Once you release your game into the world, the work is just getting started. Just as eager as fans are to play it and explore the world you’ve spent years of your life creating, there are groups of other people who are eagerly anticipating all the ways they’re going to lie, cheat, steal, and sometimes even ruin the experience for everyone else.
Sometimes, game devs get revenge. These are those times…
8. The Sims 4
Players were reporting this as if it were a glitch, and outing themselves as filthy pirates in the process. You know when your Sim gets nakey and their bodies are blurred? Imagine if the entire game looked like that, it would be unplayable. If you’ve never seen that, congrats, you aren’t a pirate. But people who were playing pirated versions of The Sims 4 would notice the screen getting blurry, and unplayable.
7. Grand Theft Auto IV
For a game often chastised in the media for glorifying a life of crime, the folks at Rockstar have a zero tolerance policy for pirates and hackers. Sure, you can play the game, but the camera is going to be wobbling all over the place, making you nauteous. Also, the driving controls are going to go all wonky.
This SNES classic used to come with a strategy guide, but if you were playing a cracked version of the game, the missing guide isn’t the only reason this game was going to be extra tough for you.
You’re completely swarmed by enemies almost immediately, and the difficulty ramps up at an alarming pace.
It’s still possible to make it to the end, it’s a grind but it’s do-able… Except right at the most exciting moment of the final battle, the game freezes AND automatically deletes every single one of your save files. Savage.
5. Serious Sam 3: BFE
Serious Sam was a throwback to classic PC shooters, and as the years passed it has gradually earned a seat at the same table it once paid homage to.
If you were playing a pirated version of the game, you would be chased relentlessly by an enemy that can’t be killed. It ruins the game for you, and if you’re annoyed that you don’t get to keep playing – go buy a copy!
4. Mirror’s Edge
This is a brilliant example of playing a prank on pirates. Faith is known for her high-flying leaps across the city, she runs up the red ramps and gets enough speed to make death-defying jumps… unless you stole the game. On a pirated copy, she slows down as the approaches the ramps, making the game impossible.
3. Ark: Survival Evolved
The website Cracked described this game as “Basically Minecraft with graphics and dinosaurs.” There was one guy in particular, named Ricky, who was rubbing people the wrong way. Instead of working towards evolving our civilization and surviving in a prehistoric world, he preferred to just run around dropping N Bombs.
A group of players teamed up, built a little hut, and locked Ricky inside. Not the brightest guy in the world, Ricky was essentially trapped in a player-built prison and had to suffer vigilante justice.
In this case, it wasn’t necessarily the devs who got revenge directly, but more a case of vigilante justice where the devs created the world which allowed this to happen. Someone was trying to ruin the game, and they faced swift justice.
2. Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
This LucasArts adventure game forced you to enter a special code that required you to have a serial key to enter correctly to move through the world. If you entered it incorrectly too many times, you would be taken to a special Pirate Jail, and the prison guard would lecture you about what a terrible piece of trash you are for stealing.
There’s no way to escape, it’s game over.
1. Game Dev Tycoon
This is a game that’s all about making games, and one of the realities of making a game is piracy. There are all sorts of arguments for and against it, some even argue that piracy helps developers but that’s a bit of a stretch.
Moments after Game Dev Tycoon was released, the creater secretly leaked out a special version for the real-life pirates, which included in-game pirates who stole the games that players released inside of the game. Make sense?
This is a brilliant way to put the pirates into the shoes of the developer. Over 90% of people playing this game initially were playing the pirated copy, and some of them will think twice in the future.