ByKory Glover, writer at
Professional Geek and Charmer. I mean c'mon, look at that hat and youthful smile
Kory Glover

Pirating continues to be a major problem in the world of gaming. In 2009 it was reported that approximately 9.78 million video games were pirated in a single month. In a survey conducted by PC Gamer in 2016, it was reported that close to 36% of gamers were illegally downloading video games.

Pirating continues to hurt companies bringing entertainment to your consoles and PCs. So, developers have to put in some kind of safeguard to teach these pirates a lesson, from light-hearted jokes to game-breaking penalties. Check out some of the best ways developers have responded to piracy.

1. Earthbound - Swamped with enemies

[Credit: Nintendo]
[Credit: Nintendo]

One of the earliest cases of a developer trolling pirates can be found in the SNES classic Earthbound. You'll know when you play a cracked version of the game because the developers quadrupled the amount of enemies on screen to the point that you'll constantly be swamped with battle after battle after battle. There will even be enemies in areas where they aren't normally supposed to be any.

But it doesn't matter if you're a master at the game with unbelievable patience because if you end up reaching the climatic final boss, the game will freeze. You'll be forced to reset it and find that your save file has been erased. Harsh, ain't it?

2. Mirror's Edge - Slow down

[Credit: Electronic Arts]
[Credit: Electronic Arts]

The best part of this game is jumping from building to building with awesome, fast-paced parkour. If you can't do that then what's the point?

Pirates who managed to get their hands on a cracked version of this game were met with a bug that makes it pretty much unplayable. Whenever you approach a jump point the game will force your character to slow down, making all the gaps much more difficult to clear.

That's right, if you own a pirated version of Mirror's Edge then it's basically impossible to progress through the game. Sucks for you, doesn't it?

3. Serious Sam 3 - Super fast invincible enemies

[Credit: Croteam]
[Credit: Croteam]

This is seriously one of the most infuriating examples of developers fighting back against the pirates. The Serious Sam franchise is all about one thing and one thing only: killing everything that appears on your screen. So it must be annoying when one of those enemies gains the speed of the Road Runner and cannot be stopped.

In cracked versions of Serious Sam 3, pirates were met with a scorpion enemy that would stalk your character, racing across the screen to endlessly attack you. This enemy cannot be killed no matter how many bullets or explosives you throw at it. The developers were very serious about ruining any fun pirates would have with this game.

4. Cross Days - Airing out your dirty laundry

[Credit: 0verflow]
[Credit: 0verflow]

This one is a little controversial because while you might think that it's funny, remember that this is also kind of illegal. People who tried to install Cross Days, after filling out an "erotic" pre-game survey, were met with some vicious malware.

The game would take all that information you gave them in the survey and post it online for all to see. You like chains and whips in the bedroom? Well, now your close friends, family and co-workers can see that too. Is it worth committing a crime to fight against another crime? Maybe.

5. Alan Wake - The proper attire

[Credit: Remedy Entertainment]
[Credit: Remedy Entertainment]

Not exactly the most punishing method for combating pirates, this one is still pretty amusing. If you happen to come across a cracked version of Alan Wake, the main character will be wearing a pirate's eyepatch for the duration of the game.

The game will also politely remind you to actually purchase a real copy during the loading screens. As long as passive-aggressive nagging doesn't bother you too much, this isn't as bad as other anti-pirating measures. But it is nice way to constantly point the finger at pirates and call them out for what they are.

6. The Witcher 2 - A granny fetish?

This one is just hilarious for any teenager who pirated this video game hoping to seeing Geralt lay with some sweet looking honeys. Unfortunately, pirates were met with a very icky sight. Any woman that they tried to bed in the game turned into wrinkly old woman.

Again, it's not as severe as other methods on this list but it is a hilarious trolling from the developers to take away some of the fun, or rather titilation. Then again, who knows? Maybe you have a thing for senior citizens.

7. Game Dev Tycoon - Ironic punishment

[Credit: Greenheart Games]
[Credit: Greenheart Games]

There's nothing like giving pirates a little taste of their own medicine isn't it? Game Dev Tycoon allows players to create their own video game company. You can develop genre combinations in hopes to create that one video game that will become a bestseller.

However, if you don't want to dole out the cash for this game, you are met with a hilariously ironic bug that causes people to start pirating your games. That's right, people are illegally downloading your games without paying your company. This causes your company to lose so much money that the game pretty much becomes unplayable due to all the pirates in the world. Don't you just love it when pirates get exactly what they deserve?

What do you think of these anti-piracy methods?


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