Just a few minutes after their first game “Game Dev Tycoon” launched, Greenheart Games studio released a “cracked” version of the game on popular torrent sites. The cracked version is identical to the original game, with one little twist.
"Initially we thought about telling them their copy is an illegal copy," said Greenheart's Patrick Klug. "But instead we didn’t want to pass up the unique opportunity of holding a mirror in front of them and showing them what piracy can do to game developers."
So, the cracked version plays normally for several hours before their in-game game development studio starts losing sales to piracy. Slowly their in-game funds dwindle, and new games they create have a high chance to be pirated until their virtual game development company goes bankrupt.
Twenty four hours after launch, 214 legal copies of Game Dev Tycoon were sold and more than 3104 copies were downloaded illegally. Overall, more than 93.6% of the players didn’t pay for the game.
"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 Patrick Klug.