop Hero through a torrent site. The game’s publishers are cool with this.

“Devolver Digital fully supports Four Quarters as they navigate this incredibly difficult period,” they said in a statement to cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer. “We’ve been communicating consistently with the team to help them wherever possible and were alerted of the statement ahead of time, which we back 100%.”

After proposing torrenting, the devs seemed surprise by the attention this got internationally. They said in a (machine-translated) follow-up post on Monday, “We didn’t do anything special, because there’s nothing wrong with torrents.” And in response to people offering donations, they said naw, don’t sweat it, they’re good.

They also gave a wee update on the next Loop Hero content update, saying it’s mostly done but they have work left to do and want to add a few more bits. I’m up for more Loop Hero.

“A game about walking in circles, Loop Hero has every right to feel futile, but the opposite is true,” Steve Hogarty said in our Loop Hero review. “There’s something profoundly rewarding about repeatedly finding yourself back where you started, having gone absolutely nowhere and done nothing, but having a slightly better pair of boots than when you set out. Loop Hero is a peculiar blend of hands-off roleplaying and light card-based strategy. It is a cosy, compulsive thing.”

For more looping, Brad Lang talked with the devs about how that mix of things came to be.

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