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Take On Helicopters hides smart anti-piracy tech

Freeloader busted by ArmA dev CEO.

ArmA developer Bohemia Interactive has included some impressive anti-piracy measures in its new flight sim Take On Helicopters.

Users running an illicit copy of the game will find that its visuals degrade and blur as it's played.

One such player complained of the issue on the game's official forum earlier this week, posting a screen grab (reproduced below) and asking Bohemia for advice on how to fix the problem. He was duly asked to email proof of purchase by CEO Marek Spanel, and then banned.

Spanel told Eurogamer that the effect is one of a number of tricks implemented by the studio to see off freeloaders.

"Bohemia Interactive deploys various anti-piracy countermeasures in its titles and the morphed image degradation reported by some users is one of the symptoms of these," he explained.

"The original version of Take On Helicopters does not suffer from this degradation of visual quality."

He added that piracy is a "big problem" for independent PC developers such as itself and that it is "trying to focus our support as much as possible towards users of the legitimate copies."

"We have a free public demo version of Take On Helicopters in the development pipeline for those that prefer to test it before buying."

The anti-piracy tech is likely an evolution of the FADE system first seen in Bohemia's Operation Flashpoint FPS back in 2001.

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About the Author
Fred Dutton avatar

Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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