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DRM Piracy Games

Pirates Finding It Harder To Crack New PC Games (engadget.com) 364

schnell writes: Engadget reports that a few recent top-tier video game releases using updated DRM technology have gone uncracked for more than a month and left DRM hackers stymied thus far. The games FIFA 16 and Just Cause 3, using an updated DRM system called Denuvo, have thus far frustrated experienced Chinese crackers' best efforts far longer than the usual 1-2 weeks it takes for most games to be cracked. Although the article is light on technical details about what makes the new DRM system harder to defeat, it does note that "Based on the current pace of encryption tech, 'in two years time I'm afraid there will be no free games to play in the world,' said one forlorn pirate."
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Pirates Finding It Harder To Crack New PC Games

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  • by Ivan Stepaniuk ( 1569563 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @09:15AM (#51261149)

    They are only gaining some critical time at launch

    • by greenfruitsalad ( 2008354 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @09:16AM (#51261151)

      the article isn't talking about videos or music

    • by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @10:07AM (#51261445)
      Perhaps that is their goal. If the bulk of the sales revenue comes from the first month or so after launch, it might be worth their while to implement DRM even if they know it will get cracked eventually.
    • by DThorne ( 21879 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @10:15AM (#51261503)

      I'm not so sure. A dev I know has been using a certain copy pro package for a few years now and since starting it, has yet to have a crack show up in the wild. And yes, it's a well known app that is a classic target for cracking, and no, the copy pro isn't remotely obnoxious or privacy-shattering since the dev is a privacy aficionado. I think the tech is getting there. Add to this that many games offer real benefits to network connectivity and you might see AAA cracks go away. Then there's the awesome Witcher devs, who simply flip the bird to copy pro altogether, I still see cracks(aka copies, in this case) show up for witcher 3 but the game has done fabulously, simply because it's awesome, everyone loves them and wants to see them be successful for making something so wonderful and for steadfastly refusing to be dicks about DLC. That's the best copy pro of all.

      • by TheReaperD ( 937405 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @10:42AM (#51261671)

        ^^^ THIS! ^^^

        I have troubles understanding why most game/software devs can't get this through their thick skulls. These days a lot of piracy is do to the crap DRM that publishers put on titles. I've known several people that download and run pirate version of software even though they have a legal copy because they actually fucking work! I've even done it myself with multiple version of MS Office, even though I had legal copies as it didn't start giving me activation errors every 26 or so days. (Enterprise licences.) The other pirates that don't have a legal copy aren't going to miraculously go to the store a pay retail price for something because the DRM is tough. They'll either wait for the crack, sneak through a licensing hole or go without. They aren't going to buy your fucking product, period.

        Software devs, get this through your thick skulls!

        • I haven't had this problem in over 10 years with DRM on games or enterprise software.

          Did you just step out of a time machine or something?

        • If you purchase the latest console, a few accessories, titles, the TV you are going to connect it to, add to that a broadband Internet connection you could easily spend over two grand. Games are not the only entertainment product that is considered an everyday thing but is priced like a luxury item. I know people who always have the latest games, cell phones, see all the new movies, and go to concerts but they generally live on credit. Eventually that runs out and they are broke and in debt with no where to

    • I actually thought that MMOs were the industry's evolved response to the perceived "threat" of piracy: a game which FUNDAMENTALLY had to interact with a centrally located, company owned server. How much more locked-down could you get?

      Well, it shows how much I know; the resourcefulness and frankly brilliance of the emulator programmers that black-box reverse-engineer server systems so people can run private servers of WoW, etc leave me pretty impressed. Some are a little wobbly, sure, but by and large ther

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )

      They are only gaining some critical time at launch

      And that's the point. They probably don't give so much of a damn if a game is cracked 3--6 months down the line because the vast majority of their sales are during the launch period. The more time it takes to crack a game the less sales they're going to lose as a result.

      Personally I'm surprised that piracy is even a problem any more. It should be pretty straightforward to pad a game out with anti-piracy measures which take a frustrating amount of time to find and disable.

