Piracy is a problem for game developers of all sizes, and is an issue that continues to plague the industry. How each studio chooses to handle the inevitable horde of people willing to rip them off however varies pretty dramatically. Companies such as Ubisoft have chosen to tackle the problem by layering on gobs of restrictive DRM, while other more creative Indie developers have chosen a new approach, humiliation.
Startup development studio tinyBuildGames knew their highly anticipated new platformer No Time To Explain would eventually hit the Pirate Bay whether they liked it or not, so they made it available themselves on day one, with one catch. Those willing to steal food directly out of the mouths of this starving indie developer would be forced to play the entire game wearing, and interacting with NPC’s sporting pirate hats.
“We thought it’d be funny to leak a pirate version ourselves which is literally all about pirates and pirate hats,” Lead Developer Alex Nichiporchik told TorrentFreak. “I mean, some people are going to torrent it either way, we might as well make something funny out of it.”
“With indie game development, the whole motto is to constantly update the game for free to the userbase. For pirated versions this makes things really confusing with version tracking, so we were more comfortable with making a joke out of it and so that people who appreciate it could buy the game and thus help us do more dumb stuff,” Alex said.
If Ubisoft switched out the always online requirement for pirate hats, would that solve the piracy issue on the PC?