Game Mocks Pirates By Giving Them Unbeatable Daft Punk Character

Game Mocks Pirates By Giving Them Unbeatable Daft Punk Character

Developers can't always stop piracy. But they can try to have fun with it, at least.

Noodlecake Studios recently launched a mobile shoot-em-up called Shooting Stars!. It costs 2.99. Unless, of course, you pirate it. Then it's free. Thing is, Noodlecake actually uploaded the pirated version to torrent sites themselves — and the game comes with a funny surprise.

Pirates will find that that, once they reach the third boss in Shooting Stars!, they will be greeted by a character named "Daft Premium." That character looks like this guy, on the left here.

Game Mocks Pirates By Giving Them Unbeatable Daft Punk Character
Game Mocks Pirates By Giving Them Unbeatable Daft Punk Character

Daft Premium cannot be beat. Daft Premium is invincible, in fact!

"Firstly players must defeat a wave of bosses that have an obscene amount of health," Noodlecake Studios explained in a blog post. "If they do manage to defeat them, then the final boss approaches who has unlimited health."

Once the pirates are defeated — which is inevitable — the game encourages them to seek out the legit copy of the game. It's kind of hilarious.

So, why go through all this trouble? Aside from the fact that it's a fun joke, Noodlecake Studios has been hit with piracy pretty hard in the past. They released a game called Rocketcat Games on Android a year ago, and they claim that a whopping 89% of all installations on that platform were pirated. And those are just the installations that they could track — the number could be higher. It's kind of absurd! So, in an effort to preempt the inevitable with their latest game, they decided to throw a wrench in there and actually control what the piracy of their latest game looks like.

"We don't think this is an answer to piracy, or that it will be a big motivator to suddenly stop cracking games but instead, we are embracing it," Noodlecake Studios wrote.

"And hey, if one or two players decide to throw us a couple bucks in the process, then we call that a win."


    I really respect studios taking this kind of approach to piracy, instead of just complaining loudly about it or introducing some horrendous DRM mechanism that punishes the legitimate players even more than the pirates. It's certainly entertaining for the rest of us too.

      Everyone finds this entertaining, even the piraters.

    I don't know how anyone can justify pirating something that costs less than a bottle of coke.

      Hur hur, look I got these 100 games for free.

      I know the type. Fortunately all the ones I've known have grown up to be people that will pay for content.

      Those that do pirate $1 or $2 dollar games would have never paid for it anyway - does it make it right? No. But the developers also don't really loose any money either.

        They don't lose money? They've had their commercial work stolen. Just because you would never have paid them doesn't mean you haven't robbed them by stealing from them.

          Seems like we have this conversation every week or so; piracy isn't theft.

            Does the work have a cost that you are legally obliged to pay before owning the rights to use the software?
            Have you deliberately obtained the software without paying that aforementioned cost?
            Have you knowingly installed and used the software in the full knowledge that you have not paid for it, as per the terms and conditions of the software?

            If you answered yes, you are a thief. I'm sorry, but that is the simple moral truth. I'm not saying all my software is 100% legit - probably only 90-95% these days - but I'm not going to try to peddle myself as an innocent pirate either.

              You may not be innocent but you are also not a thief. If you steal an album you get a fine and maybe probation, if you torrent an album you can be liable for the GDP of a small country.

              I'm not at all trying to portray piracy as innocent, or any less illegal than it is. Piracy deprives rights holders from compensation so it's like stealing, but 'theft' and 'piracy' are qualitatively different terms. Anyway, that's semantics and I'll admit I was baiting a little there...

              The real question in this case is, did anyone actually pirate the version of the game uploaded to torrent sites at all? Remember, the developers themselves uploaded the 'pirated' copy.

                I think you're just giving your own definition to theft. I get exactly what you're saying, but just because it isnt physical, doesnt mean any less work went into the intellectual property. Sure, I guess, maybe they're not losing the like dollar or whatever a physical CD would have cost, just all the time they spent. Woopdedoo.

                Last edited 14/08/15 1:57 pm

                  That's why I said it's like stealing. Most of the time it's probably pretty much the same thing but as I mentioned above that's merely a matter of semantics in this case.

                  The point I was getting at is that in this case the 'pirated' version of the game wasn't stolen at all ie. the developers willingly uploaded the content to torrent sites.

              Hah morality and law. Morals are subjective - for each person that's different. The law is what it is until it's changed. As it stands, by law, piracy =/ theft. Piracy is piracy. theft is theft. Don't try and confound them.

                Nowhere, does the copyright act refer to pirates, piracy, or sailing the high seas. Sorry to dissapoint your logic.

                  Really.... Jesus it's a colloquial term for copyright infringement. Even the government has made reference to that.

                  It is useful at the outset to clarify the meaning of a term that is frequently used in referring to copyright infringement, namely 'piracy'.


                  Indeed and trying to give your own personal definition to theft, just because a physical item is not being taken, is also symantics.

                  It's not my personal definition, if anything it's your own personal opinion that piracy is theft. Its the laws definition, in multiple countries, around the world that piracy, aka copyright infringement, is a completely separate to theft. It's hardly semantics as well. I mean they can't even definitively prove that piracy hurts sales of digital products (ie deprive them of income). All unbiased studies have had inconclusive results ie in some cases it has hurt sales, in others it has helped (if you have any studies surrounding piracy please link it - would love to read it as i find it an interesting topic). As much as they'd love you to believe that 1 download is 1 lost sale, that is hardly the case.

              Nobody who isn't a huge asshole will tell you piracy isn't wrong. Of course it's wrong. But you are using specific wording that doesn't apply: Piracy is not theft.

              Theft is illegally removing the property of another person. They no longer have the thing. Piracy is circumvention of copyright that removes no property from the author.

