Developer RedLynx employed this strategy when trying to make a foothold in the piracy-riddled PC gaming market when it released its motorbike platformer, Trials, last year. However, the method of this "release" were unconventional, to say the least: The studio actually beat PC pirates to the punch, and uploaded its own game to a number of popular torrent sites.
The version the developer distributed was missing one key feature, however: Leaderboard support. According to RedLynx CEO Tero Virtala, who spoke on the bizarre distribution model at the Develop Liverpool conference, "leaderboards are the soul of the game." He hoped that pirates would fall in love with the leaderboard-less version of the game, then purchase the full version so they could compete with their law-abiding friends.
Virtala admitted that he has no way of knowing how successful that strategy was, but we applaud the studio's unbridled chutzpah nonetheless.