Game pirates who download Game Dev Tycoon from torrent sites are likely to find themselves on the sharp end of the learning stick, thanks to some quick thinking from the game's makers.
Greenheart Games (essentially just brothers Patrick and Daniel Klug) have made a modified version of Game Dev Tycoon available on torrent sites that is designed to self-destruct. After a few hours of gameplay, players are informed that their virtual game development studio has been hit by an influx in piracy. This slowly eats away at their bank balance until their company goes bankrupt and the game ends.
In a blog post about this, Daniel Klug includes screenshots from players complaining about in-game piracy and how it "ruins" them, and how there is no point making new games because it will just end up being pirated and they'll never be able to cover their (virtual) expenses.
If only delicious irony paid the bills. Unfortunately, the blog post also reveals that 93.6% of all active copies of the game have been pirated and Klug writes that he is yet to draw a salary from the game.
It would be nice to think that the 'cracked' version of the game could act like demo for those who have pirated it, and the first few hours of play would convince them to spend $8 to buy the game. If only.
Houston, we have more blips for you.