Codemasters are taking their war against software pirates a step further, with the launch of FADE - a unique PC-based piracy protection system that can degrade gameplay if a counterfeit copy of the game is identified as being played.

The system will be used in Operation Flashpoint, and will feature embedded coding that can recognise the difference between counterfeit and real copies of the game's CD.

When a pirated CD is identified by the system, the game automatically disables key gaming features and instigates a number of subtle changes that adversely effect gameplay - over a period of time, the game gradually self-modifies and degrades elements of play to a point where the game is no longer playable.

The use of FADE will be displayed during game installation, saying "Original discs don't FADE, in order that players who experience problems will be aware that their CD is potentially an illegal copy".

The concept of FADE is adapted from a similar system employed by Codemasters' PlayStation game LMA Manager 2001, which has already proven itself to be effective in combating pirates.

Operation Flashpoint is due for release on the PC on June 22nd.

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