Join our Discord to chat with fellow friendly gamers and our knowledgeable contributors!

Games with game altering copy protection

Group Description

Games that use forms of copy protection where if the game detects that it is a pirated copy, some aspect of the game is changed. This is done to discourage piracy in such a way that is not initially detectable by the pirater. In some cases the game may still be completable by the player, but in others completing the game will be impossible. This can be done in multiple ways:
  • Include messages asking the player to buy the full version, without otherwise hindering game (usually done by developers who aren't particularly bothered if there game is pirated). An example of this is the PC version of Alan Wake, which replaces the loading screen tips with messages telling the player to buy the game, and also gives the player character an eyepatch.
  • Disabling certain abilities that the player would usually have access to. Examples of this include: Batman: Arkham Asylum, which disables Batman's glide ability; and Pokémon Black & White and their sequels, which disable experience gain.
  • Significantly increasing the game's difficulty.
  • Make it impossible for the player to reach the game's normal intended conclusion. An example of this is Earthbound, which will cause enemies to appear more often, and if the player manages to get all the way to the game's final boss the game will freeze and wipe the player's save data.

  • This game group is specifically for games that contain this type of copy protection built into the version of the game that is officially sold. Games where the developer themselves uploaded modified pirate copies to popular game piracy websites (such as Game Dev Tycoon & No Time to Explain) should not be included.

Related Game Groups
Viewing Page 1 of 3 (items 1-25 of 53) Next
Game Titlesorted in descending orderYearPlatformPublisherUser Score
Just Shapes & Beats2018Linux, Macintosh, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, WindowsBerzerk Studio Inc....
Five Nights at Freddy's2014Android, iPad, iPhone, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox OneClickteam SARL2.02
ArmA III2013WindowsBohemia Interactive Studio s.r.o....
Crysis 32013PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360Electronic Arts, Inc.3.49
Alan Wake2012WindowsCenega Poland Sp. z o.o.4.04
Pokémon Black Version 22012Nintendo DSNintendo of America Inc....
Pokémon White Version 22012Nintendo DSNintendo of America Inc.3.75
Gyakuten Kenji 22011Android, iPad, iPhone, Nintendo DSCapcom Co., Ltd....
Take On Helicopters2011WindowsBohemia Interactive Studio s.r.o....
Serious Sam 3: BFE2011Linux, Macintosh, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 3601C-SoftClub4.16
Alpha Protocol2010OnLive, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360SEGA of America, Inc.3.55
Michael Jackson: The Experience2010Nintendo DSUbisoft, Inc....
Pokémon White Version2010Nintendo DSNintendo of America Inc.3.74
Pokémon Black Version2010Nintendo DSNintendo of America Inc.3.51
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks2009Nintendo DS, Wii UNintendo of America Inc.3.96
Batman: Arkham Asylum2009Macintosh, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360Eidos, Inc.4.19
Pokémon SoulSilver Version2009Nintendo DSNintendo of America Inc.4.35
Pokémon HeartGold Version2009Nintendo DSNintendo of America Inc.4.33
ArmA II2009WindowsGot Game Entertainment, LLC3.20
Mirror's Edge2008PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360Electronic Arts, Inc.3.97
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride2008Android, iPad, iPhone, Nintendo DSSquare Enix, Inc.3.70
Grand Theft Auto IV2008PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360Rockstar Games, Inc.3.81
Overlord2007Windows, Xbox 360Codemasters Software Company Limited, The3.73
Crysis2007PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360Electronic Arts, Inc.3.95
Mass Effect2007Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox OneElectronic Arts, Inc.4.03
Goto Page: 1 | 2 | 3

Selected Covers

Five Nights at Freddy's iPad Front Cover
Front cover for Five Nights at Freddy's
Overlord Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Overlord

Selected Screenshots

Title and main menu (demo version)
Screenshot from Five Nights at Freddy's
Loading screen with a dancing minion
Screenshot from Overlord
Game group created by firefang9212 (66835), additional games added to group by Plokite_Wolf (31615) and Pseudo_Intellectual (62499)