Pirating Game Dev Tycoon Dooms Players to be Ruined By Piracy

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An anti piracy message that doesn't piss me off and is actually (slightly) persuasive? No... ITS NOT POSSIBLE!!!!

This is almost as good as the copy protection on Earthbound back in the day. The pirated version of the game would function almost normally (I think monster spawn rates were higher but that wasn't a bad thing) until you got to the last boss at which point the game would "crash" and when you hit reset all of you saves were gone.

I actually like that they did this with Tycoon. Heavy handed? I'd say so. Preachy? A little. Funny? You betcha. But not nearly as psychologically destroying as erasing a 60+ hour save.

Oh man. The people who pirated the game, posting about how piracy is ruining their in-game dev empire.

Sublime.

In order to sell millions you'll lose thousands that's how any market works, get over it or find a new job outside intellectual properties...

At the end of the day, game design is not a charity. It costs a lot of money to make games and these people need to be able to put food on the table, no matter if it's a tiny indie studio run by two guys, or a monolithic company like EA or Valve.

Piracy is not a service issue, or an issue of customer satisfaction. Most piracy is the result of wanting something for nothing. If you are the kind of person who is going to pirate a game, nobody is inclined to listen to you when you talk about a company's business practices or whatever other garbage you are going to spew. You are not a customer at this point, your opinion is null and void. Companies do not listen to pirates, they have no reason to. Why would a company even bother trying to convince people not to pirate their game? They're going to do it anyway, because they want free stuff.

The Lord of the Rings Battlefront-style game (I forgot how it was called, sorry) had a protection like that too, when you got to Moria there was a invisible wall that prevented you from actually entering the damn thing.

Oh that is hilarious,A pirate complaining about piracy ruining his game.Now I am going to have to buy this when I have the spare money,that is great!

1337mokro:
Sure allot of people are playing it but evidently not allot want to actually buy it.

But they're not entitled to the game. If they don't want to buy it, they shouldn't be playing it.

I just bought the game.
While I find what they did really interesting and bought me, it implies that piracy was ever so rampart that it killed of a company. A huge number of pirates are people who wouldn't buy it in the first place and some of the pirates are future costumers. Many people started disliking demos because they are only what the developer want you to see. Everything that isn't the "awesome" part of the game is cut out. So some people will pirate to demo even if a demo exists.

Now before some moderator gives me a warning for not understanding my post, I don't support piracy. I don't say it's good. I just say that it's not as bad as big publisher want you to think it.

TopazFusion:
As others have mentioned, there are other games that have tried to stick the knife in, when it comes to pirates.

http://brutalgamer.com/2012/07/29/video-game-piracy-when-software-fights-back/

Such as Alan Wake hilariously wearing a pirate eye-patch.

It left out some good ones though, like Darkstar One adding extra zeros to the prices of things (but not the resell values) on pirate copies, or Spyro quietly removing a handful of gems from pirate copies -- making it impossible to progress, but not telling you why.

I dunno i'm ok with piracy because some game devs makes some odd decisions, like when i got Diablo III, I went out bought it, installed it.... and never played it. so instead i went out pirated it, while having a legal copy to my name, and enjoying it to the fullest while everyone else suffered the DRM. There are some things i just don't understand from Blizzard, Ubisoft, or EA.

If there's a game that gets released, which I disagree with the price point, I add it to my Steam wishlist. I then get an email down the road telling me that it's now on sale.

I don't have time or money to get excited about new games that get release. Nor is my PC amazing. I can afford the patience.

Someone should figure out how to use pirates as a massive free marketing force, like offer rewards for referrals like they do in LoL or Tribes.

Alternatively make everything F2P or kickstartered. And then pirates beaten.

Just because of this, I'm buying this game. By far my favorite thing done by any developer ever X3.

Ilikemilkshake:
It's a bit heavy handed but still kind of funny, especially that the pirates then went on the forums and started complaining.

Heavy handed? Ending up fucking most of the people that play your game because of some pirates is heavy handed. These people basically went to go steal this company's product their version deserves to be bricked in my opinion.

OP: wow that is impressive. Never though about it until now but companies could post up virus filled games all over torrent sites to give the pirates their just deserts... they can call it scurvy.

N3squ1ck:
The Lord of the Rings Battlefront-style game (I forgot how it was called, sorry) had a protection like that too, when you got to Moria there was a invisible wall that prevented you from actually entering the damn thing.

Would have been funnier if that wall was preventing you from walking into Mordor.

At any rate, I actually like the idea of trolling pirates like this. However, it sounds to me like you're guarantied to go bankrupt with the pirated version, since it sounds like that after a certain point, you're almost guarantied to lose money with every game released and you're not offered any ways to combat the piracy. Yeah, I get that they're trying to say that piracy hurts them but the point is kinda force fed if the game is deliberately fixed so that you can't maintain your business, no matter what.

dmase:

Ilikemilkshake:
It's a bit heavy handed but still kind of funny, especially that the pirates then went on the forums and started complaining.

