The Problem with Anti-piracy Schemes
By Stardock's CEO, Brad Wardell
When Stardock was running Impulse, we got to hear a lot from companies regarding to their feelings towards software piracy. In many cases, it was clear that the motivation to stop piracy was less about maximizing sales and more about preventing people who didn't pay for the game from playing it. I felt this was misguided.

When I see our games pirated, it definitely annoys me. I put a lot of myself into our software and seeing someone "stealing" it is upsetting. But at the same time, the response to piracy should be, to paraphrase The Godfather, "Just business". Simply put, the goal should be to maximize sales, not worry about people who wouldn't buy your game in the first place. I've said this in the past but until we were digitally distributing third party games, I didn't realize how prevalent the "stop those pirates" philosophy was.

Part of the problem with piracy is the terminology. There are really two, completely disparate groups that get lumped together. There are the people who just won't pay for software no matter what and there are the people who pirate software out of convenience.

The former group is much larger than the latter but it is the latter group that the lost potential sales really come from. Apple has become the world's most successful company by focusing its attention on the customer experience. iTunes songs don't even have DRM as most would define it today. They focus their attention on people who buy things. I think this is the most profitable way to focus ones efforts.

If game developers can focus more attention on improving their user experience and less on worrying about people who would never buy their product in the first place, I think they'd see their sales go up. That doesn't mean they need to remove all forms of copy protection, rather, they should ensure that whatever they do to protect their intellectual property doesn't materially affect the user experience.
WindowFX 5 BETA 1 - Now Available
Purchase today for access to the BETA
We are excited to announce the release of the first beta for WindowFX 5. WindowFX 5 lets Windows users add animated effects and advanced window controls to your Windows desktop!
Features with this BETA include:
  • Over 30 animated effects for Windows actions
  • Over 20 Start menu animations
  • Customized window sizing options on drag
  • Advanced window controls for visibility, sizing and process info
Purchasing WindowFX 5: Get access to the WindowFX 5 BETA by purchasing today. You can view your pricing eligibility here.

Check out our demo videos, demonstrating the new features in WindowFX 5. (From left to right: Start Menu Animations, Window Animations and Middle-Mouse Click)
Start Menu Animations Window Animations Middle-Mouse Click
Using Stardock's Tiles
Our newest application in action
Tiles is one of the newest apps from Stardock that lets you take control of windows and running applications on your Windows desktop. Tiles places a customizable sidebar on the edge of your screen where you can view and interact with applications running. There are a bunch of options and configurations for Tiles that lets it work the way you want it to, making organization easy to do.

See how Island Dog uses Tiles to quickly switch between applications as well as a "Virtual Desktop" in this forum post.
Start8 for Windows 8®
Stardock brings back the "Start" menu
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available and has taken the Windows interface to a whole new level. Unfortunately, the preview did not come with a desktop feature that the world makes use of billions times a day, the "Start" menu. Luckily, we have a solution!

This product is free and is available now! Simply provide us your email address here and receive a download link.
Software Favorites
Object Desktop Object Desktop Suite
WindowBlinds WindowBlinds
ObjectDock Tiles
DeskScapes DeskScapes
Fences Fences Pro
WindowFX WindowFX
IconPackager IconPackager
GameSpy features Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion
Check out the preview trailer and interview
GameSpy interviewed one our producers, Brian Clair last month and talked all things Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. Brian talked about major details and shared exclusive screenshots. Read more about the interview on GameSpy's website.

View the preview trailer here.

Pre-order Rebellion now and get immediate access to the BETA!
The Fallen Enchantress BETA Begins
Pre-order now and get BETA access
For Fallen Enchantress, Stardock reunited the Galactic Civilizations II team and brought in the Fall from Heaven creator, Kael to design a new strategy game that exists in the Elemental game universe. The game's campaign is designed by Jon Shafer, the lead designer of Civilization V.

Fallen Enchantress is about you. Or more specifically, the world's most powerful sorcerer who is played by you. It's about the kingdom you build and the challenges you face.

Own a copy of War of Magic? You may be eligible to get Fallen Enchantress at a discount or for free.
Pre-order Fallen Enchantress now and get into the BETA today!

Read more about BETA 2   |   Visit the Elemental website
Game Favorites
Elfsquad7 Fallen Enchantress Pre-Order
$39.99 - See Special Pricing!
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Sins: Rebellion Pre-Order
$39.95 - See Special Pricing!
Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity Sins: Trinity
Elemental: War of Magic Elemental: War of Magic
Demigod Demigod
Galactic Civilizations II GalCiv II: Ultimate Edition
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