Developer Greenheart Games has released a "cracked version" of its $8 PC and Mac title Game Dev Tycoon on torrents that's specifically for pirates. The cracked version of the game causes game development studios in the sim go bankrupt due to rampant in-game piracy. Greenheart claims that the pirated version of the game made up 93 percent of its player base at launch, and caused an outburst from pirates complaining about their in-game titles failing through (ironically) piracy. Greenheart said that while it could have released a more straightforward anti-piracy message within its game, it didn't want to pass up on a "unique opportunity of holding a mirror in front of [game pirates] and showing them what piracy can do to game developers."
"When we released our very first game, Game Dev Tycoon yesterday, we did something unusual and as far as I know unique," the developer wrote on its blog. "We released a cracked version of the game ourselves, minutes after opening our Store."
"I uploaded the torrent to the number one torrent sharing site, gave it a description imitating the scene and asked a few friends to help seed it."
The cracked version is nearly identical to the full game, says the developer – except for one small little detail:
"Slowly their in-game funds dwindle, and new games they create have a high chance to be pirated until their virtual game development company goes bankrupt," Greenheart wrote.
Greenheart felt a touch of irony as pirates complained about fake piracy in a game. It would have been amusing if it wasn't the company developing the game:
"As a gamer I laughed out loud: the IRONY!!! However, as the developer, who spent over a year creating this game and hasn't drawn a salary yet, I wanted to cry. Surely, for most of these players, the 8 dollars wouldn't hurt them but it makes a huge difference to our future!"
In the end Greenheart Games blames pirates for any DRM scheme causing real customers hassles:
"If pirates are put through more trouble than genuine customers, maybe more will buy the real game. Sadly, for AAA games it is currently the other way. Customers get the trouble with always-on requirements and intrusive DRM, while pirates can just download and enjoy. A twisted world."
Editor's note: Greenheart Games' website and blog seem to be offline. It seems that all the attention today has caused the site to take a dirt nap. Source: CVG