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Posted

Developer offers "cracked" version of game to teach pirates a lesson

by John Callaham

PC games tend to have a high piracy rate, even if they have some kind of DRM set up. So Greenheart Games, the two man team that made a new indie game called Game Dev Tycoon, decided to do something different to show software pirates that their actions have real consequences.

The game itself, released this weekend for Windows, Mac and Linux, has players take control of a game development studio in the 1980s. Players have to develop and release games and make money for their studio. However, a few minutes after the real $7.99 game was launched, Greenheart Games released a free "cracked" version of the game to a file torrent site.

priate-message.jpg

This version of the game has one important difference. After a few hours, players who control their virtual game studio find out they can't actually make money because their games have been pirated. As a post on the Greenheart Games blog states, "Slowly their in-game funds dwindle, and new games they create have a high chance to be pirated until their virtual game development company goes bankrupt."

Anonymous user data gathered from both the real and "cracked" version of the game show that well over 90 percent of Game Dev Tycoon players have decided to get the "cracked" version. Greenheart Games states in their blog:

We are not wealthy and it’s unlikely that we will be any time soon, so stop pretending like we don’t need your 8 dollars! We are just two guys working our butts off, trying to start our own game studio to create games which are fun to play.

The blog also points out there is also a real free demo of Game Dev Tycoon that anyone can download to try out a portion of the game before they buy the full version.

Source: Greenheart Games | Image via Greenheart Games

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Posted

i love when game developers do stuff like this. I also remember in the past other developers would make the game much more difficult if someone pirated it or other funny things.

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Posted

lmao.. that is pretty epic.. and shame on the ones who pirate..

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Posted

So they made the "Realism" mode a free download?

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Posted

^ or Shame on developers for forcing users to install bloatware like steam origon uplay or games for windows live on their computers to play a single player game, pirates naturally get a better experience than paid users.

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Posted

While it's a nice idea in theory, it's largely wasted effort. Pirates simply just don't care who they steal from or the consequences of their actions. Putting some restrictions and messages in the leaded version in order to get some type of sympathetic response will only make pirates go out and download the "real" game instead. It won't suddenly make them grow a conscience. They already know what they're doing is wrong and illegal. They simply don't care.

^ or Shame on developers for forcing users to install bloatware like steam origon uplay or games for windows live on their computers to play a single player game, pirates naturally get a better experience than paid users.

Steam is bloatware now? When did that happen?

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Posted

^ or Shame on developers for forcing users to install bloatware like steam origon uplay or games for windows live on their computers to play a single player game, pirates naturally get a better experience than paid users.

Oh shut up. Just install the store app and forget about it. Is it that hard for you lot?! What does it take, 100 megs of disk space out of you 256GB SSD? 50 megs of ram out of your 8GB? The benefits of centralized game store like steam and gfw far outweigh your bloatware concerns.
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Posted

While it's a nice idea in theory, it's largely wasted effort. Pirates simply just don't care who they steal from or the consequences of their actions.

.... They simply don't care.

There is a segment that wouldn't have bought it anyway, so there isn't a loss from those people. It doesn't really count as theft in this case.

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Posted

^ or Shame on developers for forcing users to install bloatware like steam origon uplay or games for windows live on their computers to play a single player game, pirates naturally get a better experience than paid users.

The age old excuse. I don't have a problem with running Steam or Origin to play games.

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Posted

Nice, I remember this one program AGES ago would know that your trying to register it with a cracked/pirated serial number and would come up with pop ups stating that what you're doing is wrong and would state things like "I wonder how many more windows I should make you see?". This would keep going until you click OK to like 100 pop ups.

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Posted

Steam is bloatware now? When did that happen?

Why did you single out steam only? None of the drms he mentioned are bloatware.

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Posted

What a brilliant business plan they've got going, release a version of the game for free which then accuses the user of being a thief.

I wonder if someone will buy the game and crack it properly?

so i went to their site and it looks like they've taken down the page to buy the PC version. the Windows Store version is still there.

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Posted

Why did you single out steam only? None of the drms he mentioned are bloatware.

It's the only one I use.

