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#1 vetJohn Callaham

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:17

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.



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




#2 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:20

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.

#3 fusi0n

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:20

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

#4 lunamonkey

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:22

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

#5 TPreston

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:23

^ 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.

#6 spacer

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:33

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?

#7 georgevella

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:37

^ 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.

#8 lunamonkey

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:38

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.

#9 +Frank B.

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:38

^ 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.

#10 HoochieMamma

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:39

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.

#11 Pupik

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:40

Steam is bloatware now? When did that happen?

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

#12 +timster

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:52

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.

#13 spacer

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:53

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


It's the only one I use.

#14 xWhiplash

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 13:57

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.

#15 syobon999

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 14:00

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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