Videogame piracy is a real thing, nobody’s going to deny that. It’s prompted all sorts of draconian DRM that – in some cases – has broken more things than it’s fixed. But then there are the games that take a different approach to pirates, and Quantum Break’s is pretty great.
Simply put, if Quantum Break determines that you are using a pirated copy, main character Jack Joyce suddenly sports a skull ‘n’ crossbones-themed eyepatch, which cannot be removed. (A similar thing happened in Remedy’s previous game Alan Wake, if this seems familiar.)
With the game out for less than a week, it’s not clear if this eyepatch has any other impact on the game, or if Remedy has hidden any other piratical easter eggs in the code.
But! While it’s a bit cute, and seemingly harmless, it’s not necessarily working the way it’s supposed to. The game’s official FAQ acknowledges that if you start the game without being logged into the Windows Store, Joyce will also wear his nifty patch – without you doing anything actually wrong. (If that happens, then quit the game, log into the Windows Store and restart.)
Again, it’s not actually something that will impact on your game, unless you wanted to stream, take screenshots, or – y’know – not feel like you’re being punished for something. It does kinda break immersion… unless you see it as a badge of honour, in which case: Ahoy!