Game Dev Tycoon hacks pirates' version of game

Game developers and publishers have been fighting piracy for some time. It seems games are cracked and posted on torrent almost as soon as they are released. One developer fought back with a killer scorpion, but another has decided to give pirates a taste of their own medicine.

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Piracy has long plagued game developers and publishers. Games are typically cracked and posted on torrent sites almost as soon as they are released (and sometimes even before!). Immortal scorpions are one trick, but the developer of Game Dev Tycoon has decided to give pirates a taste of their own medicine.

Greenheart Games released Game Dev Tycoon yesterday on PC for $7.99. At the same time, the developer uploaded a cracked copy of the game to The Pirate Bay, a popular torrent site, but with a minor variation: the cracked version allow pirates to crack players games and bankrupt their companies, Greenheart's Patrick Klug said in a blog post (via NeoGAF). The resulting posts on the torrent site were fascinating.

"Is there some way to avoid [piracy]? I mean can I research DRM or something?" lamented one poster. "Why are there so many people that pirate? It ruins me! ... Not fair," wrote another.

Klug told Shacknews that The Pirate Bay took the game down rather quickly, but not before 3,104 people had grabbed it. "We brainstormed how we should deal with piracy and the idea came up that, since we make a game dev simulator, we could hold a mirror in front of pirates and 'show' them what piracy does to the industry. We had no idea that so many would steal our game on the first day. When I saw that pie chart the first time I was shocked."

Klug didn't answer our question if the move was a publicity stunt, but the resulting commotion has offered so much attention for the game that the company's site has been up and down for most of the morning.

If you are interested in trying an uncracked version, which is similar to Kairosoft's 2010 iOS and Android title Game Dev Story, you can check out the game's Steam Greenlight page

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  • reply
    April 29, 2013 10:30 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Game Dev Tycoon hacks pirates' version of game.

    Game developers and publishers have been fighting piracy for some time. It seems games are cracked and posted on torrent almost as soon as they are released. One developer fought back with a killer scorpion, but another has decided to give pirates a taste of their own medicine.

    • reply
      April 29, 2013 10:37 AM

      This story motivated me to go to their greenlight page and click "yes." Delicious pirate tears.

      • reply
        April 29, 2013 11:04 AM

        Good idea. Went and voted too just to say that they had an imaginative idea. Kinda lame that BB took it down though. What, pure, actually cracked games only that do not have any penalty?

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      April 29, 2013 10:58 AM

      Excellent. I love clever ways to anger pirates.

      Like the 'unkillable scorpion' in Serious Sam: BFE or the 'smudged up windows' of that one military helicopter simulator... which I forgot the name of.

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      April 29, 2013 11:01 AM

      An amusing implementation, but I would think that doing this without informing the player as to why it is happening would cause significant trouble in terms of increased customer service requests and poor word of mouth.

      On the other hand... I hadn't even heard of this thing before and now I have.

      So I guess it evens out? :P

      • gx8 legacy 10 years mercury super mega
        reply
        April 29, 2013 12:27 PM

        If I recall with serious Sam pirates were going to the official forums asking for strats and how to avoid or kill the immortal scorpion

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        April 29, 2013 12:39 PM

        WTF cares about the player if they aren't paying for it anyways?

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          April 29, 2013 6:16 PM

          They gonna clog the support channels, and social networking sites eventually.

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            April 29, 2013 6:27 PM

            The support channels can easily auto-filter those out (for the most part), and social networking sites don't mean shit.

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      April 29, 2013 11:25 AM

      I love Kairosoft's game. I play that and almost all their other sims virtually everyday on my Kindle Fire.
      I gave these guys a HARD yes and as soon as it comes out (hopefully), I'll be buying this sucker.

      • reply
        April 29, 2013 1:05 PM

        This is not by the same developer as game dev diary though.

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      April 29, 2013 12:13 PM

      This is hilarious considering they stole the gameplay and idea wholesale from another company for this game.