              Edit: I see it being called semantics above. The distinction is important because those terms are legally different. Murder is not manslaughter. You can call it semantics because either way someone is still dead. But legally they aren't the same thing.

              Last edited 27/10/15 7:20 am

            Yeah, someone who pirates a $1 from an indie studio isn't a thief. They're just an asshole.

          It just simply comes down to a "one illegal download does not equate to one lost sale". There is a myriad of examples out there all you have to do is look. Most are summed up as:

          "Y" downloads game checks it out - finds its awesome buys it. Ohh he also tells all his friends which either buy it or pirate it. You just made a sale(s) from a pirate.

          "Z" downloaded game but would never have had paid for it - would rather go without if he couldn't download it. Never would have been a sale anyway, but its possible he likes it and tells his friends who buy/pirate it.

          In all of these scenarios the developer has lost no money. It's possible that they've actually gained sales. There is no definitive answer out there. The simple truth of it is piracy may hurt in some cases but it very well might help in other cases. It's dependent on a huge number of variables ranging from marketing budget, product cost, product quality etc (seriously it would be a huge number of variables). It is not as black and white as media corps like to paint it - they just simply see xxx,xxx downloads which are xxx,xxx lost sales - it's not.

            Theres a couple of other scenarios...

            "X" pirates because needs moar ga3mz, never plays it because too busy looking for moar. Not a lost sale, but still in the statistics.

            "W" pirates because they want to check out this game and theres no demo, decides its not for them. Counts as a statistic that would have been avoided were there a demo. Sometimes this is a marketing tactic "people will pay $1 to try out my game and if we can keep them hooked for an hour so they can't get a refund and they hate it we still win". Definitely a lost sale (scam?) in that regard, what Shooting Stars has here is essentially a demo.

            I don't support piracy, but "theft" and "lost sale" terms are very relative. Is it theft or a lost sale to flick through a playboy mag then put it back on the shelf? I'd like to see more indie games with a demo to prove their worth before crying about lost revenue. I'd probably check out Shooting Stars but I don't want to resort to piracy to try it out (even this fancy demo), throw up a "free" or "lite" version through official channels for me to try and maybe you'll get my coke money.

          No they don't lose
          They probably get more from the being pirated than just not be played at all.
          How many times have you wanted to play a game just because your friend showed you?

          A lot of my friends played and play CS for a long time, they couldn't really spend money to buy videogames, so they pirated it, eventually when they could and because they liked that game, they went legit and bought the game.
          If none of them really couldn't play the pirated game, none of us would never heard about the game back then, as I never knew about this game until now

          So yeah, piracy is bad in developed countries involving people with a good amount of money to spend in luxuary items, but to people that can't be in that position or just kids (thats the majority) that have hard working parents who try to give them the best they can, its just a harmless way to experience what they couldn't and kid of a way to still be interested in videogames until they get a better position in life to buy them.

          I was in that last position, got my PS2 because had best grades in school and my father wanted to reward me, only could get 1 game a year (in christmas, it was jak and daxter, I love those games, I was even getting a PS4 just to play jak 4 until I heard that they dropped the develepmont), borrow a games when I could but I eventually used pirated games. Now I got a 1000+€ pc with 70+ games in my steam account and growing.

          By the way, rich people don't even know how to download pirated games, in my case, some of my more wealthy friends don't even knew what piratebay was.

          You misunderstood Joejojo:
          The developers aren't losing money on many of the pirates because they are not losing a sale- those people would never have bought the game, they're ONLY playing it because it's free.
          In the case of those people it's really a net positive because it's getting their profile and game style out there to people who would never hear of them otherwise and laying the groundwork for potential future sales.

        That might work for $100 games but $1? Who can't afford $1 and has a mobile phone?

        If you didn't want to pay $1 or $2 for a game, then I think you can live your life without illegally downloading it.....

        I'm 31 and honestly, I couldn't be bothered downloading something externally from Steam or the apple app store for a measly $2.

      "I don't know how anyone can justify pirating something that costs less than a bottle of coke."

      Amen to that!

    Cro-team did it better with the superfast unkillable Juvenile Aracnid.

    Noodlecake actually uploaded the pirated version to torrent sites themselves

    So, the creator of a work uploaded it for free. How is this piracy?
    Using bittorrent as a method of distribution doesn't make it piracy.

      Being that it's the broken version of the game and not the actual release, you're right, it isnt piracy.
      Someone will put the real version up...most likely to spite Noodlecake.

    Didn't EA do something similar to this with Sims 4? I think they made all the characters pixellated or something? Very similar thing though.. not quite as funny and thought provoking as this indie developer did though.

      Nah, but they did a similar thing with Simcity. They made it buggy and unplayable and forced people for have an always online connection in order to be able to play it...

      Oh, wait, no, that was just their I-can't-believe-it's-not-DRM.

    Its a good idea, buts its funny that even the people who bought the game still download the pirated version just to check out this cool twist

    Ok so it's not "Daft Premium" like you said twice in the article. It's Premium Funk. Fuck you Kotaku. Fuck you Patricia. Last post on this shitty news site i will ever make. Fucking joke journalism.

      Also, Rocketcat games is a studio, not a game.
      I often think it's intentionally done, just to get more clicks

      Ok so they say "Daft Premium" three times, not two like you said in your post. Fuck you brassafrax. Fuck you anonymous internet guy. Last whinging rant I will ever respond to. Fucking joke trolling.

      Last edited 18/08/15 11:26 pm

    It's time to start paying for the things you want, people. Stop being scum and pirating things.

    Last edited 24/08/15 2:19 pm

    just have the pirated version running hundreds upon hundreds of ads in the background and milk the pirates for advertising revenue.

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