Pirated Game Dev Tycoon Shows How Piracy Feels Like

Game developers get frustrated over players who download their titles illegally, resorting to overbearing copy protection mechanisms that dishearten legitimate players. Facing the same problem, indie studio Greenheart Games takes a novel approach in battling piracy: by releasing a “cracked” Game Dev Tycoon to a number of illegal downloading sites.

There is, however, a catch. Anyone who tries playing the pirated Game Dev Tycoon get to experience how game studios go through when dealing with illegal downloads. A massage pops out, in the form of a sales report, telling the player that people are opting to pirate their studio’s game.

The report reads: “Boss, it seems that while many players play our new game, they steal it by downloading a cracked version rather than buying it legally. If players don’t buy the games they like, we will sooner or later go bankrupt. :-(”

Patrick Klug of Greenheart Games wrote in the studio’s blog that, within a day after the cracked version was released, over 93 percent of all Game Dev Tycoon downloads were illegal. He also posted response from frustrated players who were experiencing the same struggles his company faces with piracy.

“As a gamer I laughed out loud: the IRONY,” Klug wrote. “However, as the developer, who spent over a year creating this game and hasn’t drawn a salary yet, I wanted to cry. Surely, for most of these players, the 8 dollars wouldn’t hurt them but it makes a huge difference to our future!”

Greenheart Games is not the first developer to come up with out-of-the-box approaches to piracy. For instance, cracked versions of Crysis Warhead replaced bullets with less effective chickens. Pirated copies of Michael Jackson: The Experience on Nintendo DS drowned the music with an endless barrage of vuvuzela horns.

Source: Greenheart Games, via The Verge

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