Pirated Copies of Leisure Suit Larry Contain Virus

By Nancy Grimsley

Who of us, growing up, hasn't heard the words, "Crime does not pay." Often spoken in jest and embroidered with impressive vocal dramatics, there is still plenty of truth in the saying. In the computer world, the growing problem with the "computer virus" phenomenon is giving new meaning to the phrase when it is applied to pirated copies of software.

Sierra On-Line has been hearing from users around the world that pirated copies of Leisure Suit Larry are infected. And before I go further, I would like to interject Sierra's absolute assurance to our customers that software leaving our plant does NOT contain the virus. Buying original copies of software from a reputable dealer is the consumer's best protection from any virus.


A customer in the Netherlands wrote:

… The game Leisure Suit Larry is quite famous here in the Netherlands… Some civil servants in the Dutch government played this game illegally on the government network. This game, however, concealed a virus, which, upon reaching the high score, deleted the whole financial administration. That day LL became headline news here. But that was their own fault, they should have bought an original version of the game…


Another customer from Austria said:

"My wife and I enjoy playing your games. Here, in Austria, we have King's Quest II through IV, with Leisure Suit Larry II stuck in Customs. We'd like to buy more of your games, including the original Leisure Suit Larry. However, we're rather disturbed by reports we've heard from Vienna, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S.A. about Larry containing a virus that destroyed all data on all disks in the machines it's running on. Can you assure me that no original copy of Leisure Suit Larry 1 is infected and that none of your products contain any damaging (or potentially damaging) code when they are first packaged? The latest game to arrive is KQIV. We've barely spent an hour with it, so far, but are extremely impressed by the superb quality of the graphics — as well as with the many ease-of-use enhancements and the improved level of complexity. It's really excellent."


Among several newspaper articles on the topic from the United Kingdom are the following from New Accountant and Financial Times.


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