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These Canadian App Developers Have Created a Daft Punk Villain That Fights Piracy

Combatting unpaid downloads with filter house.
August 17, 2015, 12:21am

Piracy is something that effects every creative industry — it's probably not unreasonable to assume people are even torrenting the entire works of Charles Dickens at this stage — which means it is also something all creatives are constantly trying to crack down on. Canadian app developers Noodlecake Studios have come up with a pretty original way of doing this. After discovering that the number of people who had actually paid for their last game Wayward Souls, only counted for 11% of the people using the app, they decided that their next release — Shooting Stars — needed a slightly more watertight approach.

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So, if you download Shooting Stars for free and start playing, you will first notice that the majority of the bosses that you have to fight in the game have unfairly high health bars — so much so they are nearly impossible to defeat. Yet it's once you get past these challengers that things start to get real, when an 8-bit member of Daft Punk called Premium Funk appears as a final boss who is genuinely unbeatable. Once either Thomas or Guy-Man (we're not sure who it's supposed to be) has killed you, a message comes up reading, "Dying sucks right? But pirating indie games sucks much more! Please support us and buy Shooting Stars."

Noodlecake have said of the ploy, "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 as a fun marketing tactic." It might be fun for the developers, but the same probably can't be said for game players. Imagine if every time you got to that Toxic Power Plant level on Crash Bandicoot a member of Kraftwerk kept popping up and killing you, only to lecture you on illegally downloading episodes of the Sopranos. Or if halfway through a heated match on FIFA 14, Skrillex streaked across the pitch and started yelling at you for ripping that Justin Bieber song off Youtube.

Also, did anyone ask Daft Punk whether they wanted to be the pixellated face of an 8-bit campaign against 11 year olds? If we're going to start talking about the unfair use of images and artistic infringements, perhaps Noodlecake should have a long hard look into the front facing camera.

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