What happens when pirates play a game development simulator and then go bankrupt because of piracy?


Hello, your game came to my attention only because of your interesting blog post. I am very happy that you brought this topic to attention in such funny (or sad?) way. I played the demo and it was much fun, however i dont have money to buy the full version. Generaly i am able to pay only up to 5$ for very good games that will bring me fun for over a week, which i feel this game will not. Anyway i have voted for you in the steam so i hope it helps at least.

Thank you for this game and i hope you will make more good games or at least put this on sale in steam.


well there a demo for reason to be able to play it to see if you like it?


I just bought this game out of principle. I love the idea of holding up the mirror to pirates and for <8$ it’s really a no-brainer. You spend more at a sitting at McDonalds and it isn’t half as satisfying :wink:


Great post - I’ll facebook this to fellow developers and tweet your work - well done.


piracy hurts the game development scene

Piracy only hurts game developers if they are stubborn and refuse to evolve, there are alternative ways to make a profit. You can’t beat piracy: It’s not a case of right or wrong, when the majority want to do something you may as well accept it and adapt. Like the prohibition of alcohol in 20’s USA legislating against piracy is ineffective.

The internet is a double edged sword. True, piracy reduces profits. But it also allows small developers to freely distribute their games without them being published by a big company.


read about your PR stunt on heise.de newssite,
laughed my a** off when I read about pirates complaining about ingame piracy…nice one!
tried the demo, bought the game…can’t wait for steam greenlight. :smiley:


Actually, at least for the movie industry, I have read that piracy does increase(!) their profits. Fighting piracy just brings some profit on its own. I don’t have hard numbers, and one probably cannot easily transfer those findings to the gaming industry, but I’d like to advise not taking the “piracy hurts” point of view for granted.


This made my wife and I scream with laughter. The April 1st post was similarly ingeniously funny. A friend of mine read the news about the pirated version of your game and instantly bought it. When he told me, I tried the demo and then bought it. We look forward to seeing how your career as game devs go and we’ll support you, my wife, my friend, and I, until the end, whenever that may come.


Like the Cold War, in the case of nuclear war… oh wait.

Piracy has nothing to do with this. Piracy is the same as saying “Hey Mr Landlord, I’m not going to pay you any rent, but you can be glad that I’ve got a roof over my head.” or “Hey Mr Grocer, I’m not going to pay for this food, but you can be glad I’m not going hungry.” Please do not confuse using the Internet with piracy. It is entirely possible to use the Internet without becoming a pirate.

True. Even giving a game away for free doesn’t actually eliminate piracy; it only makes the effect negligible. However, there are ways to adapt, to encourage the pirates to change their attitudes without harming the loyal customers who never pirated the game. Greenheart took a small step in this direction and it worked, in part. Some (not all) of the pirates were convinced to purchase the game and support a fledgling company.

Yes it is. Theft is wrong, no matter who does it, or how many do it. Occasionally the theft is justifiable, such as a homeless person stealing food to survive, but even then it is wrong; it just happens that a larger injustice usually outweighs the smaller one surrounding the theft.


I used to get my games from torrents almost always up until a couple of years ago. You might say 7$ is not that much when you are in a country that the average pay is around or above $1000, but sadly not in most countries. Now I only buy games that I really want to play (or games I got off’f torrents and liked), since my game spending budget is really low.

I saw your game being reviewed by TotalBiscuit and as soon as I saw that you were keeping to the old kind of tycoon way (not like these new farm ville like games you see everywhere) I searched your game to check your website.

As soon as I’ve some money to spend on games, I’ll probably buy it through Steam (where I also voted for you on Greenlight)


well, I admit i download games from the internet to see how the game is. If i like it i buy it! nowdays very few games have demo versions sadly… but even some games have demo content that never appears in the main game… like alien colonial marines i played the demo loved it bought it… then i had to find out the main game sucked ass the content from the demo wasnt even in there and i felt betrayed big time! so i figured i end up better playing cracked games to see how they are and if they are good i buy if they are bad i uninstall and never deal with it again


copyright infringement/Piracy =/= theft

If I take your 20 page novel to read it myself, it’s theft.

If I write a 20 page novel by copying everything you wrote there, it is copyright infringement aka piracy.

Illegally getting a copy of something is not the same as stealing it, even though it has a similar effect.


You missed off some words.

If I write a 20 page novel by copying everything you wrote there, it is copyright infringement aka piracy aka theft.

And another typo:

which should read:

Illegally getting a copy of something is called stealing

Theft of an idea is still theft and the law in most countries acknowledges this. However, the reason that different laws are created to cover different types of theft is because some types are harder to prove than others using standard tests. Therefore different tests must be created to measure the derived work against the original and prove (or dis-prove) the theft.

I can think of a number of reasons why theft can be justified, but the law (in most countries that I’m aware of) is quite clear on what is and isn’t theft.


Quote from Wikipedia concerning “Theft”

In common usage, theft is the taking of another person’s property without that person’s permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.[1][2] The word is also used as an informal shorthand term for some crimes against property, such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, shoplifting and fraud.

When copying something, I do not take another person’s property. He still has it, so I did not take it. I copied it. I also did not have the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it. I did not delete his file, I made a copy. He still has his file to do with it as he pleases.

