Help! There Are Pirates Pirating in My Pirated Game
Picture this; you’re a small indie company, so small that there are only two of you and you decide to develop a game in order to make some cash, but there’s always that threat of your game being pirated within a few hours of release, what do you do?
The clever so-and-so’s at Greenheart Games decided to beat the piraters at their own game and release a cracked copy of the newly released, Game Dev Tycoon, a game made available for Windows, Linux and Mac.
If you’ve ever seen or played Game Dev Story, it’s basically the same thing, but for home computers instead of iOS or Android. On the developers blog, they explain how they released the game and the cracked version just minutes later and despite the game only costing $7.99/£5.99/€6.49 (excluding VAT, so add 20% on the pound (£) and euro (€) prices), more than 93% of users had downloaded the torrent.
The irony of it is, people were complaining about in-game pirates pirating their games. This meant that pirates were complaining about pirates pirating their games in their pirated copy of Game Dev Tycoon. The best comment had to be “Why are there so many people who pirate?” You honestly would have to have combined half a dozen of the most creative gaming minds to have made this up as an April Fool’s joke, but it’s not a joke, it really happened.
It’s not like the game costs that much, it’s pocket-money to most kids these days and with all the complaints about in-app purchases and microtransactions, if thoughtless morons took the time to support indie developers by buying their games, it wouldn’t be an issue.
Game Dev Tycoon is DRM-free (unless/until it’s released on Steam, then that is the only ‘DRM’), so you can’t argue about that. It was an innovative idea to give the gamers who pirated the game a taste of their own medicine and an insight how developers experience the situation, but in Real-Life™.