May 9th, 2013


Indie game developer Greenheart Games has an interesting way of combating piracy. Upon release of their first game, Game Dev Tycoon, they also released a cracked version to “the number one torrent sharing site, gave it a description imitating the scene and asked a few friends to help seed it”. In the cracked version of their game, and after a while of playing, the player gets an in-game message:

Boss, it seems that while many players play our new game, they steal it by downloading a cracked version rather than buying it legally.
If players don’t buy the games they like, we will sooner or later go bankrupt.

Then, the player’s sales will start to decline in the game about developing a game. Their game that once sold 1 million units would now sell barely 100k units as a demonstration of what piracy does to a developer’s bottom line. Game Dev Tycoon is an $8 game and is deploying an unusual tactic. A graph on their blog shows that after only one day of the game’s release, 93.6% of users were playing the cracked version. That amounts to about 3104 users. It’s probably a lot higher now.

Not only does Greenheart Games have a cracked version of their already DRM-free game, but they also have a demo you can play if you don’t want to cough up $8, and don’t want to be labeled a pirate either. As always, we encourage you to buy a pretty enjoyable DRM free game from a new developer.

[via Greenheart Games]