Steam IDs published in-game
The creator of Garry’s Mod has modified the game so that pirated editions expose the identity of those who have illicitly downloaded and instilled the title.
The Half-Life sandbox physics tool, sold for $9.99, features a line of code that displays error messages in the game. Attached to those messages is each user’s own individual Steam ID code.
Comparing those codes to an ID list of users who had lawfully downloaded the game, the developer was able to identify those presumed to have pirated the title.
According to a report on games site Gamepron, those who were identified from pirating the game had been banned from accessing it through Steam, and had also found themselves banned from official community forums.
Over 30 million customers buy and play games through Steam, Valve’s digital games portal. Steam controls as much as 70 per cent of the $4 billion digital PC games market, according to independent data.
Garry’s Mod, built and maintained by Facepunch Studios, was first released in 2004 and has been commercially available through Steam since 2006.