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


I also did download the pirate version, and just purchased the game.

first I pirated it cause I hadn’t heard of this game and was actually looking for a old game client for a defunct mmo, and this looked interesting played it liked got the piracy message looked it up found out it was a pirated copy released by the dev.laughed my ass off and then saw the ratio of people that bough it to those playing and decided $8 is less then a movie a moie gives you 90 mins of entertainment if your lucky this game can give hours…more then worth $8.

so thanks for making the game and I’ve added this company to my “watch list”


So you admit you didn’t actually read the article, right? The developers of Anodyne uploaded the full game, DRM-free to the Pirate Bay. Just like these Devs. Except the Anodyne devs didn’t try to to couch it in any sort of piracy message bullshit. They embraced it.


As I stated on my own post I made, I pirated the game and bought it the next day. Well worth it for only 8 dollars. The thing is, that number is right in the sweet spot of what I personally can afford. As the post talked about, some people cannot afford $50 for a game (Me right now), so they would not be able to purchase it anyway, therefore it’s not technically a lost sale if you think about it. But $8? Sure.

Funny too, while playing the game and getting the piracy issue killing my business, I was wondering if the game could somehow tell it’s pirated and this is only something happening in pirate versions. I managed to complete the 30 years anyway though and the piracy thing stopped after a while.

I can however see this backfiring as people may think its a part of the real game and think it’s annoyign and not want to purchase it if they think its too hard.


I will probably never play your game due lack of time. But that article about pirates was so @#$% so here’s my 8€. And good luck!

BTW - I wanted to download that special “warez” edition of your game but I can’t find it (everywhere is now a proper version). Is it possible to enable this “feature” in regular legal version? (My order ID is GRE130429-6111-83663)


I’m still convinced the only potentially illegal activity here was false advertising, nothing else. The developer itself distributed a version of its game with hidden restrictions in an effort to fraudulently profit off free marketing through peer-to-peer distribution channels. It doesn’t matter what language about “you have to pay license fees” was buried in the EULA somewhere, since the whole thing would almost certainly be considered an “unconscionable contract” in light of the fraudulent circumstances in which the agreement was intentionally presented by the developer.

But the lack of monetary damages still makes it very unlikely any legal action will actually happen.


Cheers to you for what you did. I read about how you were handling the piracy situation and am shocked that such a high percentage of the players are using pirated copies. That’s quite disheartening. We gamers love having access to a wide variety of games, but we’re not going to get that variety if we don’t financially support the developers! I haven’t tried the game yet but bought it anyway, partly because it looks good but also because I wanted to say, “Hey, some of us DO want to buy your stuff.” I hope the publicity makes your sales skyrocket, and I hope to see more games from you guys in the future.


I read the original article about it on TorrentFreak. I though the move was hilarious. I’ve played the small flash game version, and I’ve been looking for a good sim game to play so I went over here and bought the full version for the $7.99 because I can afford it. Figured save myself some time. Well done.


I read about this on /. and honestly, I thought it was perfectly played.

I bought the game, sight unseen, I will download it and save it for a rainy day.

Congratulations, for what it’s worth, your creative thinking earned you another sale. I wish you luck in future endeavors.


Reading about the idea to put this in the game was worth the $8 to me, so I bought it without even trying the demo or checking out any screenshots/trailers. Hopefully when I wrap up some of the projects I’m on I’ll get some time to play it. If this post is any indication, it should be great.


So, I bought the game just because of this blog post. Absolutely genius idea…

I would be interested to see your usage states after the publicity you are getting…


Game Dev Story isn’t an original idea either, it’s already existed way before, EVEN before the ORIGINAL release of Game Dev story


I would like to say that what you did wasn’t exactly new, I remember an old Mac/PC game called Escape Velocity and it had the similar functionality: If you pirated the game an ingame character robbed you of your resources. I eventually bought the game.

I would like to offer a suggestion to you on this. Don’t go DRM. Go to Steam (as you already have) but more importantly GOG.com. There you will find people like minded who protect their game purchases and are all paying for them. Your game price matches their ballpark (you could even raise it up to $10 and probably still make the sales.) I would even recommend providing both versions of the game to play or perhaps a DLC for the original that allows for you to turn on and off the “pirating” option of the game.

I’m not going to buy the game atm since I have a thousand that I have paid for (thanks GOG.com) that I have yet to play. But I might try the Demo and if I like it I will purchase and support you in this.


Even if it would have caused monetary damage to the “pirates”.

Do you really think a pirate would sue them because they trolled him BECAUSE HE PIRATE THEIR GAMES?

Judge Judy would bash the pirate and humiliate him anyway haha.
You can’t sue a devs that trolling you by doing this, suing a dev because the pirate himself did an illegal activity to get the game? haha.


