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

Exactly. The creators of the Mojang documentary put their film up for free on The Pirate Bay. During the film, a scrolling bar tells you several times where to go if you want to donate or buy the film. I don’t know how much money they’ve made so far…but their site certainly suggests they have some money in the bank. The makers of the TPB AFK documentary put the film on The Pirate Bay. They followed a similar method. Perhaps they haven’t made millions, but they were showing their competency as filmmakers and their willingness to film in the midst of controversial, dangerous situations. If someone with power and influence needs to have a documentary made watches that film, he might contact them and hire them for his next project. They make their own luck by subverting the marketing and PR required by big budget films.

In any profession, you have to practice obsessively until you discover your passion and refine it to something that is appealing and sellable. I would argue that the Mojang, TPB AFK, and perhaps even this game studio are still in the amateur stage where more practice is needed in order to refine their talents. In those situations, you have to rely on creative marketing in order to subvert the overwhelming influence and power of larger artists and studios. Mojang and TPB AFK achieved this subversion effectively. Greenheart Studios did not…although I’m sure this article will gain a fair amount of press, and who knows how that will affect their reputation.

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I bought the game after playing the demo 3 times in a row !
The game is frustrating and this is what makes it sell. I am 100% sure the game has potential to sell more, just need more people to know the game and give them a reason to buy it.

Great idea, but you missed out on a massive opportunity to convert all those pirates. Just needed a simple in-game option to “remove piracy from the game by buying the game”.

Ideally, they also wouldn’t even have to re-download it.


Just a hint for handling people like me: Writing in clears words that I can convert the demo to the full version without losing state removes one of the biggest incentives for pirating :smiley:

Funny idea and creative way to get people talking about you, without the hackernews thread I wouldn’t have heard of your game :slight_smile:

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Oh and Piracy isn’t your problem at all. Free has always it’s audience, it’s very easy to make people install your game free.
Free is a reason you gave them to install your game.
Now you need to think of a reason to give them to install the game by buying it and this is more tricky.
You guys lack of marketing/com that’s all.

Kinda worked reversed for me, lol.
Since i live in russia it is sometimes hard for me to get the non-steam games, so i pirated it, yeah, i admit.
But when i faced this piracy i gave up after ~16 hours run and decided to buy it only when the game is patched, previously thinking that i will get it trough my friend with a bank card.
I guess some little tip needed: like “well, yeah, you lost due to piracy. But you did the same with our game!”, because it got me quite puzzled after i retried all the ways to fix it. I even decided to somehow calculate those piracy waves, playing in “save all the money” mode making some contracts, lol. Though in the second office i always lose.
I guess i have to wait for my friend now. Thanks for making this clear!

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@PatrickKlug - Hint - calling piracy stealing is kinda awkward - especially if you admit that you uploaded the ‘cracked’ version onf the game yourself onto torrent sites. feel for you, but that’s not how this situation should be handled. Either put on a pay-what-you-want version or an extended demo. Putting a carrot on a stick and then hitting the horse for biting the carrot is a wrong thing to do. YOU just called some people ‘thieves’ and YOU are responsible for them downloading your version of the game that YOU put onto torrent sites.

Nice marketing move, but some users will get pissed off.

EDIT: Please note that you ‘ripped off’ the idea for this game from GameDev Story

so I don’t really know who is the ‘intelectual property thief’ here…

Kinda shameless you are IMO.

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Absolutely brilliant concept. I’d been eyeing this game from the sidelines but the fact that you’ve treated this issue in such an amusing & hopefully educational fashion has tipped the scale - buying it now!

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If they install the real version they can continue to play their game just before the piracy stuff is happening.

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I’ve not purchased the game (or downloaded it), because I don’t have time to play games now days. But from one developer to another, Kudos for your actions! I hope people do realise the pirating doesn’t support the devs. Especially when there is a free demo!

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Why not just make a built-in bitcoin miner and have gamers mine some digital cash for you? It’s a great way to use gamer hardware rigs.

As long as users are informed about it, and you don’t pull a Sony-rootkit stunt :wink:

Hi, I was hoping to download the demo, but your downloads page is down for upgrades and I wasn’t able to find a mirror. Is there an ETA on the upgrade, or a mirror of the demo downloads?
Thanks very much :smile:

I’m working on it right now. Our server is slightly overloaded at the moment.

No problem. Cheers. :slight_smile:

I like the idea, but to be honest I would respect it more if this wasn’t a clone of Game Dev Story. As @Hashmallum has stated, you have taken someone elses game, cloned it and are now attempting to make money from it.

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This is simply wonderful. Funny, well put together, very ironic, nice message and good realisation.

This has been discussed a lot. We always said that we were inspired by Game Dev Story but the game is our own creation. It doesn’t take two guys a whole year to clone a game. We made up our own game mechanics and even though the game might look similar it plays differently.


I am the guy who posted the topic in Steam. I admit I downloaded the fake version but I just wanted to try out the game. I never heard of it before and in the same time I love tycoons so I gave it a shot. I prefer to try the games before I buy them, whats wrong in that?

I have no problems in supporting the devs if I like the game. I buy every game I like sooner or later. In the upcoming days I am going to pre-order Starbound - another great indie game and I will buy Game Dev Tycoon along with it. Its not about the money, I mean its just 8 bucks so basically its no-brainer but I just wanted to try it out before I buy it.

I know the pirating is making the devs work for free (and even I felt it that way in the game) but… :S


Haha, gave me a good laugh :wink:. I didn’t think on buying or downloading the game before reading this because I don’t like tycoon games, but after I read this I think I’ll buy it :smile:

@toymachine_ thanks for your input. the main goal was never to point a finger to those who did pirate it. that’s why I obscured the names… It’s just creating awareness that those $8 really do make a difference and we need them. If you play the pirate version until you actually hit the piracy message you got a couple of good hours out of it already… If you just want to try it out we offered a DEMO version free and legal.