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Game Groups > Games with game altering copy protection

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 Pok√©mon 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.

Limitations

  • 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

Related Groups

58 Games

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Title Platforms Released
box cover thumbnail Alan Wake Windows, Windows Apps 2012
box cover thumbnail Alpha Protocol Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, OnLive, PlayStation Now 2010
box cover thumbnail Alternate Reality: The Dungeon Commodore 64, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, iPhone, iPad 1987
box cover thumbnail Arma II Windows 2009
box cover thumbnail Arma III Windows 2013
box cover thumbnail Batman: Arkham Asylum Windows, Xbox 360, Macintosh, PlayStation 3 2009
box cover thumbnail Bomberman DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, TurboGrafx-16, Sharp X68000 1990
box cover thumbnail Bucky O'Hare NES 1992
box cover thumbnail Command & Conquer: Generals Windows, Macintosh 2003
box cover thumbnail Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 Windows 2000
box cover thumbnail Crysis 3 Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 2013
box cover thumbnail Crysis: Warhead Windows 2008
box cover thumbnail Darkstar One Windows, Xbox 360, OnLive 2006
box cover thumbnail Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride Nintendo DS, iPhone, Android, iPad 2008
box cover thumbnail EarthBound SNES, Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch 1994
box cover thumbnail Fast Food Tycoon Windows 1999
box cover thumbnail Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles - Ring of Fates Nintendo DS 2007
box cover thumbnail Five Nights at Freddy's Windows, iPhone, Android, iPad, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Windows Apps, Windows Phone, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 2014
box cover thumbnail Game Dev Tycoon Windows, iPhone, Android, iPad, Windows Apps, Nintendo Switch, Linux, Macintosh 2012
box cover thumbnail Garry's Mod Windows, Macintosh, Linux 2006
box cover thumbnail Grand Theft Auto IV Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 2008
box cover thumbnail Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 2009
box cover thumbnail Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Windows, PlayStation 2, Macintosh, PlayStation 3, iPhone, Android, iPad, PlayStation 4 2002
box cover thumbnail Gyakuten Kenji 2 Nintendo DS, iPad, Android, iPhone 2011
box cover thumbnail Hook DOS, Amiga, Atari ST 1992
box cover thumbnail IndyCar Series Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox 2003
box cover thumbnail Just Shapes & Beats Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Macintosh, Linux, Xbox One, Stadia, Xbox Series 2018
box cover thumbnail Kirby's Dream Course SNES, Wii, Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch 1994
box cover thumbnail La Abadía del Crimen DOS, ZX Spectrum, MSX, Amstrad CPC 1987
box cover thumbnail Mass Effect Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One 2007
box cover thumbnail Merchant Prince DOS 1993
box cover thumbnail Michael Jackson: The Experience Nintendo DS 2010
box cover thumbnail Mirror's Edge Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 2008
box cover thumbnail Never Mind DOS, Amiga, Atari ST 1989
box cover thumbnail Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis Windows 2001
box cover thumbnail Overlord Windows, Xbox 360 2007
box cover thumbnail Pokémon Black Version Nintendo DS 2010
box cover thumbnail Pokémon Black Version 2 Nintendo DS 2012
box cover thumbnail Pokémon HeartGold Version Nintendo DS 2009
box cover thumbnail Pokémon SoulSilver Version Nintendo DS 2009
box cover thumbnail Pokémon White Version Nintendo DS 2010
box cover thumbnail Pokémon White Version 2 Nintendo DS 2012
box cover thumbnail Postal Windows, Macintosh, Android 1997
box cover thumbnail Puggsy Genesis, Amiga, SEGA CD 1993
box cover thumbnail Sacred Windows 2004
box cover thumbnail Serious Sam 3: BFE Linux, Windows, Xbox 360, Macintosh, PlayStation 3 2011
box cover thumbnail Sid Meier's Civilization DOS, Windows 3.x, SNES, Amiga, Atari ST, Macintosh, PC-98, PlayStation, SEGA Saturn 1991
box cover thumbnail Sid Meier's Pirates! DOS, PC Booter, Amiga, NES, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Apple II, Apple IIgs, Amstrad CPC, Macintosh, PC-88, PC-98 1987
box cover thumbnail Spyro: Year of the Dragon PlayStation, PSP, PlayStation 3 2000
box cover thumbnail Stars! Windows, Windows 3.x 1995

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