[EDITOR'S NOTE: Continuing its multiple "Schadenfreudian Slips" columns for Gamasutra, notable and more than a little eccentric German game company Schadenfreude Interactive presents an anecdotal account of the hardships of trying to find the right copy protection.]
(our art director) came to me one day with a problem. Ordinarily he
would go to our chief technical officer, Bruno, with these things, but
Bruno was away attending the Beard & Mustache World Championship in
Berlin (just attending, not competing – my mother can grow more of a
mustache than Bruno can). Anyway, Lothar had found copies of our games
available for download on BitTorrent. When I asked him what he was
doing looking in such places, he sheepishly admitted he was looking for
a copy of the Wide Boy Awake song “Chicken Outlaw”. I suppose I am glad
he found pirated copies of our game instead of that song, which should
itself be considered a crime.
But what was I now
going to do about people pirating our games? Like when your drunken
Uncle Jurgen shows up at your wedding wearing nothing but a pair of
yellow rainboots, this situation had to be dealt with right away (I
assigned Uncle to guestbook duty – we Germans are not as prudish as you
Americans when it comes to public nudity).
do not want to treat our customers like they are pirates. Unless we are
making a MMORPG about pirates, and thus our customers are pretending
to be pirates, in which case I will gladly treat them as pirates. I had
a girlfriend once who liked to pretend to be a pirate. I still have the
scar from that parrot bite - but that is neither here nor there
(actually, it is a few inches above my right knee).
Misled Defense Systems
The issue of software piracy is nothing new. Who can forget the hilarious Kopieren Sie Nicht Diesen Floppy-Disc! anti-piracy
television campaign from the early 1990s? I don’t think that rapping
fraulein made anyone think twice about copying computer games, but she
did make many of us think once or twice about…blondes with 5.25” disks.
The classic Kopieren Sie Nicht Diesen Floppy-Disc!