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If lots of games used similar methodologies then people would slowly learn that "pirated game" == "buggy game". Wouldn't work unless lots of them did the same thing of course.

No, they don't have anything to compare it with. They'd never figure out that it's because stuff is pirated.

Exactly. It's even worse if you add the crippling behavior later on, i.e. in the upgrade from v1.2 to v1.3. All pirates notice is that the new version is really unstable.

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