Ubisoft drops StarForce copy protection, more to come?
Sciere (205121), Apr 13, 2006
On Ubisoft's Heroes of Might & Magic V forum, a community manager announced that the company has decided to no longer incorporate the dubious StarForce copy protection in its products. StarForce has been under a lot of pressure lately, with customers complaining about corrupted disc drives and unstable systems. The software even stays present after uninstalling the game, and is hard to remove.
StarForce is going through a rough time. Recently, when Galactic Civilizations II was released and topped the American charts, without relying on copy protection, a StarForce administrator posted a torrent link to an illegal version of the game on the company's forum, with the message: Right now several thousands are downloading the pirated version from that web-site. Is it good for the sales? Unlikely. [sic] Good game surely would have the high sales rate even if it doesn't have any copy protection, but not because of that. Good protection is the tool, which increases the rate. The offending post was soon removed, but this move raged gamers worldwide, accusing StarForce of relying on mafia-style blackmail activities to run its business.
Ubisoft's move does not imply, however, that copy protection will disappear. Other, and hopefully less intrusive systems will be used. One of the reasons leading to this sudden move is probably the $5M class action suit Christopher Spence filed against Ubisoft for using Starforce DRM in their games.
(Edited by Aaron A. (56), Apr 13, 2006)Re: Ubisoft drops StarForce copy pr...
Aaron A. (56), Apr 13, 2006
Sure it hurts sales to have no copy protection, but it also brands you as a Capitalist in my book, and I've hated Ubisoft because of it. If it weren't for some Tom Clancey titles I wouldn't even play Ubisoft's media.
I'm happy to see them drop Starforce. I can't stand that protection and will rarely buy or play a game that requires it unless I can use software to crack a legitimate copy of the game so that it doesn't use the Starforce. That's not a likely thing to have happen, so I just don't play those games at all.
Starforce really isn't the end all of copy protection. It *can* be cracked and even the virtual drives are working toward bypassing the SCSI block that Starforce uses to prevent the use of virtual drives if your CD/DVD drive are physically connected.
So why annoy your customers with using that protection? Just stick to good protections that aren't going to mess with people's computers. Any copy protection can be cracked given enough time to figure it out. So just use something that customers won't hate and accept that your software will eventually be illegally cracked and downloaded.
I don't support pirating, but it will happen, so I'm just being realistic... don't annoy your customers and accept that it's going to happen no matter what you do. Btw, GC2 is a great game and I loved to not have to type in a long serial number or reboot my computer just to play the game. :)