Piracy on the DS is a big problem for Nintendo as well as other developers, and if they can't beat the pirates, they might as well have some fun with them. If you're a software criminal, Ubisoft isn't making things smooth for you.
One thing about this year's World Cup tournament that people won't forget is the sound of the vuvuzela and Ubisoft is using the unmistakable noise to irritate and taunt gamers playing illegal copies of the Elite Beat Agents-esque Michael Jackson: The Experience on the DS. If gamers load up a ROM of the game, the in-game music is ruined by the over-powering buzz of the South African horn. Try to pause the game to save your ears from imploding and the game freezes up.
Speaking to Wired, a Ubisoft representative said:
The development team worked this feature in as a creative way to discourage any tampering with the retail version of the game.
Ubisoft is one of the big boys in the industry and can afford to implement such novel methods of anti-piracy, but what if you're a smaller independent studio with limited funds and manpower? Earlier this year, Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games spoke about the rampant piracy that developers have to deal with and his estimation of how widespread the issue has become is certainly eyebrow-raising. Let's see how successful Nintendo delivers those sophisticated anti-piracy measures it said it would with the upcoming 3DS.