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Game development sim combats real-life piracy with in-game piracy

Game Dev Tycoon, a Windows PC simulation game that tasks you with managing a successful game development studio, features a clever method for battling real-life piracy: By sinking pirates' companies with in-game piracy.

Developer Greenheart Games' Patrick Klug revealed on the studio's site that he had uploaded an altered version of the sim to a torrent site, where it was quickly downloaded by a number of unpaid users. The game operated like the legit version of the title, save for one difference: After a few hours, the prompt seen in the image above appears, informing players that their studio was going bankrupt due to piracy.

Klug collected a few of the more humorous responses to the game-ending piracy, including one forum user who said they could look into enabling DRM for their fictional products. The impact on Greenheart's sales have been significantly less amusing — according to the post, one day after the game's release, 214 players had downloaded the authentic version for $7.99, and over 3000 players had grabbed the cracked version of Game Dev Tycoon.

"We are not wealthy and it's unlikely that we will be any time soon, so stop pretending like we don't need your 8 dollars," Klug wrote. "We are just two guys working our butts off, trying to start our own game studio to create games which are fun to play."

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