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