Croteam sicced an immortal pink scorpion on people who pirated Serious Sam 3: BFE back in 2011. They're up to their old tricks again, tormenting people who play pirated copies of their new puzzler The Talos Principle.
Someone went into the game's Steam forum page to complain about what they thought was a bug: the game had trapped them in an elevator shortly after unlocking the second floor of the tower.
"Congratulations, you must be the first one to show to the Internet world what Croteam did this time to punish pirates," replied someone. "You should be proud of yourself, it will be all over the Internet in about 30 minutes, I'd say."
Well, it is. Devolver Digital, the publisher of The Talos Principle, tweeted out a screenshot of that conversation, confirming that this is indeed pirate punishment, not a bug.
Other games have come up with subtle means of aggravating pirates. The Sims 4 will put a pixelated blur on the screen that slowly overtakes everything. And the indie Game Dev Tycoon, in which one plays a game developer, will pirate the virtual creations of pirate players until their studio goes out of business.
For more on The Talos Principle, see Polygon's review. It was scored an 8.5 for being a "smart game that doesn't punish you for it," and "a puzzle game that allows a sense of creativity."