Hotline Miami 2 has gone through a whirlwind of controversy the past two days. With the Australian Classification Board refusing to rate Devolver Digital’s most recent hyper-stylized murder fest, Hotline Miami 2 is essentially dead in the water in the down under. Now one developer responded to an email from a fan of the series telling him it’s okay to pirate Hotline Miami 2 if it is not released.
The image below is a screen cap of an email, confirmed to be true by a member of publisher Devolver Digital, is between a fan and developer/creator Jonatan Soderstrom.
Devolver Digital wouldn’t have much of a claim to market harm in Australia, even if they weren’t okay with pirating. This was a similar situation Sony almost opened itself up to by briefly pulling The Interview. If you can’t sell it, you can’t say someone harmed your financial well-being by stealing it.
This whole debacle shouldn’t be a surprise for Australians nor the rest of the gaming world. Australia is known for heavily censoring violent games, all the way back to Left 4 Dead. Earlier this year, two major retail chains (Target and K Mart) pulled Grand Theft Auto V from the shelves for depictions of violence against women, which is consistent with why Classification Board said they denied Hotline Miami 2.
Bottom line: Dennaton Games wants you to play Hotline Miami 2, and at least one of them is okay if you have to steal it to do so.