Game Dev Tycoon: Pirated Edition

So, Greenheart games released a new game called Game Dev Tycoon yesterday. Looks like a PC/Mac/Linux clone of Game Dev Story. Of course, right after the official release they posted a “cracked” version of the game themselves to a bunch of torrent sites. Almost immediately they see a bunch of activity on the torrent. But before you think this is another one of those McPixel-style, if you can’t beat em, join em stories, the Pirated version had a special feature. After you’ve been playing for a while, progressing through the console generations, you’ll get to a point where your studio starts to lose money to piracy:

Basically it’s a downward slide in game from there. No matter how good the games your virtual company makes, the piracy eventually drives you out of business. In Greenheart’s blog post about this they’ve captures some pretty ironic message board posts from people playing pirated copies trying to figure out how to get people to stop pirating their imaginary titles in the game. One person even asks if it’s possible to research DRM technologies in the game to help combat this effect.

Does it offer a Free2Play escape route where the developer has a few more attempts at rehashing old products with a new business model before inevitably going bankrupt anyway?

That’s hilarious. I imagine the irony will be lost on most of those affected.

That … is … AWESOME

That is awesome. It’s a great way to embarrass people on the internet.

Sadly, their website is down. I hope that isn’t due to some pirate having a poor sense of humor and lacking the ability to be introspective, but I suspect it may be.

edit - back up

Also it is ironic that they are trying to stop people from stealing a game (which is great) which they have essentially stolen from another company. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery I guess.

Apparently out of 3300 copies 3100 are pirated. Most impressive, really shows if you arent on the major digital sites (steam) sales seem hard to come by espeically when you hit the torrent/ newsgroup sites.

Well, the added fact that they decided originally to ONLY release this for windows 8 is a large part of the low sales figure. This was only for sale in Windows store, as far as I understand.

I’ve played past that stage on the Windows 8 version, so it’s definitely something they added in for the Windows 7 version. I personally found it to be a highly entertaining game, especially for someone who lived through that great transition of 8-bit to 16-bit to 32-bit consoles. It does tend to get old after a few playthroughs because it’s so heavily scripted (for historical purposes) and ends up feeling more like a flash game than an actual game, but it’s hard to complain too much about it for the price they’re asking.

I wonder if the AMiGA is represented there.

Ha hah, that’s great!

Unfortunately, no. The game begins with the PC and Commodore 64 and moves on later to the NES, Gameboy, Master Drive, Genesis, Nomad, etc…, with it covering all the major consoles (no 3DOs or Jaguars).

Ah, screw it then :)

I vaguely recall some other titles with degraded gameplay. I’m thinking the 1990s? It would crash more often on purpose or something? Anyone remember?

Operation Flashpoint had the FADE system, there your aim would degrade over time, and more funny stuff could happen, like be transformed in a seagull.

Loads of DS games had pretty hilarious anti-piracy mechanisms, though people hacked around most of them pretty quickly. My favorite was in Umihara Kawase, where the grappling hook physics were broken in pirated copies, such that the computer demonstrations would involve the main character falling to her death.

Starflight had and obnoxious copy protection scheme where you had to look up a random word in the manual. If you got it wrong, the game would continue… but a police starship would show up and blow yours out of the sky.

Serious Same 3 had the giant scorpion monster that would constantly plague you if you were playing the pirated version. If you played the pirated version of Batman Arkham Asylum, you lost the ability to glide making it impossible to get past the early mission in which Batman has to swoop over a cloud of poison gas.

To be fair, the police did give you another chance to get the word correct before engaging you. If you got it right, they acknowledged they had the wrong person and left peacefully.

Scanning the police ship was also good for a laugh.