RedLynx, the developer of the well received downloadable title Trials, said that it seeded pirate torrent sites with neutered copies of the game in order to stoke interest in the title.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, Tero Virtala, the RedLynx CEO, said that the pirated version his team sent out did not include leaderboard support, which Virtala called the "soul" of the game. In other words, the pirate version functioned as a kind of demo without being a demo, encouraging downloaders to grab the fully enabled version if they enjoyed the illicit one.
"Piracy is here, so how can we take advantage of that? What we did actually, on day one, we put that game immediately on all the torrent networks ourselves," Virtala said at the Develop Liverpool conference.
The 150,000 copies the game has sold since its launch matches the number of users with access to the leaderboards, Virtala said, so if the gambit didn't work, at least it didn't hurt. "At least people have not cracked our leaderboards yet," he said.
RedLynx: We put Trials PC Game on Torrent Sites [GamesIndustry.biz]