Slowly, the player's in-game funds will dwindle, and every new game that they create has a high chance to be pirated until they eventually go bankrupt. There is no way to fight it, in an ironic twist, players of the cracked version of the game are doomed to constant failure due to rampant piracy.
But even more hilarious are the pleas for help that the pirates have posted on the official forums, not knowing that they have unwittingly outed themselves as pirates.
This is kind of an awesome way of educating people about a real problem.
As you might have guessed from the last essay, I am not a fan of technical measures which prevent players from copying or transferring ownership of their games, especially ones which lock them to one store for the rest of their lives. I don't feel that they should be legal, and the Court of Justice of the European Union apparently agrees.
I personally think the best solution to "piracy" (a word which trivializes actual attacks by pirates at sea) is to make buying games more convenient than not doing so. A lot of it seems to have appeared in the first place in response to barriers to distribution, such as Google Play (formerly the Android Market) rolling out paid apps very slowly in different countries. By the time they get there, the "pirates" are already entrenched, sort of like the anime scene in the States. And creators treat them like enemies by default.
At any rate, I'm not sure how I feel about the current game and "digital content" market to begin with. At the very least, there should be some equivalent to the public library system, so that people who don't have a lot of money (or expensive game consoles to play things on) can still experience our shared cultural heritage.
Right now, everyone only seems to be thinking of ways to solve the problems of a) extremely rich "intellectual property" "owners" and b) middle-class "consumers." Independent creators and developers have been convinced that their interests lay with one or both of those groups, even though the system is not designed to benefit them at all. I'm not sure what solidarity would look like in this situation, but I don't feel that it exists right now.
Edit: One of Game Dev Tycoon's developers describes the experiment from their perspective here.
I think it was an interesting experiment in trying to create empathy, but I'm not sure it went far enough.