Take On Helicopters' anti-piracy tech defended by devs

By Alice O'Connor, Nov 09, 2011 7:30am PST

Unsuspecting pirates playing Arma developer Bohemia's new chopper sim Take On Helicopters have found their vision turned watery, and not with tears of shame. Bohemia has explained it's all part of its anti-piracy scheme, saying developers have a responsibility "to the community that supports them" and to "try to protect their company's future."

Copies of Take On Helicopters detected as counterfeit by the FADE technology will only give "a small taste" of the game before it begins to "degrade" in ways including developing a water-distorted view.

Bohemia draws attention to one such player on its forums, whose request for help was answered by company CEO Marek Spanel, requesting the player's proof-of-purchase and CD key and kindly offering to "personally look at your problem."

One pirate's problem in Take On Helicopters

Bohemia has since released an official statement explaining its stance on "antipiracy countermeasures."

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. 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.

Bohemia has tinkered with cunningly degrading copied copies since 2001's Operation Flashpoint, powered by the FADE copy protection scheme, where weapons would become less accurate and powerful, and performance would decrease.

Batman: Arkham Asylum famously had similar ideas, rendering the Dark Knight unable to glide across a room filled with poison gas if the game was pirated. "It's not a bug in the game's code, it's a bug in your moral code," community manager Keir Edmonds quipped.

However, Bohemia does quietly acknowledge some pirates' justification that they want "to test it before buying," saying that a Take On Helicopters demo is "in the development pipeline."

As ever, the dance between developers and crackers goes on, with some claiming to have already bypassed the FADE in Take On Helicopters.

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