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Game Dev Tycoon gives pirates a little taste of what they do

Posted by: John at 4/29/2013 5:16 AM
Greenheart Games just released their first game. This indie studio created a game development studio simulator called Game Dev Tycoon. As it sounds, you play as a studio trying to make it in the world of video game development.

When they released it, they did a little experiment. Besides an $8 DRM-free option, one of the developers released the game via torrent and decided to see how many people pirated their game. They collected anonymous stats and separated the stats from those that purchased the game rather than pirate it by having the torrent version report with a different ID.

So how many people decided to download the game rather than pay $8? His stats show that at least 93.6% or 3104 users at the time did so.

And what was the difference in that torrent version over the legal version? In the torrent version, after a certain time, the company in the game loses money on AAA titles that get great reviews because so many people pirated the game. Eventually the funds dried up and you went bankrupt. People were asking for help online saying how they can't get any further and that too many people were pirating their games to make money. Oh, the irony.

Now, being an indie company that no one's heard of probably attributed to the high rate of piracy. I know that some folks balk at $1 game these days on their mobile device. And there are great examples of those that do go out and purchase games because even without any DRM such as games from Stardock. But, it's funny and sad at the same time what this scenario illustrates.