Piracy in gaming has been around for a long time. And while developers are getting better and better at making it harder to pirate their games, it sadly still happens quite a bit. So, to combat this, a lot of developers have come up with some rather creative anti-piracy strategies to deter people from stealing their games. I personally love this idea so here are my 5 favourite ways game developers have punished pirates!
GTA 4’s Drunk Camera
While the developers of Grand Theft Auto knew they couldn’t really stop people from pirating their game, they didn’t hold back when it came to combating piracy. Those with illegal copies of the game, would very quickly find the game borderline unplayable. After booting in the camera itself gradually becomes more and more unwieldy, jumping and moving around, as well as the screen itself going gradually blurrier. Players of GTA would be familiar with some of these affects, which are often utilized when players get the player character drunk in game. Yeah so, imagine that the entire time! So sure, you can still play, but boy would it be a different experience!
The Sims 4’s Pixel Takeover
Everyone knows the iconic pixilation that occurs over sims in the shower or using the bathroom in The Sims series. Well, how about that… but EVERYWHERE! If you try to pirate the latest in The Sims series, The Sims 4, after the first time you send your sim to do either of these actions, you might find the pixels just don’t seem to go away. And then… they spread! This continues until your entire screen is just one giant unplayable pixelated mess.
Mirrors Edge’s Impossible Jump
The iconic parkour simulator Mirror’s Edge also has a super painful way of combating any players playing unlawfully. As the game is, as to be expected, very reliant on landing jumps, it sure would be a shame if the game stopped you from jumping. Well, it does. A certain jump early on involves you running up a red ramp and jumping to the building across, but as you go for the run up, the game mysteriously slows you down. This means, no matter what you do, you simply can’t make the jump so can’t progress any further.
Batman: Arkham Asylum’s Cape Problem
Just like in Mirror’s Edge, Batman Arkham Asylum takes a critical gameplay element and just stomps on it for anyone who is trying to play the game unlawfully. For Batman, his glide is a super important part of his kit, so the developers of this game, simply removed it. This great anti-piracy measure means, not only does Batman just drop like a rock anytime you try to glide, but certain areas are just entirely unreachable, meaning progression is essentially impossible. So, if you don’t want to get stuck playing a caped crusader who just refuses to utilize the “cape” aspect, then just buy this game alright, it’s very worth it!
Game Dev Tycoon’s Go Broke Strategy
I left this one for last, as it’s quite possibly my favourite anti-piracy tactic of all time. In Game Dev Tycoon, as expected, you play as a budding game developer. But, if you want to cheat the system and get the game for free, you might find your game development dreams are harder to achieve than you think. This is because, in illegal copies of the game, no matter what you do, your company will always go broke. And why? Well, due to piracy. That’s right, the game detects if you are playing it illegally, and never allows you to win because of it.
So, there was 5 of my favourite ways game developers have punished pirates!
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