Will Game Cracking Die Out?
In a surprise statement, the founder of a notorious cracking forum – 3DM – has claimed that DRM technology has advanced so quickly that game piracy may end within the next two years. This statement has shocked, confused, and angered many within the cracking community. How could this be? If it is software, it has to be crackable in some way. That has always been the mantra for these groups.
What has changed is the advancement in the DRM software called Denuvo. Denuvo has been around for some time, but it seems that it has been a chore for crackers to deal with as of late. Denuvo is a secondary encryption system software used in conjunction with many commonly used DRM software. The Denuvo technology has always been a hassle for crackers. In 2014, the game ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ successfully protected itself with Denuvo technology for one month after release. It was finally taken down by the 3DM cracker forum.
All these issues with Denuvo came to a head with the game ‘Just Cause 3’ recently. The title ‘Just Cause 3’ uses the latest version of the Denuvo software, and even though the game was released on December 1st, it has yet to be cracked. Which is extremely surprising since it was fairly common for cracked games to show up on pirated website within hours of release. Sometimes appear weeks before official release.
Just Cause 3 Remains Uncracked
The Founder of the 3DM forum, commonly known as ‘Bird Sister’ or “Phoenix” on there posted a statement about her troubles with the Denuvo software, and the future of game cracking overall. She states “Recently, many people have asked about cracks for ‘Just Cause 3′, so here is a centralized answer to this question. The last stage is too difficult and Jun [cracking guy] nearly gave up, but last Wednesday I encouraged him to continue. I still believe that this game can be compromised. But according to current trends in the development of encryption technology, in two years time I’m afraid there will be no free games to play in the world.“
In short, she is not stating that the Denuvo software will become full-proof, but it will become such a hassle that the end result will not be worth the effort. It took until recently for crackers to finally get Linux running on a PlayStation 4. A process that took years to do reliably.
Then you have to take into consideration the inpatient nature of most gamers. Gamers flock to availability, and convenience over everything. The longer it takes for a game to be cracked, the less likely those who would pirate will stick around.
Considering services like Steam, GOG, and Origin have offered alternatives this may be more true than ever. Origin, and Steam are offering – within limits – unquestioned refunds on recent purchases. Gamers will spend money to get a legit version of the title at launch, over piracy, if they are confident they can return the game if it is not what they want. My hope is that these services finally offer true demos of titles very soon. I feel that would be a very welcomed feature by most gamers.
In the end, the Denuvo technology may bring in the top crackers to finally defeat it, but will the majority of gamers who use those cracks stick around long enough to care?