Culturally Impacting: Greenheart’s Game Dev Tycoon, Piracy and The Irony.

BrowserQuest

Okay, I’m usually against re-blogging (since there’s tumblr for that), but these guys are really amazing.

Greenheart Games, an australian videogame start-up consisting of brothers Patrick and Daniel Klug, recently published their new (and first, if I’m not mistaken) game Game Dev Tycoon (which happens to seem awkwardly similar to Game Dev Story…).

This is a simple yet addictive game, in which you start out in the 80’s with your own video game development company, and must compete in a simulated market to become the leader and gain worldwide fans, yadda yadda blah blah etc etc. It intends to “be fun to play, instead of [being a] mind numbing money grabber”, as seems to be the trend nowadays.

It costs only 8 USD. That’s about 44 ARS, not even enough to buy two beers in a night club where I live. I don’t think it’s too much to pay, specially compared to mainstream games.

And yet, just one day after its release, only 6.4% of the players actually paid for an original, legal version. The remainder 93.6% downloaded a pirate version.

What’s the catch? Patrick was the one who pushed the pirate version into internet himself, being the first to seed the torrent. But this pirate version had an important modification: inside the simulation, after a while, your company would stop earning decent revenue due to “simulated” piracy, leading the player into bankruptcy.

Ironically, many of these players complained on the game’s forums, even asking the Klug brothers to include a feature to prevent piracy.

As a full time developer at service companies and night-time game developer myself, I feel a bit like crying (honestly, those percentages convinced me to drop the idea of making any kind of offline application or game lest it be open-source). But I’m also deeply, truly proud and glad of what Patrick and Daniel Klug did there, and I really hope it will help to bring more awareness to the crowds.

You can read the whole story here. And if you are a game dev yourself, check out this article/tutorial on how to work with BrowserQuest in Windows 7.

So to Greenheart Games: keep up the good work!

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