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Here's another cute indie anti-piracy tactic

If people are gonna pirate your game, why not make the most of it?


Games get pirated, and there's nothing you can do to stop it: that's just the reality of the endless war of attrition between those who create and those who won't want to pay to enjoy the fruits of creators' labours.

Lots of developers just shrug and accept this; there's an argument that pirates will never pay for a game even if they can't get it for free, and anti-piracy measures often end up inconveniencing legitimate users. But some find clever ways to battle it, and maybe even turn it to their advantage.

The latest team to confront pirates head on is Noodlecake Studios. Kotaku reports the indie released a build of mobile shooter Shooting Stars to torrent sites. The pirate build, however, is a bit different from the paid version: it contains an almost unbeatable boss, followed by a literally unbeatable boss.

When either of these bosses takes the player down, they're greeted with the following message:

"Dying sucks, right? But pirating indie games sucks much more. Please support us and buy Shooting Stars."

The pirated build acts as a kind of demo for the full game - which is often all pirates are after anyway. Hopefully this little touch will make some of them laugh and consider investing in the full game. Hit the source link above for some GIFs and more details on why Noodlecake is pushing back against piracy.

Croteam did something similar with Serious Sam 3, adding a near-invincible foe to the pirated build. Garry's Mod includes an error message which identifies pirated copies when players seek support.

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