Digital pirates: To their supporters, they represent a broadside against the corporate machine, whose virtual monopoly on "hardcore" gaming ensures that these self-important swine can charge sixty dollars for the latest low-quality, high pixel count bit of fluff - lining their pockets all the way - grinning a toothy grin at that suckers who keep feeding at the trough. To their detractors, pirates are the bottom-feeding scum of e-society. A pack of cyber-anarchists who have no regard for private property, seeming perfectly content to sap the paychecks of designers, artists, writers, and so on - passing along the cost to the consumer with smug indifference - like the first-rate jerks they are.
Whatever one's position on the issues - and all wanton generalizations aside - piracy will always exist, so long as the delicious fruit that is "free" hangs just over the mouths of hungry consumers. Chances are most of us have downloaded music, movies, and the like; as such, it's a bit difficult to get tremendously self-righteous about online piracy. So what is the solution to online scoundrels - those swarthy dogs boarding the U.S.S. Capitalism (she's a proud and sturdy vessel) in search of free booty? You could go the RIAA route, capriciously suing Joe and Jane Nobody into submission, like some kind of fascist hive-mind. You could take a page from of Arkham Asylum, creating a glitch that would only affect pirated copies, thus rendering the game unbeatable, but not before wasting hours of the offending player's time. This is by far my favorite approach: It's clever, funny and, more importantly, didn't make the company look petty and vindictive. It does, however, lack a certain "je ne sais quoi." For the more cretinous among you, that's French for "Giant red scorpion with an insatiable lust for murder." Indeed, those who acquire an illicit copy of Serious Sam 3 BFE will be faced with not just the arachnid menace, but one that has super speed and invincibility and, to add insult to injury, stalks the player for the entire game.
Serious Sam 3 BFE: Now with 100% more scorpions.