Desperate to try the blocky indie sensation Minecraft but can’t afford the $26.95 price tag? “Just pirate it,” says creator Notch, and you can pay him back later if you love it.A gamer asked Markus Persson, aka Notch, if he could have a free account since he couldn’t afford the game. His only alternative, the gamer lamented, was pirating it. Notch responded with the quote above. Buy it when you can afford it if you still like it, he added.The move is the latest in a string of public-facing moments that have satisfied Notch’s fans and followers. Persson’s celebrity has served as a great promotional asset on PC game communities like Steam and Reddit. PC gamers, ever a thrifty bunch, have applauded Notch’s permission for the would-be pirate to become the actual pirate.“Don’t forget to feel bad,” Notch quipped in his tweet.via TwitterBlake’s OpinionGamers, you’ve just been offered free-to-play in a way you may not even recognize.For game publishers, the free-to-play model is based on the assumption that a lot of gamers will play for free, but a few will eventually pay up. That few may even be as small as 1% to 5%. For Notch, if 100 players pirate the game now, maybe 1% to 5% will pay the $26.95 later, when they can honestly afford the expenditure.Rampant retweeting of Notch’s statement shows that PC gamers dig his stance. That’s great, but consider Notch’s situation. Those would-be pirates, or at least their vast majority, would have pirated anyway. His tweet just opens the door for that 1% to 5% to pay up later.Notch deserves all the love he gets from the Minecraft community, but he’s also a shrewd businessman.