July 22, 2024


Digitally first class

Yet Another Game Studio Chooses To Mess With Pirates As A Strategy


from the lulz dept

There are lots of ways content makers can respond to copyright infringement. From going fully legal and suing, to attempting to threaten to sue to scare the hell out of the “pirates”, to seeking government intervention that would negatively impact all kinds of innocent folks, to trying (and failing) to curb piracy using DRM, none of these are particularly good strategies.

And I don’t know if simply choosing to have some fun by messing with the pirates is all that better from a results standpoint, but I do know that’s it’s my favorite thing that game companies do against piracy. Whether it’s changing game functions to get people to accidentally out themselves as pirates or making never ending vuvuzela sounds in the game, it’s quite often just downright funny.

Well, now Big Ant Studios is joining the club, having already gotten pirates to call themselves out by messing with them and stating that it has future plans to continue the hijinks. It starts with Cricket 22 and some minor annoyances in illegal copies of the game, namely a white flashing screen that occurs in between matches.

This is happening over and over again. Pirates pirate the game, see the weird issue, go to the forums to try to figure out how to fix it, only to find out that it was done on purpose to annoy pirates. Not a whole lot of harm in this, but it’s worth noting as well that Symons, CEO of Big Ant Studios, is coupling this with some fairly human messages to those that chose to buy the game after getting messed with.

That last bit is in reference to plans Big Ant claims to have for even further messing with those that pirate its games in the future. In other tweets and comments, it’s very clear that Symons is having a great deal of fun with this. While I might suggest that putting this much time and energy into combatting piracy at all might not be the efficient use of the studio’s time, I’ll also say that the human approach Symons is taking here, including allowing previous pirates to keep their games progress if they switch over to a legit version, makes it hard not to root for him and the studio on this one.

Is it worth all this effort? I’m not sure, but I’m here for the fun compared with heavy-handed legal routes.

Filed Under: annoyances, copyright, cricket 22, piracy, video games

Companies: big ant studios


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