Heavy handed? Ending up fucking most of the people that play your game because of some pirates is heavy handed. These people basically went to go steal this company's product their version deserves to be bricked in my opinion.

OP: wow that is impressive. Never though about it until now but companies could post up virus filled games all over torrent sites to give the pirates their just deserts... they can call it scurvy.

So you mean you could torrent a game, install it, and after booting it up...

Excepting the virus tidbit, I wouldn't mind seeing this come into play as DRM against pirated versions of a hypothetical game based on Archer.

AdamG3691:

JazzJack2:
But piracy doesn't make developers lose money, in fact it does the opposite, devs gain money from piracy.

do you know how devs are paid?

evidently not.

at the start of the development, the developer is given a certain amount of money, that money is what funds the game.

when the game is released, the devs get NO MONEY FROM SALES until they sell (initial budget/cost of a game) copies, after that they start to get money although most still goes to the publisher.

if you pirate or buy a preowned game, that doesn't count as a copy, and if the developer doesn't make enough to break even, they are unlikely to be hired again.

now explain to me, how is it that piracy increases the number of copies sold? because if you are going to argue that the good press from the game contributes, then you better be forcing two people to buy it full price, one to make up for your own actions, and one to allow your flawed justification to make even a tiny bit of sense.

I know
But I also know how I became gamer
I had some console experience (NES and Sega Genesis) before I got into PC gaming (a bit late, but I lived in area where gaming consoles came in late)
Cartridges were mostly cheap pirated versions
In year 1998 I got my first PC (and I had no illusions that those discs I got and exchanged from my friends were legal- 99% had cracks in them and were written on blank CDs)
In 2003 I bought my first non-pirated game (TES3:Morrowind)
Up till 2010 I had mixed game source: games I really liked I saved up money and bought, games I wasn't sure about I pirated (helped me to avoid few wastes of money- Halo:CE for example lived on my PC for ~1h)
After I got my first job in 2010 I started to buy games on Steam (and occasionally physical copies)
I still occasionally pirate games when I am not sure will I like the game
Such approach still helps me to avoid crappy games

[Captcha: don't stop]
[Thank you- not planning to :D]

At this moment I have plenty of legitimate games in my library
Games from developers I support and games that deserves to be bought
I wasn't sure for example about FO:NV so I pirated it, but after playing it for few h I uninstalled it and bought on Steam, because improvement over FO3 was significant

So while piracy doesn't provide immediate income for developers, it is important source of games for new gamers who eventually will convert to paying customer
Or for those who can't spare money for games- when these customers will be able to afford games, they will buy them
BUT
All this works only with decent people
There are of course those who won't spend money on games (movies, series and music most probably too) at all, no matter of their income
And these people are scum by my book >:(

Steven Bogos:

image

I absolutely love stuff like this. Totally awesome.
Why is it happening? Because of people just like you :)

Though I still have a bit of sadness that even with the most in your face practical example of how this user's pirating is detrimental I know that they still won't get it/learn the lesson. Sad.

When I first saw this thread and read a few lines I thought "Why the FUCK would you make people trialing your game think it has a massive game breaking bug! Though I later noticed it had a demo which does indeed remove a large amount of reasoning. Sadly this also means if said pirate is asked about it they'll say it's broken

J Tyran:
I hope there is a special circle of hell for people that pirate an indie game that has no DRM and has a demo. All of the excuses for piracy fall to pieces, its cheap, you do not need to crack it because of broken DRM and you can try the demo.

Plus its not a protest against big publishers and their practices its just the little guys trying to earn a living, no excuses whatsoever.

And what if there isn't? A special circle of hell, I mean.

What if it turns out that there is no special sob-story excuse needed for piracy, because while supporting developers is a very noble and commendable act, for everyone else, copying and file-sharing is just the normal thing to do?

Damn bloody skippy, this is why I didn't get bummed when Young Justice ended, because I honestly wasn't helping. But I make sure to buy all my games, non-preowned, so that the devs get some love.

I actually bought Tomb Raider because I read the article on here that said games with women don't sell. So in short if you're pirating games that you like and the turn around and complain about publishers, then you honestly no right to complain.

Come live in Australia and pay through the nose if you want anything halfway decent an excuse.

TopazFusion:
As others have mentioned, there are other games that have tried to stick the knife in, when it comes to pirates.

http://brutalgamer.com/2012/07/29/video-game-piracy-when-software-fights-back/

Such as Alan Wake hilariously wearing a pirate eye-patch.

You know, that seems more like an incentive to get the pirated copy to me. It's free, and you get a cool eye patch. Some companies would charge extra for that as DLC.

Figured i would waste the $8 and buy it if anything i can see how much they copied from Game Dev Story

Tara Callie:
At the end of the day, game design is not a charity. It costs a lot of money to make games and these people need to be able to put food on the table, no matter if it's a tiny indie studio run by two guys, or a monolithic company like EA or Valve.

Piracy is not a service issue, or an issue of customer satisfaction. Most piracy is the result of wanting something for nothing. If you are the kind of person who is going to pirate a game, nobody is inclined to listen to you when you talk about a company's business practices or whatever other garbage you are going to spew. You are not a customer at this point, your opinion is null and void. Companies do not listen to pirates, they have no reason to. Why would a company even bother trying to convince people not to pirate their game? They're going to do it anyway, because they want free stuff.

The part I bolded requires you to provide numerical data that proves it, otherwise you're full of crap.

The part I Italicized is where my disagreement lies. The notion that someone cannot provide valuable feedback for your game simply because they didn't give you a few sheets of cloth that the government says is worth something...Is patently wrong. Whether or not someone gives you a banknote has nothing to do with weather or not they can point out flaws in your product.

Entitled:

J Tyran:
I hope there is a special circle of hell for people that pirate an indie game that has no DRM and has a demo. All of the excuses for piracy fall to pieces, its cheap, you do not need to crack it because of broken DRM and you can try the demo.

Plus its not a protest against big publishers and their practices its just the little guys trying to earn a living, no excuses whatsoever.

And what if there isn't? A special circle of hell, I mean.

What if it turns out that there is no special sob-story excuse needed for piracy, because while supporting developers is a very noble and commendable act, for everyone else, copying and file-sharing is just the normal thing to do?

Well then at least someone is actually considering there is no real reason for piracy other than the fact that some people simply do not want to pay, which is true because cases like this prove all of the sob stories (great description btw) are bullshit.

Not wanting to pay someone for something they created is wrong, no other way around it. Sure its not the same as theft but its taking something for nothing and not giving someone their fair due, anyone trying to justify it needs to realign their morals. Putting self entitlement ahead of fair due is one thing when it comes to big publishers that make billions but its a another when it comes to hard working devs that rely on their income for their bread and butter.

At the end of the day I have no personal ax to grind over piracy, I have no issues with some types of piracy either. Like when people pirate a TV show or film that for whatever reason had restricted availability in their region but they later buy the BD/DVD. Same goes for when publishers go out of their way to avoid selling or supporting a game outside of certain countries, thats pants on head retarded and its their own fault if it gets copied.

I just wish the train of bullshit excuses would go away when people simply want a product without paying for it.

Steven Bogos:

The developer said that it has conducted this social experiment as a way to try and open gamer's eyes to just how damaging piracy can be. The depressing results of its own game's day one piracy rates show that only 6.4% of people playing the game bought it legitimately.

What's depressing is low pirate-to-legit turnover rate, not the actual sales. Curbing piracy is one thing, but converting pirates to customers is another; sure you can remind them that you are a bunch of people, but the feeling has to be mutual - They are people, and you are people, they aren't really trying to treat you as a lesser unless you see them as the lesser. Eventually Green Heart is just going to have to realize that it's going to be the passing of word by pirates that will have to sell their game, and if the pirates don't like it because it feels impossible to win thanks to the anti-piracy measures you have taken, you've lost yourself quite an important channel that could've sold your game in greater quantities and convert pirates to legitimates.

And you have to be careful about what words you use as well, even in the title - "Tycoon" makes the game's intention sound like a cash-in by a minor development house that joined the "tycoon" boom that happened in the early-to-mid 2000s. A good title makes people think and determine what the development house's intentions are with this game. If they hadn't used the word "Tycoon", I wonder how much piracy would've been affected...

Steven Bogos:

"To the players who played the cracked version, I'm not mad at you," says Patrick Klug of Green Heart Games. "When I was younger, downloading illegal copies was practically normal but this was mostly because global game distribution was in its infancy." He says that the wide availability of the game online, as well as the fact that it has a free demo and comes with no DRM means that gamers these days have no excuse for pirating the game.

Free demo doesn't really mean anything. People are looking for a good and thorough experience - If anything, they've just "sold" pirated copies of their game to non-pirates looking for a challenge to beat.

This looks suspiciously like Game Dev Story to me. If it's as close as it looks, there's a certain amusement in people who rip off others' titles making statements against piracy.

doggie015:
(Which is why piracy is even a thing to begin with! People like to try before they buy!)

I'd like to see your official numbers on this.

CriticalMiss:
This is a great way to not only promote anti-piracy, but to let everyone know who the pirates are and laugh at them. More games should have these kinds of things instead of systems that fuck everyone over.

