Yesterday, I received an e-mail from CDV's press machine informing me that the English language demo of the upcoming "Night Watch" PC game had been released. Being a fan of the film and having known about the game for a while, I was excited to know that I would finally be able to check it out. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make time for that till tonight and I'm writing this now to tell you that I still haven't played it. After downloading, installing and then running the demo I was greeted with: "To launch this application, you need to install additional libraries on your computer." Strange. I just finished the install why didn't it just install everything. It was then I noticed that the window that was telling me it need to install libraries was titled "Protection System (Pro)". After checking out the directory I installed the demo into I noticed that there was indeed an a file called 'protect.exe'.
So I loaded up Sysinternals FileMon and RegMon to get a better look at what was going on and it was just as I thought: StarForce! > protect.exe:2657. OpenKe. HKCU\Software\Protection Technology\StarForce Runtime NOT FOUND
That's right, CDV released the demo of a new game with copy protection. Not only that but, they used a copy protection scheme that has been the focus of several recent debates and lawsuit threats. CDV themselves say they are moving away from StarForce protection in future releases but this one seems to have slipped by. I sent an e-mail over to Mario Kroll (Director of Marketing and PR for CDV North America) asking about the release and if we can expect a "clean" version sometime in the future. I'll be sure to pass the word along once I hear from him.