    • by eth1 ( 94901 )

      They are only gaining some critical time at launch

      Copied, yes, but potentially not played, if they hold it hostage to connectivity requirements back to the mother ship.

  • by SJ ( 13711 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @09:19AM (#51261169)

    ... because then the studios won't have a boogie man to blame when their crappy game doesn't sell.

    Studio Exec: Oh noes, our awesome game isn't selling because people are pirating it instead.
    Random Underling: Sir, no one has cracked our DRM yet....
    Studio Exec: Oh shit, hurry up and leak a crack before the shareholders notice our 80 million dollar game sucks

    • Well in this case your statement doesn't hold water. Just Cause 3 was anticipated and is selling quite well considering the crowded field of games out there right now. But I feel what you are saying and for a lot of games it's 100% true. This is why almost every game coming out has some form of online connection to something, severely limiting the game while offline if it even plays at all. Honestly, if the game companies would hire some of the crackers and modders to help make products that aren't brok
      • by SJ ( 13711 )

        If it's a good game, then it will sell well. If Just Cause is selling, then I'm assuming it's a good game.

        I was referring more to the games that should never have gotten past initial design, or ones that are so completely unplayable due to buggy software.

      • Honestly, if the game companies would hire some of the crackers and modders to help make products that aren't broken at launch and highly overpriced, piracy likely wouldn't be as big of an issue here in NA.

        Funny as it is, GOG.com routinely uses scene cracks to get the old games they sell to run on modern systems.

    • Yeah it doesn't work like that... Most studios are not "BIG EVIL GAME CORP", but rather small, and work their ass off to make a game. If the game is crappy and sucks, it won't get pirated in any major way anyway. If the game is o.k it will be in risk of being pirated a fair bit, meaning the studio will take a hit in revenue. That revenue could have been used to improve the game, or to make another better game. Only games with free-to-play revenue models (read micro-transactions) will benefit from not gettin
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2016 @09:20AM (#51261175)

    Metal Gear Solid V.

    Took forever to get a crack out, and when a crack did come out by 3DM it took a few more days for a version 2 to be playable. Only when you set your timezone to a chinese one were you able to play. Sometimes on a specific set of hardware you needed a new crack made. You had to skip certain chapters of the game because they crashed.

    And after 5 days or so? Music started playing. Shifty crack, even in the pirate world, never fully working scene release even to this day.

    As a pirate, I can only salute the guys who made Denuvo.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    'in two years time I'm afraid there will be no free games to play in the world,'

    There are tons of free games.
    Many games studios open up there engines to be used by indy game makers and you can find make great games to play tho not cutting edge on the graphics.
    Tremulous - tremulous.net
    Renegade X - renegade-x.com
    Stream has a ton of free to play games just check out there website (Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, Warframe)

    Play real free games if you don't want to buy not cracked games.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2016 @10:15AM (#51261501)

      Not only that, but there are so many -cheap- games out there as well. And regular Steam sales--I spent about $20 and got 9 games during the winter sale. Stuff that was highly acclaimed when it came out, too.

      You just have to be willing to pass on new releases and get them when they go on sale. By that point you can generally get the GOTY edition with all DLC as well.

      I look forward to playing Fallout 4 for $15.

  • by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @10:03AM (#51261413)

    Cracked games were a thing back at the schoolyard, when we could barely afford the blank floppies to copy the 12 discs of "Another world" or so, Fiddling with cracks and P2P to download stuff isn't simply worth the time anymore when after a few weeks, you can get the game at a decent discount at Steam.

  • Look I don't play sports games much (or more like at all) but a friend does and was complaining about how they are all the FIFA's are the bloody same. Slightly better graphics and an updated player list is all that the new release really brings to the (ahem) field. Just Cause 3 I bought shortly after it came out and it's good fun, someone I know who does not have any spare cash to hand (at least not for a game I suppose) was also complaining about there being no pirate version out as yet, just the usual d
    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      jc3 seems to be out though.

      engadget seems shitty again.

      more publishers will just waste more money on this shitty drm.

      da inquisition was shit btw.