The big problem is it only exposes them for a little while. Well, the bulk of them.

Voltano:
While this could be a funny way of deterring pirates and teaching them a lesson, there are serious consequences the developers will have to contend with while doing stunts like these. "Titan's Quest" was a pretty good action RPG similar to "Diablo" at the time, and it had DRM that triggered a series of bugs in the game when it detected it was pirated.

The results turned out bad as several pirates reported the game was buggy and not as good, which discouraged legitimate customers from purchasing the game. Just as the Anodyne developers used piracy as a way to promote positive word-of-mouth feedback for their game, the developers for "Titan's Quest" accidentally made negative word-of-mouth feedback on their game due to DRM like this.

This doesn't look buggy, though, it looks like a strategy issue. Unless it gets negative reviews for being "too hard," it's probably safe on that front.

What this demonstrates perfectly, in my view, is that while pirates will inevitably acquire software in whatever way they like, they have no rights as a customer once they go down that route.

Deliciously ironic idea.

marurder:
Though I totally agree with the method and consequence of his actions by announcing it he screws it up. Wait a few days, the 'bugged' crack would have been analysed fixed and a new torrent will be available for download. The Dev should have kept his mouth shut on this one..

That probably would have happened regardless of his announcement.

Now people wont complain about how the game is ruthless because it makes you go bankrupt due to piracy which would have been what 93.4% of the players would have said about it. Now some of those might actually buy the game because they want to play without that thing. Others who haven't heard about the game will think about how clever this is and might buy it because they liked what the developer did.

Not announcing it would have been the bigger mistake here.

I am wholly amused by this. I don't think I've ever approved of any shenanigans quite as much as this.

There are three things I'd like to mention:

1) Piracy isn't always so black&white as "I don't want to pay for this" like everyone thinks it is. Yes, a large margin of it probably is that, but it's still disingenuous to completely hand-wave the people who do buy things they've pirated. It's like saying people listen to music they haven't bought yet on Youtube simply because they don't want to spend money on it.

2) "Cracked" and "pirated" are not mutually exclusive, and people really should start making that distinction. "Cracking" is just the removal of DRM, which I believe should very well be legal if you've bought the thing in question. If you bought a game, you should be able to own it and not have to submit to the whims of some publisher or developer who wants to deign how you play the game.

3) It's a slippery slope of the worst kind to say "Piracy is killing creative games!" At least, I assume that's what he's saying with that "years down the track" line. I suppose he could mean not-always-online games, since Diablo III remains one of the only games ever released to not be fully cracked (blah blah server emulator blah blah, it's not going to be anything like the actual game and they don't get any of the updates Blizzard makes). But that's still a slippery slope, as we've seen with EA and SimCity.

I won't disagree that piracy is harmful, and nobody who is in a position to be able to purchase a game should pirate it instead (especially if there's a demo). But it's a bit heavy-handed to have some no-name developer who's made precisely zero games before drum up attention by saying "Piracy is going to kill us!"

Still, kudos to them for another silly and unique way of inconveniencing pirates instead (hopefully) of legitimate paying customers.

Haha, that's pretty original!

However, all these hooks that they put in will get fixed by the pirates as well.

Zachary Amaranth:

Voltano:
While this could be a funny way of deterring pirates and teaching them a lesson, there are serious consequences the developers will have to contend with while doing stunts like these. "Titan's Quest" was a pretty good action RPG similar to "Diablo" at the time, and it had DRM that triggered a series of bugs in the game when it detected it was pirated.

The results turned out bad as several pirates reported the game was buggy and not as good, which discouraged legitimate customers from purchasing the game. Just as the Anodyne developers used piracy as a way to promote positive word-of-mouth feedback for their game, the developers for "Titan's Quest" accidentally made negative word-of-mouth feedback on their game due to DRM like this.

This doesn't look buggy, though, it looks like a strategy issue. Unless it gets negative reviews for being "too hard," it's probably safe on that front.

True, the game is intentionally screwing the player over when it detects it was pirated, but so did "Titan's Quest".

Let's say I sold cupcakes at a store. If someone stole it from me only to realize the insides of his cupcake has live maggots in it, it would repulse him. But if I turned around and said that I had made special cupcakes that were intended to be stolen with maggots in them to teach thieves a lesson, that still isn't going to help my public appearance. I'm a crazy person that puts maggots in cupcakes! Who would want to buy my kind of cupcakes when I state this?

What's even worse is that detecting what is a stolen cupcake from a legit cupcake is difficult. What if I sold a maggot-cupcake by 'accident' to a legit customer? The same could happen here in this game that their "DRM" could trigger via a bug on legal customers. Bugs like these are bound to appear in any kind of software, so its a very risky PR move for doing something like this.

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