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Introversion disrupts P2P

Says it's the best way.

In a refreshing take on the battle against software piracy, developer Introversion has revealed that it 'causes mayhem' on peer-to-peer networks to exasperate pirates and downloaders who plan to play illegal copies of its games.

Speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz in an interview to be published next week, the developer talks candidly about its methods of disrupting piracy by subverting and polluting peer-to-peer networks.

"You can't stop peer-to-peer file sharing, so the best route to combat it is to subvert it," revealed Tom Arundel, sales and marketing director at Introversion.

"We will release a version of our game that looks like it's been hacked at the same time as a pirated version gets out," he said.

"Our version looks like the real game, but is in fact a demo. After the third time of downloading the demo, the P2P user will be very, very frustrated, and will do one of two things - give up or buy the game from us. We subverted the Bit Torrent network for Darwinia very successfully this way," he revealed.

Arundel believes that trying to stop piracy and peer-to-peer sharing is a failed fight. "Rather than attack the cause, it's better to attack the symptoms," he said.

"The key is to make it difficult enough or risky enough for those who would pay, to buy a legitimate copy."

Arundel is also aware that agitating the illegal user does no harm in terms of marketing, stating, "You can cause mayhem on P2P networks. It's quite fun really and it gets a lot of people talking about your products also."

Introversion's new title, DEFCON, is due for release next month. GamesIndustry.biz will be publishing the full interview with Arundel early next week.