There’s a lot of commotion around the internet about Game Dev Tycoon‘s clever anti-piracy measure. Its developer, Green Heart Games, uploaded a special version of their game to the torrent space in hopes of teaching pirates a lesson. Players would soon complain that as they got to the modern era of game development, their company was sent into a financial spiral as, ironically, their titles got pirated and they would lose the game. Funny thing about that, though: Green Heart Games’ Game Dev Tycoon isn’t exactly an all-original adventure, either.
Lifting a page from Zynga’s book, Game Dev Tycoon came to eat Game Dev Story‘s lunch. Developed by Kairosoft for the PC in 1997, it might’ve been fair game if it had simply vanished into obscurity, but it was ported to Android and iOS in 2010 and is still very much active on mobile markets today. In both games, you lead a developer from obscurity to fame, fortune, bigger offices, larger talent and amazing games. It starts off a little harsh by giving you a full team to start – whereas Tycoon has you starting off as a single developer in a garage – but once you get in, you’re in. Both games are also cruel in building that developer as consoles require expensive licenses and development kits to build on. In Story, I wound up having to fire my graphics guy just to keep the ship afloat after a project cancellation. You really feel for real game developers as they struggle between games to make a buck and keep on and keeping on.
In short, perhaps to prove a point, my dollars went to Kairosoft. Clever girl, Green Heart, but not clever enough.