Greenheart Games ran an interesting test last year, where the indie developer released its very first game, Game Dev Tycoon, into the world. What the team did, was release a cracked version of the game, minutes after upcoming up their Store.
Where it gets interesting, is that Game Dev Tycoon is about, well, you guessed it - a simulation of being a game developer. What the pirated version of the game does is let players spend hours and hours building up their studio, but messages begin to pop up, warning the player that piracy is causing their studio to lose money, and sales.
Over time, players' studios begin to bleed money, with newly created games having a high chance of being pirated. Greenheart Games had some hilarious responses that they found online, with gamers asking for help. One of them even said "why are there so many people that pirate? It ruins me!" Obviously this gamer means it ruins his game studio, within the game - all from a pirated copy of the game itself. Alanis Morisette would even be proud of this one, folks.
Within 24 hours of Game Dev Tycoon being made available, 93.6% of its copies were stolen, pirated versions - leaving just 6.4% of the $7.99 game, legit, purchased copies. The entire thing can be read on Greenheart Games' website, which is quite the read.