A small indie game developer, Greenheart Games, put together a little experiment to give pirates a reflection of the damage that they can cause to the gaming industry.
Greenheart Games released Game Dev Tycoon on 28 April 2013 for US$7.99 – a management simulator game that lets you run your own game development studio.
Released through their online store, the developer also released their own “pirated” and “cracked” version of the game as a social experiment, which was intentionally uploaded to torrent sites.
The results was as expected; according to the developer, within the day of launch over 93% (3,104) of the over 3,318 users opted to download the cracked version on torrents instead of paying for the original game.
The catch to all this was that Greenheart Games programmed the “cracked” version to cause players to suddenly start losing heaps of money in their simulation due to piracy, with the following message popping up:
As expected, pirate gamers took to various forums, complaining that their virtual game development studio was going bankrupt.
The irony of the whole situation is exactly what Greenheart Games was going for. The developer then appealed to gamers to purchase games that they want to play, as opposed to downloading them illegally.
“If years down the track you wonder why there are no games like these anymore and all you get to play is pay-to-play and social games designed to suck money out of your pockets then the reason will stare back at you in the mirror,” said the developer.
Some of the MyGaming community are already discussing what happened – what do you think on the matter?