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If pirating a game seems like a cool thing to do, you'll likely want to think again when it comes to CroTeam's The Talos Principle. The game is racking up a lot of positive press and a lot of great feedback on its gameplay and puzzle mechanics, but pirates aren't enjoying the game one bit.
Over on a NeoGaf thread it's pointed out that pirates have run into a bit of a problem when playing a cracked version of The Talos Principle: they're getting stuck in elevators.
As pointed out by one of creator of the thread...
“...complaints of getting stuck and not being able to progress have come in. If you pirate the game you'll get trapped in an elevator during one of the game's key progression points and not be able to continue. You'll just be stuck. In an elevator. With nowhere to go.”
It's a perfect form of punishment for those who pirate the game with no intention of buying it. You see, some pirates will use the explanation that they do what they do in order to try before they buy; it's all about testing a game before laying any money down on it.
That explanation isn't entirely punishable given that demos have become a rarity these days and are usually made available after a game has garnered a certain level of success following its release. That's not to mention that publishers are quite averse to demos because they feel it could deter gamers from picking up the title day-one if the demo reveals that the game isn't all that the advertisements made it out to be, as noted in an article on VG 24/7.
In this case, for those using the stance that they're testing The Talos Principle out before buying it, they get in some play time before getting locked in an elevator. It's not ideal, but at least people can get an idea of what to expect. At the same time there's also still a limit on how much play time people will get out of the pirated copy; it's essentially a demo.
Of course, the whole affair has become a joke given that the first appearance of this anti-piracy measure appeared on the Steam forums where the pirate was asking about being locked in the elevator. One user responded, saying...
“Congratulations you must be the first one to show to the internet world what Croteam did this time to punish pirates :) You should be proud of yourself, it will be all over the internet in about 30 minutes I'd say...”
And in 30 minutes it was all over the internet.
Piracy is still something that developers combat, but instead of doing it with lots of intrusive DRM, some of them come up with clever ways to fight it, such as locking players in an elevator and having them stay there.
GTA IV also had some clever anti-piracy measures, such as making players perpetually drunk. Other developers do just the opposite, handing out their games for free on torrent sites, such as one of the early games on Steam Greenlight, McPixel.
As for The Talos Principle, CroTeam – the same minds behind Serious Sam – seem to have found a way to get a few laughs out of people while also stopping pirates in their tracks, forcing them to either quit playing or buy a legitimate copy of the game. If you want, you can pick up a copy of the game right now on PC and it's coming soon to the PS4.