A Russian hacker who goes by "Barabus" created an unauthorized Windows PC version of Ska Studios' Xbox 360 game The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile and released it last week, characterizing his actions as a "restoration of justice" in a comment on Indie Statik.
Ska Studios released the side-scrolling beat-em-up The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile in April 2011 for Xbox Live Arcade. Barabus wrote (via Google Translate) in the GameDev.ru forums that 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."
While acknowledging that piracy "is bad," Barabus denied that his actions constitute piracy because Ska Studios have ignored the PC and that the developers therefore weren't losing money.
"On the other hand, we do not steal the game for the Xbox 360, we release it for the PC port," he wrote (via Google Translate). "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."
"This is not piracy. This is restoration of justice."
Earlier today, in the comments of an article on Indie Statik that pointed out that the unauthorized PC port could convince some to pirate the game on PC rather than purchase it on Xbox 360, Barabus characterized his actions as a form of justice.
"You say: 'There are lots of people who play on the Xbox and the PC as well! They can now choose from a payed Xbox version or a free PC version!,'" he wrote.
"I must protest. 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. It first."
He went on to write that the PC version doesn't include co-op modes, online play and achievements.
"This is not piracy," Barabus wrote. "This is restoration of justice."
James Silva, co-founder of Ska Software, told Indie Statik that his reaction to the news is a mixture of flattery and bewilderment.
"I'm flattered that there's this much interest in Vampire Smile on PC," Silva told Indie Statik. "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."
Ska Studios' artist Michelle Juett Silva took to Twitter to comment.
"IMO, calling the guy the developer is like calling the guy selling stereos out of the back of his car the product designer," SIlva wrote.
Earlier in the day, Silva compared the situation to the announcement that Halo: Spartan Assault is scheduled for Windows 8 devices.
"Halo: Spartan Assault only on Windows 8 devices! That Russian guy should port it FOR GREAT JUSTICE!"
The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile is available legally for 800 Microsoft Points ($10). You can also download a demo through XBLA for free.