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Posted

What a brilliant business plan they've got going, release a version of the game for free which then accuses the user of being a thief.

I wonder if someone will buy the game and crack it properly?

so i went to their site and it looks like they've taken down the page to buy the PC version. the Windows Store version is still there.

They did not officially release it on their website (as it here is the free version, and here is the paid version). They put it on a torrent.

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Posted

boo hoo, this don't work and never will, any kind of prank/joke and DRM will only scare off users, I have never heard of this game before but now i don't want to buy or pirate it ever.

not all users are stupid.

even Microsoft was smart to classify their pirate users as 'victims' because they known no one like to be labeled as lowly software thief.

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Posted

Steam is bloatware now? When did that happen?

An unnecessary service that needs to be running at all times to launch the game exe that sounds like bloatware to me. No different than the toolbars that are installed with freeware.

Oh shut up. Just install the store app and forget about it. Is it that hard for you lot?! What does it take, 100 megs of disk space out of you 256GB SSD? 50 megs of ram out of your 8GB? The benefits of centralized game store like steam and gfw far outweigh your bloatware concerns.

Benefits what benefits ? Apart from installing a completely unnecessary service on the computer, Messing with its firewall rules and flat out refusing to work on secure networks there are no benefits that I can see.

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Posted

Oh shut up. Just install the store app and forget about it. Is it that hard for you lot?! What does it take, 100 megs of disk space out of you 256GB SSD? 50 megs of ram out of your 8GB? The benefits of centralized game store like steam and gfw far outweigh your bloatware concerns.

I agree except on the gfwl part. I don't hate gfwl, but it isn't good.

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Posted

Hrmm on the one hand that is kind of creative and gave them publicity they otherwise would not have gotten, on the other hand the 'pc gamers are all pirates' crap is old and this just makes me not want to buy or play their stuff anyway.

On to the other sid eof the coin, whilst I wouldnt go as far to say steam is bloatware and I have installed them on occasion to play certain games, personally it ****s me, I don't want your steam and origin on my system, call me old fashioned but I just prefer installing the game and getting on with things. Actually you know what, they should have released the game on steam for $5 and charged $10 to buy it and install directly. Would have gotten them publicity and my business.

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Posted

Benefits what benefits ? Apart from installing a completely unnecessary service on the computer, Messing with its firewall rules and flat out refusing to work on secure networks there are no benefits that I can see.

The primary benefit I see is the instant availability of games - no scratchable media, no waiting on deliveries, download and you're ready to go. I don't see it as bloatware because I do see it's use. The problems you mentioned seem specific to your use case so really it's not an argument on bloatware but actually an issue with your "secure" environment.

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Posted

Gee and here I was thinking that there was something called a file server secured by TLS that could achieve all the above.

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Posted

Anonymous user data gathered from both the real and "cracked" version of the game show that well over 90 percent of Game Dev Tycoon players have decided to get the "cracked" version. Greenheart Games states in their blog:

This is assuming that these 90% of players would actually purchase the game in the first place.

Not to mention the internet is now probably full of real cracks that don't suffer from this form of copy-protection. The one they released is not cracked at all.

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Posted

im confused. why can't these guys build/inject a proper DRM that will save their work and deter pirating?

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The primary benefit I see is the instant availability of games - no scratchable media, no waiting on deliveries, download and you're ready to go. I don't see it as bloatware because I do see it's use. The problems you mentioned seem specific to your use case so really it's not an argument on bloatware but actually an issue with your "secure" environment.

Not to mention that it provides a restorable backup of every game you register via the service - simply sign-on and re-download. (That is equally applicable to Steam and Origin, and it was applicable to GfWL - that is a true time-saver and labor-saver if you are doing multiple computer upgrades that require a reinstall. Who wants to do the DVD Shuffle to backup - and restore - the gaming library?)

im confused. why can't these guys build/inject a proper DRM that will save their work and deter pirating?

Simple - nobody has come up with one. (And I mean NOBODY - including Valve with SteamWorks.)

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Posted

I think this is quite hilarious, props to them.

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Gee and here I was thinking that there was something called a file server secured by TLS that could achieve all the above.

Sounds more like a paranoid waste of time and money to me.

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