Developers Beating Pirates at Their Own Game

Dec 26, 2009

The latest battle in the war against video game piracy? Leaking virus-free but incomplete games to torrent sites. Apparently.

In order to beat the pirates, developers RedLynx deliberately leaked their PC title Trials the same day it went on general release. But as the pirated version doesn’t include leaderboards support – a feature that, according to RedLynx CEO Tero Virtala, is “the soul of the game” – the company hope that it’ll encourage gamers to make a legitimate purchase once they started playing – and hopefully enjoying – the game.

Virtala further explained: “Piracy is here, so how can we take advantage of that? What we did actually, on day one, we put that game immediately on all the torrent networks ourselves.”

“That game relies really heavily on the server side – the leaderboards are the soul of the game,” he added. “I don’t know if it’s helped, I’d assume so because even though the version that we put on the torrent networks wasn’t the full version, it’s the version of the game without the actual soul, without the leaderboards to play against other players.”

So – what do you think? A wise trick, or a waste of time? Your thoughts please!


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  1. Krishna M. /

    I’m not sure how effective RedLynx’s trick was, but I applaud them for really trying to come up with a way to combat piracy and get players to actually purchase the game. I’m a huge opponent of piracy – just look at my posts at SHH regarding it – and this sounds like a good start.

    The day piracy ends will be a very good day indeed! Support the artists!!!

  2. Martee Warree /

    I think this sounds like quite a good idea, I don’t think there’s ever really going to be a way to beat pirates. So why not join them and try to convert them?
    I do agree that the developers need all the support they can get, but with piracy growing and getting easier all the time, they really need to do something about it and I don’t think clamping down on security is really the best move. The consumers who are actually buying the games will no doubt pay the price if security gets tight, while the pirates will just find ways around it.

  3. Sarah Grace /

    I will admit that I’ve pirated a game. It was Fable, and I only did it because I lost my game disc after I moved :(

    This is pretty crafty, though. I know that a lot of games require online play to fully do anything, which makes pirating kind of pointless since you need an actual serial key to play. There’s serial key generators, but they’re known to not work.

  4. Lindsey P. /

    I think it actually very clever of this company to take the, ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ point of view. In reality, it’s almost like subliminal advertising for their game. However, I’m unsure how effective their actions will be, because I’m sure there are plenty of pirates out there who will figure a way to hack to the leaderboards or something to that effect. Despite how effective it may or may not be, I do applaud their attempt to curb gaming piracy to their advantage.

  5. Vikki Blake /

    Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. :)


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