In the ongoing effort by developers and publishers to fight and discourage against video game piracy, some developers have taken it upon themselves to implement features in their games that would only trigger if the DRM in place detects that the copy of the game being played is a pirated version. These features don't necessarily make it impossible to start playing the game, but at some point, the game will be rendered into an unplayable state, making completion impossible until these particular security features are bypassed or disabled
The SNES title EarthBound first checks many technical aspects of the game at start-up in order to determine the authenticity of the copy. If the copy isn't legitimate, the game will display an anti-piracy message but will not prevent players from proceeding into the game. However, many of the game's variables become altered from the norm; for example, the number of enemies that the player encounters is vastly increased. However, the most notable feature of this early anti-piracy program was that if the game was unauthorized, it was programmed to deliberately crash during the final boss fight, but not before erasing all save data, wasting dozens of hours of the player's time.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
The PC version of Batman: Arkham Asylum had no traditional form of copy protection. Pirated copies of the game play perfectly except for one crucial feature. Batman's cape-glide ability was disabled, making the game impossible to complete and leaving those who pirated the game jumping helplessly into a room full of poison gas.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 had a feature in its DRM that would blow up the player's bases and units 30 seconds after starting a game. However, this also happened to many people who had legitimately purchased the game.
Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis
Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis had a very sneaky way of punishing pirates. The game code itself had fake errors that would be cleaned up by CD copiers, that would be detected by the game itself. If the fake errors were cleaned up, the game would work normally, but would gradually weaken the player as they progressed through the game. Guns became less accurate, the player took more damage, and enemies took much less damage.
Michael Jackson: The Experience
Playing off of the pop culture popularity of vuvuzelas that arose from their annoying, intrusive, and constant presence at the FIFA World Cup in 2010, the developers of the Nintendo DS version of Michael Jackson: The Experience incorporated an authorization check into the game's start-up. If it failed this authorization check, then the sound of vuvuzelas would play loudly over all the in-game Michael Jackson music, defeating the entire purpose of a Michael Jackson video game.