Piracy blights major and indie developers alike, so Noodlecake Studios decided to seek a little revenge on the thieves. The studio uploaded a modified, unbeatable version of its lasted title, Shooting Stars, to popular torrent sites and watched the drama unfold.
The modified version of Shooting Stars features an unbeatable boss at level 3, which doesn’t appear in the usual game. “Daft Premium” sends a wave of very high health bosses at the player, and has unlimited health himself should the player somehow make it that far. Upon death, pirates are greeted with a suggestion to buy the actual game.
The idea began after Noodlecake discovered that only 11 percent of Android users had actually purchased its Wayward Souls action-RPG, while the other 89 percent had pirated the game. Unfortunately, the company claims that piracy is much higher on Android that it is on iOS, so uploading a tweaked APK seemed like the right choice to have the most impact.
Despite the less than subtle hints, a cracked version of the store APK has already appeared online, to combat the unbeatable version of the game. Which is pretty disappointing, as Shooting Stars is on sale for just $0.99 right now, before it pops back up to its usual retail price of $2.99.
Noodlecake isn’t all that bitter about the piracy rate though, the company recognises that it probably didn’t lose out on many sales and views this little experiment as an advertising campaign as much as anything else. Still, it’s a pretty good way to get one back at the pirates.