Although no developer is a fan of piracy, most accept it as a natural, albeit disappointing, part of today’s society. They try their best to deter gamers from it where possibly, but typically there isn’t much a company can do besides plead with their fan base.
That being said, there are a few developers who have no problem deterring pirates in some truly clever ways. Ubisoft, for example, reserved their FOV (field of view) slider for the first Far Cry 4 patch, meaning any who pirated the game early on were left without the option.
Serious Sam 3: BFE developer Croteam took things a step further by introducing an immortal, super strong scorpion enemy into any pirated copies of the game. With no way to kill or bypass the scorpion, pirates were left with little to do beyond accept defeat and give Croteam a nice round of applause.
But while that scorpion troll was no doubt clever, Croteam has not stopped there. With their latest game, The Talos Principle, Croteam has introduced yet another progress-halting feature, and have taken to shaming those who label it a bug on forums.
For those who might know, The Talos Principle is a third person puzzle adventure game with a gorgeous art style. Players make their way through a series of areas, solving intricately designed puzzles, before moving on to solve the next.
At some point in the game, players will reach an elevator that takes them onto the next area; that is, unless they are playing a pirated copy of the game. Those who pirated The Talos Principle, however, will find that the elevator does not move but instead keeps the players stuck in place.
One gamer quickly took to the NeoGAF forums to say that they had encountered the bug, and many chimed in to share a similar story. However, it wasn’t long before the Croteam developers stepped in to reveal that the elevator was not broken, but was in fact a piracy deterrent. Those forum users then quickly dispersed and were never heard from again.
Given the Serious Sam 3 troll, pirates should have expected something from The Talos Principle, but they clearly didn’t. It may have been the fact that Talos is less tongue-in-cheek than Serious Sam, or maybe it was simply that these pirated weren’t prepared. Whatever the case, props to Croteam for trolling these pirates.
Do you like when developers put in special treats for pirates? Would you like to see more piracy deterrents like this?
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina