Indie Devs Release Free Torrent of Their Horror Game, Darkwood, to Combat Key Resellers

Indie Devs Release Free Torrent of Their Horror Game, Darkwood, to Combat Key Resellers

Acid Wizard Studio also wants to help players who can't afford the game.

Acid Wizard Studios, the Polish indie developers behind the recently released top-down horror shooter Darkwood just put up an official version of their game for free on torrent website. The studio says that this is so that players who can't afford it can get a free, legal copy of the game, and at the same time putting a stop to controversial key resellers.

Acid Wizard Studios put out an interesting blog post through the image hosting website Imgur. It recounts how the studio was formed, how three college friends who didn't like horror games set out to make a horror game (without jump scares), and the years long development of their game.


We knew next to nothing about game development before starting work on Darkwood. We all had a background in animation / graphic design, but little idea about programming, game design or production. At one point we quit our day jobs and dived straight into developing our first game, with no backup plan.

When Darkwood finally came out, Acid Wizard Studios encountered a problem that faces a lot of video game developers, especially on the indie side of things: scammers who would email asking for free codes claiming to be a content producer, but who would just end up selling the codes on controversial resellers like G2A.

"To be honest we're fed up with it. This process makes it impossible for us to do any giveaways or send keys to people who actually don't have the money to play Darkwood," wrote the developers. Furthermore, Acid Wizard Studios seems sympathetic to players who are genuinely interested in playing their game, but can't for financial reasons.

So, the studio decided to put up a version of the game on torrent websites. It's a clean version with no viruses, or changes that indicates that the version is pirated like pirate hats on characters or things like that. The studio asks players that if they enjoy the game, to consider purchasing a retail version when it's on sale.

"[I]f you like Darkwood and want us to continue making games, consider buying it in the future, maybe on a sale, through Steam, GOG or Humble Store. But please, please, don't buy it through any key reselling site. By doing that, you're just feeding the cancer that is leeching off this industry."

This is a pretty cool move from Acid Wizard Studios, both as a show of good will and a way to send a message to key resellers that have come under a lot of scrutiny as of late for undermining the indie gaming community. You can find links to purchase and download Darkwood in the studio's original Imgur post here.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Read this next

What Retro Game Do You Still Play Regularly?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Mario 3? Planescape Torment? StarCraft? We want to know what classic games are still in your regular rotation.

Trials of Mana Interview: The Developers on Topping the Fan Translation and the Possibility of New Mana Games

"[T]he localization team took a look at the translation and the first thing they said was, 'We're going to show them up.'"

Oninaki Review

Oh now feel it, comin' back again.

The Pride Flag in Marvel's Spider-Man is a Small Gesture That's Made a Large Impact

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Pride flags in Marvel's Spider-Man, edits to Yakuza re-releases, and an Ion Fury backtrack show publisher actions speaking louder than words

Remnant: From the Ashes is Quickly Becoming 2019's Breakout Hit

A multiplayer Souls-shooter is picking up steam.

More News

Remnant: From the Ashes is Quickly Becoming 2019's Breakout Hit

A multiplayer Souls-shooter is picking up steam.

Former Artifact Designer Says Expansions Were in the Works Prior to His Departure

He hopes the maligned card game can still find an audience.

More Indie Games

Telling Lies Review

The spiritual successor to Her Story is a shady investigation into the lives of four liars.

"Stop Asking 'Is It Political?' and Start Asking Instead About the Actual Politics of Each Game"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Also, the things studios of all sizes do to survive, and what happens when that's not enough.

Eliza Review

Zachtronics, the developers of puzzle games such as Opus Magnum and Infinifactory, have a new... visual novel?

Zachtronics' New Visual Novel Eliza Reckons With an Industry and Generation in Burnout Crisis

We talk to developer Matthew Seiji Burns about his prescient upcoming visual novel, a surprising departure for a studio known for puzzle games.