Publishers weigh in on Starforce

Aspyr apologizes for inconveniences related to program while Galactic Civilizations II's Aussie publisher backs up decision to go without copy protection.

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords

Earlier this week, Starforce Technologies, the makers of Starforce copy-protection software, apologized to the developers of Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords for one of its forum moderators linking users to a site where they could pirate the game. The story still wasn't over with, as a pair of publishers have since weighed in on the matter.

Auran, the Australian publishing partner of Dread Lords developer Stardock Systems, contacted GameSpot with the following statement:

"With the full support of the developers, Auran is publishing this game with NO COPY PROTECTION [emphasis theirs], instead relying on a quality product that provides registered users with frequent updates, additional features and outstanding support to create a best-seller."

That was followed by news that Aspyr Media was going to pass on Starforce for its upcoming release of Spellforce 2, even though it had used the program in the demo version of the game.

"Aspyr Media is responsible for publishing the North American release of Spellforce 2," an Aspyr representative said. "We wanted everyone to know that Starforce will *not* [again, emphasis theirs] be included in the retail release of this game. Starforce is being used in the demo in cooperation with the European publishers of the title, JoWood Productions. This is to help prevent reverse engineering that could lead to our product being put up on illegal software networks. We apologize for any inconveniences Starforce may have caused and would again like to reassure everyone that we have chosen alternative copy protection software for our final release product."

Currently the only copy protection in Dread Lords is a serial number that must be entered in order to download content updates from Stardock. The company expects the first such update to release at the end of the month.

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