Garry's Mod error catches 2,500 pirates in 15 hours

Written by Joe Martin

April 13, 2011 // 7:45 p.m.

Tags: #drm #facepunch #garrys-mod #garrys-mod-error #gmod #indie #piracy #source-engine #steam #unable-to-shade-polygon-normals

The deliberate error introduced into Garry's Mod 10 earlier today as part of an effort to identify and catch pirates has already helped developer Garry Newman unmask over 2,500 pirates, Bit-Gamer has learned.

The error in question only affects pirated versions of the game, creating an error that says 'Unable to shade polygon normals'. The error also contains the SteamID of pirates, so they can then be identified when they ask for a solution online.

Speaking to Bit-Gamer earlier today, Garry's Mod's eponymous developer revealed that he had identified 2,500 pirates in just the 15 hours since the error went live. Garry's Mod is currently priced at £6, meaning 2,500 pirates is equal to £15,000 in potential lost sales.

'I don't really look at it as lost revenue though, Garry told Bit-Gamer.

'It's cool. I've pirated as much as anyone,' he added. 'I owned an Amiga. Did anyone actually buy games for that thing?'

Writing on the Garry's Mod blog earlier today, Garry explained that he rolled the error out not as an anti-piracy measure, but as a reward for those who'd already bought Garry's Mod.

'It isn’t meant to be some super DRM. Any DRM you come up with is going to be cracked, so why bother trying to make it hard to crack? Making it uncrackable isn’t the motive here – laughing at them is.'

'I did this for the people that did buy Garry’s Mod. They get to point and laugh at pirates. If we leave it easy for people to pirate we’re betraying the people that paid. The legit users need to see you taking steps to make it harder for pirates or they just end up feeling like they should have saved their money and pirated too.'

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