Square Enix’s cute and clever “thanks for playing” screen in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates has sparked some interesting discussion about other anti-piracy measures. It’s “officially” unknown if Square Enix developed a new method to thwart pirates, but after twenty or so minutes unofficial copies of the game halt play. Nowadays software pirates get a puffball moogle and (essentially) an illegal demo. Years ago copied games didn’t leave pirates with a positive note.
Earthbound is known to be particularly cruel. Illegal copies bombard players with extra enemies and, at key points in the game, wipe out saved data. Starmen.net has an in depth article about the lengths Nintendo went to cripple Ness’ adventure for pirates including this video below. Watch as all the saved files are erased moments before completing Earthbound.
Are there any other creative anti-piracy methods you are aware of?