Greenheart gamed Greenlight

Posted on September 29, 2013



The post is not at all timely, but this still irritates me. My last post on the subject was a bit disjointed and ranty, but should have at least pointed people to the truth. Yet I never heard from a single person who agreed. The closest to agreement I got was along the lines of, “they have behaved stupidly, but I doubt they had any ill intent.”

Poppycock. Greenheart fully intended to manipulate the media using a media darling scapegoat to drum up chitchat about their title and push it through Greenlight. And they fully succeeded.


  • Greenheart makes clone of iOS game dev “sim”.
  • Greenheart puts game on Greenlight, where it languishes largely unnoticed for several months.
  • Greenheart makes new version of game which includes ‘piracy’ causing unavoidable downfall of player’s sim game dev house.
  • Greenheart distributes new version of game to public for free via torrent seeded and maintained by Greenheart members and their friends. (They put the text ‘cracked and working’ in the torrent description because this ensures that only people searching for a legitimately illegitimate version of this unheard of game while twirling their waxed moustaches will download it. Of course, right?)
  • Players of this freely distributed new version of the game that was designed to be unwinnable complain that it seems to be unwinnable. They ask if there is any way around the ‘piracy’ in the game that makes it unwinnable.
  • Greenheart makes a disingenuous blog post detailing their above actions, yet brazenly calling the people who downloaded the freely distributed version of their game pirates of their game. They go on to whine about how they can’t make a living with so much supposed piracy, and to mock those they falsely branded pirates of their game.
  • “The media” somehow gets wind of this blog post, and for weeks various outlets post stories all misrepresenting events in a similar manner – the media stories all fail to distinguish between the two versions of the game, and paint events as clever developers foiling pirates with a game that uses simulated piracy to shut down pirated copies. (Boy, I bet every developer would like to know the magic code they used to let the game know which copies were pirate copies, eh?) Were they regurgitating a press release provided by Greenheart? Seems awfully likely.
  • All the publicity translates to ‘interest’ on Greenlight, and the game is quickly approved for sale on Steam.

So, again I say: arseholery. Greenheart, you are proper arseholes, I refuse to buy your products, and I sincerely hope anyone reading this follows suit.

Posted in: blogposts