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Game Dev Tycoon hacks pirates' version of game

by John Keefer, shacknews.com, Apr 29, 2013 10:30AM PDT

Piracy has long plagued game developers and publishers. Games are typically cracked and posted on torrent sites almost as soon as they are released (and sometimes even before!). Immortal scorpions are one trick, but the developer of Game Dev Tycoon has decided to give pirates a taste of their own medicine.

Greenheart Games released Game Dev Tycoon yesterday on PC for $7.99. At the same time, the developer uploaded a cracked copy of the game to The Pirate Bay, a popular torrent site, but with a minor variation: the cracked version allow pirates to crack players games and bankrupt their companies, Greenheart's Patrick Klug said in a blog post (via NeoGAF). The resulting posts on the torrent site were fascinating.

"Is there some way to avoid [piracy]? I mean can I research DRM or something?" lamented one poster. "Why are there so many people that pirate? It ruins me! ... Not fair," wrote another.

Klug told Shacknews that The Pirate Bay took the game down rather quickly, but not before 3,104 people had grabbed it. "We brainstormed how we should deal with piracy and the idea came up that, since we make a game dev simulator, we could hold a mirror in front of pirates and 'show' them what piracy does to the industry. We had no idea that so many would steal our game on the first day. When I saw that pie chart the first time I was shocked."

Klug didn't answer our question if the move was a publicity stunt, but the resulting commotion has offered so much attention for the game that the company's site has been up and down for most of the morning.

If you are interested in trying an uncracked version, which is similar to Kairosoft's 2010 iOS and Android title Game Dev Story, you can check out the game's Steam Greenlight page