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Game Developers Decided to Play Pirates Lu Bu 0 Comments · 0 Likes · Like · 19th May 2013 Greenheart Games is an independent game developing company. It is known worldwide for its series of the popular video game Dev Tycoon. Recently, Greenheart Games thought it would be funny to upload on BitTorrent a tweaked version of the new game, masked as a “cracked” torrent – the game was specifically designed for people who infringe copyright. Let’s see the result of the experiment.
It needs to be said that the “cracked” version of the game is almost the same as the original one, except for one thing. Originally, the developers wanted to tell the gamers that their copy was an illegal copy. However, they didn’t want to pass up the unique opportunity of holding a mirror in front of the players and showing them what illegal downloading can do to the game creators. So, as the gamers spent a few hours playing and growing their own game dev company, they started to see the text in form of an ordinary in-game message, saying something like “boss, it looks like many people playing the new game by stealing it rather than buying it legally”. The comment continued, saying that if gamers stop buying the games, the developers would sooner or later go bankrupt. However, the message went on saying that the developers are not angry with the infringers, admitting that earlier, downloading unauthorized copies was normal as global game distribution was in its infancy. They also understand that today there are still people who have no opportunity to make a legitimate purchase due to payment-issues or who genuinely can’t afford the game.
This is quite a clever move, and perhaps some of the infringers reconsidered their way of acquiring content, but the situation started a heated debate about the legal and ethical concerns of piracy. For example, the main question was whether people downloading the “cracked” version of the game can be considered pirates. On the one side, the answer is yes, but, from a legal point of view, things are not so easy. A pirate is someone who obtained the targeted content without permission from the owner, but in this particular situation people downloaded GG’s tweaked game with the company’s permission, as it was the company itself who uploaded the file to BitTorrent. This case is a perfect example of why legal arguments can be so confounding – apparently, a single fact can be spun in two directions 180 degrees opposite one another.
Thanks to TorrentFreak for the source of the article