    • reply
      April 29, 2013 12:58 PM

      company uploads pirated version of their own game for people to download. acts shocked when people downloaded it.

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        April 29, 2013 1:03 PM

        I think you missed the point.

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          April 29, 2013 1:08 PM

          The point was to fuck with the pirates. I get that.

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          April 29, 2013 1:22 PM

          In the blog post the developer laments at the ratio of pirated versions to paid versions. Not to diminish the piracy rate thing, but it's one thing to complain about piracy of a version someone else put up, but what did you expect by putting it up yourself?

          No disrespect to the developer, but I'm willing to bet that the game wouldn't have hit the torrent sites right away, simply because it wouldn't be popular enough to be pirated right off the bat. By performing this little stunt, he's done himself a huge amount of publicity and marketing for more or less free, so kudos to him on pulling that off, but don't act outraged that people are pirating the game you put on the torrent sites yourself.

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        April 29, 2013 10:40 PM

        You guys are weird on the comments.

      • reply
        April 29, 2013 10:40 PM

        You guys are weird on the comments.

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      April 29, 2013 2:09 PM

      It's bullshit. Who had even heard of the game before this? This is an example of an obscure game getting some attention though being pirated, my guess is they'll sell way more now than before pirates got hold of their game.

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        April 29, 2013 2:24 PM

        I agree, games getting publicity is total bullshit.

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          April 29, 2013 7:18 PM

          Games that are, as best I can tell, a carbon copy of an even cheaper iOS game from years ago? Fuck this stupid game.

          Piracy sucks, and this would be an interesting stunt from a real developer. But when your game is a cheap ripoff of a game that was already barely a game, it's hard for me to care.

    • reply
      April 29, 2013 2:20 PM

      I think it's a great idea. I love it!

    • reply
      April 29, 2013 2:52 PM

      i wonder what the makes of Game dev story think about it

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      April 29, 2013 5:03 PM

      once again, people copying audio cassettes and floppies have destroyed yet another branch of entertainment!

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      April 29, 2013 6:20 PM

      wow the most amazing thing is that 3000 people bothered downloading that shovelware

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      April 29, 2013 7:58 PM

      This game is an outright rip of Game Dev story. It's worse than pirating the game, they took the entire game, slapped a new art style on it and then are using a BS piracy angle to give themselves press.

      They don't deserve a single sale. They deserve to be sued like EA did to Zynga.

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        April 29, 2013 8:04 PM

        Devil's advocate: they sound like a small developer who had a new take on an existing genre and decided to run with it. This is different from Zynga's thousand person team taking down a 3-man operation.

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        April 29, 2013 8:04 PM

        Game Dev Story isn't coming to pc, I don't think ever, which is a shame. I'll take what I can get.

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          April 29, 2013 8:40 PM

          It's out on PC now, and has been for some time. http://www.giantbomb.com/game-dev-story/3030-32908/forums/want-to-play-a-pc-version-464174/

          It's one thing to pirate a game. It's quite another to make an exact rip of the game and sell it yourself. You are now a direct competitor. At that point it's beyond simple infringement.

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            April 29, 2013 9:13 PM

            so I guess you're a lawyer then?

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              April 29, 2013 10:53 PM

              Considering Zynga settled with EA rather than have it go to trial, I'd think there'd be a case for copyright infringment. But that's taking it too seriously, as the internet is doing and tends to do. We have a small game that nobody ever heard of suddenly being the center of a piracy controversy and surprise! Getting lots of publicity and sales out of it. The only thing they could have done more to rile up the internet is to talk about the objectivication of video game women by having a breast-size slider in the games and see how that affects sales vs. internet message board thread sizes.

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      April 29, 2013 10:50 PM

      Pirate games are not pretty cool that cause economy very bad. -.-

    • reply
      April 30, 2013 7:30 AM

      Just bought it.

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