27 May 2006

Fiasco: Stardock vs StarForce

Read something disgusting...

[Excerpt from CGW, June issue, page 89]
...Stardock's attitude towards its customers and the availability of updates provides a bizarre side note to the game's release. Galactic Civilizations II, like its predecessor, ships without copy protection. If you want to install it on your home machine and laptop, go ahead. If you want to take that laptop on the road and leave the CD at home, feel free. The game comes with a serial number, but it's totally optional and only used to register the game for updates. So far, so good. And the game's sales success suggested it wasn't being hurt by ease of piracy.
That directly contradicts the business model of companies like StarForce, which operate on the premise that copy protection helps sales by reducing piracy. Still, that doesn't explain why a moderator on the official StarForce forums responded to a thread about the protection-free sales success of Galactic Civilizations II with a link to a website that made the game available illegally. It seemed spiteful and petty, effectively illustrating the polarized attitudes in the digital-rights debate. Fortunately, the forum link disappeared after a query from Stardock and a similar e-mail to the offending download site resulted in the game's removal within hours...
/Bruce Geryk
p.s. The article was corrected for grammar mistakes but I left it in American English, as noted by the 'z' in words like Civilizations.

Perhaps this was an unilateral action by her moderator but StarForce showed herself as a pretty nasty company. When some technical sites claimed that her copy protection software was the cause of system slowdowns and crashes, StarForce threatened them, forcing them to back down. The gaming community knew better and got wary of buying games that utilised StarForce.
On a joyous note, Ubisoft announced that it will no longer use StarForce.

Ubisoft officially dumps StarForce, by Gamespot
Boycott StarForce, by glop.org

Friends, please check if you have StarForce installed and remove it. That means you too, Morgaga. It came to you via "Freedom Force: The 3rd Reich"
Games that use StarForce, by Similarities.org

Meaning I'm infected too...


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