Earlier this week, Greenheart Games released its first game, Game Dev Tycoon, for only $8. Despite the small price, it didn’t stop many from pirating it. In anticipation of this fact, Patrick Klug, founder, director and coder for Greenheart Games, decided to do turn the tables on those very people who couldn’t be bothered to spend that $8 for the game.
Patrick released a pirated version of his own company’s game alongside the official release; this version however had a red herring in it. The game would run perfectly for a few hours, but inevitably, this message would pop up:
This eventually causes the pirated player’s profits to slowly leak away like the Little Dutch Boy at the dyke, and eventually lead to bankruptcy. This isn’t the first time a developer has gotten clever about piracy, nor has it been limited to just indie studios. Croteam, the studio behind Serious Sam 3, had an invincible pink armored scorpion in the beginning level, making it impossible to progress but only if you were playing a pirated copy.
Game Dev Tycoon is available on Windows, Mac and Linux, is DRM free and can be played on three computers you choose. There is also a free demo that people can download and play to see if they want to buy it or not.
I don’t think anyone should pirate a game and not pay for it when they can; we all have problems, but if you never pay for game unless it has multi-player, it hurts the entire gaming industry, and pirating only makes it more difficult for these people to live. The fact that there is a demo to try before you buy means you have no reason to pirate this particular game. The devs did the work for you to try it, so at least try to honor that effort before pirating.