While illegally copying stuff might be illegal and it might be justified to call it illegal, calling it thieving is plainfully wrong. Calling it piracy is even worse, to be honest. If software pirates behaved like pirates, not only would they murder the software developers, the might also steal their computers or burn them or sink them, take not only the software, but also all the food from the software developers homes, their money and all other valuables.

I hope the software devs are glad that most of the people making illegal copies are not pirates… :slight_smile:


hi guys, nice game nice work. read an article yesterday of your idea, saw the game, saw the price got it today (by paying ofcourse :stuck_out_tongue: ) really good idea by the way!

however, you as well commit a kind of piracy! in greece for example we have 23% vat but it is a vat payable by greek companies and given to the greek government. i can’t understand why you a us company must charge the greek vat as you are not ruled by greek government but by us and you will not deposit that amount to the greek gvt but to the us! so you are kind of tricking vat !! :stuck_out_tongue: anyhow great job!


@Theodore_Kyrits The European Union requires any business (EU based or not) to charge VAT to European customers. Our payment provider FastSpring thus has to charge VAT and these taxes are passed on to the governments in question. The VAT we charge is paid to the corresponding EU governments, so don’t worry :wink:


The main game contains more realistic effects and responses to piracy. It sounds like the pirated game just takes a big enough cut that bankruptcy is inevitable, rather than acting as an automatic game-over message. I do get your point but a suggestion I gave was to let the pirates in on the joke earlier to prevent annoyance from becoming hate. After the game ends, give a link to the legitimate place to buy the game.

One thing we would have missed out on if they did that, though, would be requests for help trying to beat the pirated version of the game. The poetic justice of a pirate being defeated by piracy is one of the most endearing elements of this story. If the joke was explained to them the first time they lost, the real frustration of developers might not be properly conveyed.

It’s way too late to change it at this point, of course. It was more a matter of where they chose to strike the balance. It wasn’t perfect, in many opinions, but it was pretty good.


Fastspring may be obligated, but you are not I believe. My country is not a member of the EU, and I only have to charge sales tax from customers in my country.

Good PR and link baiting stunt, and it seems some people might think twice before pirating again. Mission accomplished :slight_smile:


I think you have missed the point…

The ‘real’ version is not broken… The pirated version isn’t ‘broken’ either… It was designed that way to show people that not paying for a game is ruining the game industry and putting many studios out of business…

GameDev costs are HIGH, I known, I am involved in the industry… Pirating a game rather than buying it can cause small indie and niche companies/studios to go bankrupt…(Just like you do in the pirated version of this game!)

Some people only pirate from large corporations like EA…etc as they think its ok, as "…they can afford it!, they’re EA!"
Trouble is, they do not realise that by doing so, they drive up the cost of gameDev, as big companies (like EA, Bioware, etc…) then spend money on trying to write DRM to stop the pirates…which then annoys the real customers, as some DRM is downright offensive…i.e - always needing to be connected to the internet - even for a single player game…

The more time and money they spend on DRM, they less time and money goes into the game itself…The more restrictive teh DRM, the more annoyed the cutomers get, and then genuine customers may then turn to piracy…

To offset the piracy, games have gotten shorter (Much shorter in the last few years), GameDev costs are increasing every year, and AAA+ titles can cost a hundred million or more to make…and they are a big risk to the investors who bankroll them, and they do not want to risk the loss of their money…So new inovative titles are rarely done by big studios/comapnies…they choose to stcik to known working and winning formulas… which is why there are so many series/sequels now and many ‘new’ games are simply rehashed old ones…

The only ones innovation are the small indie studios (generally), which are also the first ones to go bust/bankrupt…
Another knock on effect, is that games are now starting to use DLC and in game purchases to make up for the short fall from sales… again, hurting the real, genuine customers…

They are also becoming more and more casual, social…farmville , puzzle games etc, Why? They are faster to make, which also makes them cheaper to make (less overheads), they appeal to a a wider audience, which means they need to be less complex/easier and more generic. Which many many gamers then moan about!, trouble is , they do not seem to understand the reason for this, is that the piracy is directly causing this…

The game industry has gone through many changes and not all for the better (nowhere near!)… People want the good old rpg’s and games with actual story lines and a decent plot, and not insanley buggy at release like games from a few years ago…but that will not happen until either a DRM is invented that stops piracy but doesn’t effect the real customers…Or people stop pirating so much.

Even a small indie game can cost tens of thousands of pounds to make, more even in some cases! The studios can literally be one game away from being bankrupt…

There are many other things I could list that piracy has an effect on, and how its changing the games we play…bit it would be a much longer post than it already is…


I’ve got a link to this blog post from a friend and was really amazed. Really liked the trolling you guys pulled on pirates. Just for that you’ll get 7.99 USD from me even though I didn’t know this game existed nor what it was about (didn’t see the gameplay either).

I have to admit that I pirated games. A lot. Not because I didn’t want to buy or didn’t have a place to buy it from. When you live in developing country it’s really hard to buy a game from monthly allowance that cost 1/5 of parents salary. It would be a different story if price of a game is matched to country’s standard. But, when I started working, my PC became “pirate-free”.

Good luck guys. I hope you’ll make it and get rich soon!