Devolver 'fully supports' Loop Hero studio as it encourages piracy in sanctioned countries

Loop Hero
(Image credit: Four Quarters)

Update: A spokesperson for Loop Hero publisher Devolver Digital has issued a statement, confirming that it supports Four Quarters' invitation for users in areas affected by economic sanctions to pirate the game.

"Devolver Digital fully supports Four Quarters as they navigate this incredibly difficult period," the statement reads. "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%."  

Original story:

Prospective buyers of Loop Hero based in areas affected by economic sanctions should pirate the game, studio Four Quarters has announced. Due to sanctions imposed following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, some customers in Russia may be unable to use regular payment methods to purchase games on Steam.

The Russian independent studio—which does not support Russia's invasion of Ukraine—encouraged its followers to "help raise the pirate flag" in a March 27 post on its official VK account. It also shared a torrent link. 

Asked by a user how the studio can be supported during the ongoing crisis, the Four Quarters account wrote (via Google Translate): "we can handle it, thank you. If there is such an opportunity [for you to provide support] take better care of your loved ones and friends."

After that post gained a lot of attention, Four Quarters followed up with a Loop Hero development update, which reaffirmed that there is "nothing wrong with torrents"  and that it has received many offers of donations. Work on an in-progress update is 80% complete, and will be continued "soon". I reached out to a Devolver spokesperson for comment, and will update if I hear back.

While customers in Russia may have trouble purchasing games on Steam and other platforms, game developers have it worse. Steam payments are stalled not only in Russia, but also Ukraine, and won't start paying through until April, Tyler reported earlier today. Valve acknowledged the situation, writing that "we know this is super frustrating for all involved, and are hoping to find a better resolution soon."

Many companies have made unambiguous statements about their businesses in Russia, with the likes of Microsoft and Sony halting sales and blocking store access in the country. Valve—not unexpectedly, perhaps—hasn't made any such declaration, but inevitably needs to observe sanctions handed down by the US government. 

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.