Source - press release
Codemasters have announced that the eagerly anticipated Cold War action game Operation Flashpoint will feature the novel FADE anti-piracy system when it is released in Europe later this month. Inspired by the bizarre system they implemented in LMA Manager 2001 on the PlayStation earlier this year, FADE doesn't stop people from playing pirated games, but instead gradually degrades the gameplay the more you play it if the game detects that you have a counterfeit copy, presumably in the hope that you will become so pissed off with it that you go out and buy a legitimate copy.
"We continue to act against the trade of counterfeiting software with new and innovative systems", announced Codemasters' John Hemingway. "In addition to protection that attempts to prevent illegal duplication, we are building Operation Flashpoint to include FADE as a second level deterrent, and I am confident we shall see this effort reflected in the additional sales performance of the game."
It has to be said that we're rather sceptical about this, but then judging from the pre-release code we've played over the last few months Operation Flashpoint should sell well regardless of any gimmicky anti-piracy systems Codemasters include on the disc. It's hard to see how it will discourage professional pirates either, as the game should at least work when they sell you a dodgy copy, and by the time you realise that it's no longer functioning properly they will have packed up their market stall and moved on. Surely it would make more sense to just disable the game entirely as soon as you load it up for the first time if it detects you have a pirated version?