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This is how you do DRM

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I’ve been pretty vocal about my dislike for intrusive, draconian Digital Rights Management. Though I understand and agree with the need for publishers and developers to protect their work, the problem is that DRM doesn’t  stop piracy one bit, and instead becomes an annoying encumbrance to legitimate purchasers, who have to dance around ridiculous DRM systems just to get their bought games to work properly.

When DRM does this sort of thing though, I’m all for it.

Why does my game look “blurry like I’m under water sometimes,” asked a poster on the Take On Helicopters forums run by developers Bohemia Interactive, even providing a screenshot of his graphical troubles. Turns out he’d just been trolled by the developers, because that’s what FADE, the game’s copy-protection system does when it discovers a pirated copy. BUSTED!

In an email sent by the company highlighting the “issue,” they said “One of the aspects of developing any game in this modern age is how to protect it, it’s widely known that as soon as any game is released there are those who are looking to download it for free, who for whatever reason feel that their right is to not pay for something despite all the thousands of hours that have gone into its development,” said Bohemia in the statement.”

“Obviously game developers have a responsibility to themselves to try to protect their company’s future, but also a responsibility to the community that supports them by buying their titles, no gamer who has spent their hard earned money to buy a game wants to be playing MP against others who didn’t buy their game, no addon maker wants to have things they created over countless hours downloaded and used by people who didn’t buy the game it’s intended for.”

“That is why we try to come up with unique and irrefutable ways to stop people from playing our games without paying for them, that’s why Take On Helicopters shipped with our unique antipiracy countermeasures.”

“Piracy is a big problem for Bohemia Interactive, as an independent PC developer, and we’re trying to focus our support as much as possible towards users of legitimate copies,” Bohemia continued in their e-mail statement.

“Counterfeit copies of our games may degrade and, moral aspects aside, we certainly recommend only playing the original version. We have a free public demo version of Take On Helicopters in the development pipeline for those that prefer to test it before buying.”

The PC version of Arkham Asylum did something similar, by imping the Caped Crusader’s ability to glide, providing quite a few chuckles on that game’s official forums as well.

Last Updated: November 10, 2011

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