Square Enix thanks pirates for playing FFCC

Mere hours after Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates hit store shelves today, pirated copies of the game appeared in the shady corners of the internet, posted for all the picaroons out there to download and transfer to their flashcarts.

Twenty minutes or so into the ARPG, however, many of those pirates found themselves greeted with this "Thank you for playing!!" screen and unable to progress. Players have the option of restarting the game from the last save point and playing on, but the screen reappears at random intervals. Clever!

Why not lock pirates out before even loading up the game, you ask? Well, this way, they can try out Ring of Fates, eventually reforming their criminal ways and buying it if they find the experience enjoyable. Also, anyone dumping the game for distribution wouldn't notice this bit of programming unless they played a significant portion of it first.

Though this method isn't 100% effective, as some brands of carts are unaffected and hackers will likely find a workaround by day's end, it's certainly cute! Pirates should feel thankful that this isn't even half as malicious as Earthbound's anti-piracy measures.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.