That crack is awesome. I bought the game just because you guys did that.
I disagree with the conclusion, but that was pretty awesome.


This whole blog post comes off as exceptionally self-righteous and duplicitous. You cite that downloads of the torrent were an order of magnitude higher than sales of the game - and yet you are only tracking information from one day of the game being released, and you also omit any information about what advertising of the game was done to get the game’s name out there. I surely didn’t see the game on Desura (which might as well be the Steam of indie games by this point), only saw the game on Greenlight because of it being linked in your blog post, and have heard rumors that you eschewed other points of sale to hitch your boat to the atrocious Windows 8 store? And you’re complaining that this isn’t getting you comparable sales to The Pirate Bay?

You maliciously altered the game and created a honeypot to ensnare people and create a slanted point that painted you in a good light. Even if the gross similarities of watching 20 minutes of footage of this game next to Game Dev Story wouldn’t have turned me off from buying your game, your stunt certainly did, and I didn’t even pirate it. Instead of whining and “despairing”, like you quote, look at the cited article about what Anodyne’s creator did and think smart. Thinking and acting like the RIAA/MPAA/etc. is not going to gain you any fans.


I just bought the game after reading this blog post.
However, I didn’t buy it because of the complaints, or because of the smart idea to incorporate piracy into pirated copies.
While it was a smart move for some publicity (more below), I think painting piracy as entirely black is misleading.
Those numbers hold some truth and surely are depressing but that’s not the whole story here.

I am a video games developer myself (7 years experience) and have worked on console, portable and smartphone games.
I am also a huge gamer, which means I follow the industry pretty closely, both as a gamer and as a developer.

I bought the game because it is fairly cheap and because the concept (while similar to Game Dev Story) still looks different enough while being fun and challenging. The key thing to get people to buy your game is to make sure they are aware of its existence.

Until this blog post, I’d never heard of the game itself. I think I recall seeing the company name somewhere but that’s it.
I am sure you guys did a lot to promote your game, and I am sure there are several articles about it on several major gaming sites.

However, that shows the extent (and limits) of it: it is ultimately not enough. Getting your game out there and making sure people know about it is (nearly :smiley: ) as much important as the game itself. And your little trick seems to have paid off (if not yet, I am sure it will). Now, many more websites have reblogged your post and your game is getting a lot of publicity now.

I have other friends working in the games industry as well (we all do) and some of them went indie last year. They put up an awesome game concept, with a working alpha. They put the game on Kickstarter, did a lot of noise on several gaming websites. They had regular updates and the game was looking awesome.

However, the game didn’t get funded and now, it has been cancelled and the company shut down.
How did that happen ? After the news that the company was shutting down went up on more websites, many people in the comments stated that they had never heard of the company nor the game and that they would have totally pledged on Kickstarter had they known about it. Some will say that a comment is just a comment and not a proof of commitment. However, it shows that many gamers willing to pay are most of the time not aware of the games’ existence.

Putting the game on a torrent site and waiting for people to just click/download it, of course that would have boosted the piracy numbers (particularly on day one) - as compared to a few articles on gaming websites talking about your game and simply waiting for people to come buy it.


I love it. I took one look at this and bought the game. No idea if the game is any good (Though I love simulation games) but if your approach to handling an inevitable part of the game publishing process is any indication of the minds that made the game, I’m sure it will be great.

90%+ piracy is a travesty, especially for a small developer that’s probably in not-great financial shape. I’ve also voted for you on steam greenlight!



After reading about this game on (Norwegian Site) [http://www.pressfire.no/nyheter/PC/6892/-Hvorfor-er-det-s-mange-som-piratkopierer-Det-ruinerer-meg], and about your experiment about original/copy, which was, may I add, brilliant. I am going to buy this game. Your sheer original way of approaching the piracy issue is genius.


Just my opinion. I simply consider this as playing the game in real life whilst going to play the game in simulator as a kind of option in choosing what kind of customers you want in-game. Pretty confusing but you’ll get the idea.

You’re trying to play a game development simulator. The simulation gimmick in real life is also part of the game. Really a big +plus creativity.

Forget about the technicalities and just enjoy the game dev simulating game. :wink:


Hello @PatrickKlug

I read about your piracy action and was really impressed about, simply because I’m a software-developer too and know how hard it is to programm and create awsome games.
If you know the game “Software Tycoon” of Black Star Games, you understand my decision to become a software-developer. I played this game a lot as child and it simply was fun.

Because of that, and your very good piracy action (else I would not have discovered your games, but I did not download or play it), I will get the game soon on steam.

I support your work, so please do further development.