Piracy has been a part of the game industry since before "don't coppy that floppy" became a slogan and persists to this day. Some developers attempt to stop it with online DRM while others slyly make the game much harder. Some notable examples of this are Earthbound, which increased enemy spawn rate and eventually deleted all save games, and Serious Sam 3 which actually stuck an immortal enemy into the game.
Game Dev Tycoon by Green Heart Games is taking a similar tactic, but now things seem all the more ironic. In their title players must manage a game development studio and flourish. However, those who pirated the initially released version were greeted with the game telling them their virtual development studio was hit by piracy. If pirates continued to take their games the digital studio would spiral towards bankruptcy.
How was this accomplished? Green Heart Games uploaded a modified version of the game themselves to pirate sites, which were quickly snapped up by eager players. Many did not realize this was a purposeful slight at them and even visited the official forum in an attempt to figure out how to deal with in-game piracy.
It's both funny and sad because these methods still don't accomplish the goal of getting more pirates to purchase. Instead, they'll probably wait around until the regular version is available, if it isn't already. Still, hopefully news of the developer's prank will get players who had never heard of the game before to give Game Dev Tycoon a shot.