The Russian-headquartered maker of the sometimes controversial StarForce copy protection system, which is used extensively in PC game titles such as Ubisoft's Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood
, Irrational's Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich
, and Namco's Namco Museum 50th Anniversary
, have announced a prize of $1,000 to any consumer who can prove that StarForce is adversely affecting their computer.
A full list of StarForce titles
is available on the third-party Similarities.org website, which explains the consumer claims against the copy protection system as follows: "Reports about destroyed CD ROM devices, unstable or slower-running Windows systems after installing a video game (even after it was removed!), and corrupted drivers as a possible result of StarForce, have made many computer gamers wary of this copy protection technology. There are also many reports from customers that say that StarForce-protected games refuse to work at all with various DVD/CD drives and notebooks."
However, StarForce owner company Protection Technology explains on a page on its official site
: "There have been a lot of rumors in the Internet concerning DVD/CD writers malfunction after installation and start-up of StarForce protected applications... In the past year our staff and many of our clients tried restlessly to reproduce the matter based on these rumors. Using our hardware collection we assembled systems alike, but such problems never took place."
The message ends: "Anyone who can reproduce and demonstrate the mentioned above problem with CD/DVD drive in our office will receive $1000.00 US... Please submit your applications before January 31 2006." It is unclear whether anyone has yet attempted to take up the firm on its offer.