Today Oct 25 2005 I received a very LONG distant phone call from Aaron McKenna, the gentleman that did the article on Starforce Copy Protection. Seen here:
He called all the way from Ireland to the heartland of the USA.
He is a very nice gentleman and we spoke about many things in regards to the gamming community. Aaron told me he wrote Dennis at Starforce after the Starforce article was posted here:
Aaron has given me permission to post an email that he sent to Dennis Zhidkov of Starforce. Dennis is the man that posted the article that upset many in the gamming community that I referred to in this post at the beginning. I found Aaron McKinna's response to be very much the feeling of some of us that read the Starforce article that Mr. Zhidkov posted on Starforce's web site.
Aaron sent Dennis the following email. Which again I have been given permission to post this day OCT 25th 2005 by Mr. McKenna:
Dear Mr. Zhidkov,
Aaron McKenna here - I was the author of the piece to which you refer, and I find some interesting points of discussion in your letter.
First off, allow me to introduce myself. I am not, as you perhaps seem to be inclined to believe, a videogame pirate. I am a journalist who, at the time of writing that, was also working for such publications as PC Format, PC Gamer (UK) and the Games Developer Magazine.
I think, Mr. Zhidkov that you have misinterpreted much of that which I have said. In the opening paragraph, referring to Doom III, I was pointing out the ineptitude of copy protection measures on the game and the impact
which this can have on the videogaming industry. I would point out to you that a similar opinion piece at the time can be found in PC Gamer UK, which is a much respected videogames magazine.
In terms of "delighting" in pirates successes, I think that you again misinterpret me. The point of my article from beginning to end was to point out the damage which piracy is doing to the videogaming industry, the
currently and previously ineffective methods used by videogame publishers to protect what, as you rightly say, is theirs and the increasingly militant copy-protection systems which they are, understandably to a degree, now introducing.
I would not ask for your company PR line on the reliability of StarForce (among other systems), or its interference with machines. As I say, I have worked in the videogames industry as a journalist for quite some time, dealing with videogames on a daily basis for review. Myself and my peers have come across many games with StarForce, among other systems, installed and as much as one or two problems might be considered circumstantial evidence against the system, consistent and regular problems following the same patterns I would view as concrete beyond reasonable doubt.
The problems which myself and my peers have experienced on a variety of platforms across a variety of games and over a lengthy period of time whilst using your system cannot be put down to "ghosts".
I appreciate however that as a member of the company which produces this software you won't be joining myself or my peers in condemning it any time soon.
The biggest irony with such systems that I have found is that they fail, in the most part, to do their job. You and I both know that the aim of any protection software is to delay pirates for the critical first few weeks of the games time on shelves. It would be technically unfeasible to prevent totally and permanently any "cracking" of the software, but we are content with holding the pirates at bay for a time.
The problem with systems such as the one produced by your company is that it doesn't do this - Silent Hunter III for example, from Ubisoft, came with StarForce and yet the game was cracked and available for download by pirates around the same time as the game was reaching retail outlets.
The most ironic thing of all in this is that games that are cracked come without the software which causes so many problems.
The one thing I would ask of your company and others is that you stop putting your hands over your ears and refusing to listen to those experiencing these problems, and admit that StarForce is a faulty copy protection system. Whatever you may say about the quality of your system, thousands of forum posts from average users and the experiences of professionals who deal with videogames, computers and StarForce on a regular basis cannot be totally written off as folly.
Thank you for your time and your letter,
Thank you for your response!
I respect your opinion.