  • That article sounds suspiciously like an advertisement for Denuvo. Low content, high keywords, no research...
  • why bother (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

    Just wait for the sales and you can get that $60 game for $14 (or less). Unless you play on a console, in which case you don't care because your parents are paying for the games anyway.

    Steam, GOG and others have made gaming reasonable enough for anyone.

    • The local Microsoft store generously donated an XBox 360 to our school's charity raffle, probably 6 months after the XBox One was released.

      We didn't own any gaming system at all, and my son immediately griped that there would be "no games because its old". The day after we got the console, we went to a local pawn shop and bought 5 games for $30, all of which played just fine. I think we might be up to about 15 games now, and I'd doubt that even with the 2 games my son has bought new, we're out more than $

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      Sorry but thats clueless.
      After also buying the season pass, Fallout 4 cost over $100 and it isn't coming down anytime soon.
      Sure I could wait a year or more and save maybe save $20 but I'm not that much of a tightwad.
      Its going to be probably 5 years if ever, before Fallout4 hits your $14 number. Skyrim is still 19.99 on steam. and it was released in 2011.

    • Just wait for the sales and you can get that $60 game for $14 (or less).

      Not to mention the hardware requirements: while they tend to remain the same (additional horsepower demands from software patches notwithstanding), the costs for said hardware (epecially vidcards) should drop significantly over the [18 to 24 months?] that it takes for a high-profile title to drop over 75% in price...

      • A lot of power-hungry titles tend to get great boosts in performance after a few weeks to a few months after release as the GPU-drivers get optimized for the game.

        Just look at the release notes of the latest nVidia or AMD drivers and you'll see a bunch of "Game X sees ##% increased performance in single GPU configurations" etc.

  • It could also be that these aren't exactly A-list games (regardless of how much they might want to hype up "Just Case 3"), so there are less people working on a crack.

  • The important statistics should be:

    How much more money they made VS other games that have been cracked right away?

    How much worse is this DRM for my computer when compared to other DRM methods?

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Friday January 08, 2016 @10:26AM (#51261577)

    Piracy getting harder? That's not a problem.
    Videogame abundance and the mass-move towards indie-development makes pirating obsolete anyway.

    I get all my Games for 10 Euros or less out of the bargain bin. The occasional totally DRM-free 15 Euro download for Shadowrun Hong Kong (Kickstarter Project / Indie Game) adds to that. I'm OK giving 15 Euros for a very neat DRM-free game to an indie studio. It's still dirt-cheap.

    Currently I'm playing Deus Ex:Human Revolution for XBox 360. Cost me 9.99 for an original mint copy of the directory cut special edition. Awesome game, pricepoint is a steal.

    No one needs piracy or the triple-a publishers in a time where Gamedevs are going indie left, right and center (Hideo Kojima anyone?) and games drop hard off the 60 dollar benchmark as soon as they're published on non-current gen platforms or mobile or the novelty effect has worn off.

  • Not sure about FIFA, I can imagine that at this point no one cares about the same game with the name changed from 15 to 16, however I can assure you that JC3 has been cracked even if its not yet public.

    If you think it hasn't been cracked, you just haven't looked.

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      I admit I haven't tried downloading a supposedly cracked game for years, but even back in the day it was at best maybe a 1-in-10 success between downloading something that claimed to be a "l33t full 100%haxored game" to actually getting what it claimed to be. Most of the time you'd get something that obviously wouldnt even run and/or was just basically a bundle of virusses and trojans that would take a dump all over your PC. Even though I haven't personally tried, I can't imagine these days that success ra

  • I was going to say there will always be free Solitaire, but I guess Microsoft took that away too didn't they.
  • by Joe Gillian ( 3683399 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @12:26PM (#51262391)

    Ever since game devs started using Denuvo, I've refused to buy anything that uses it on the grounds that it unfairly punishes the paying end-user. The devteam behind Lords of the Fallen, which was one of the first games to use Denuvo, admitted that they were sacrificing large amounts of performance (as much as 10 to 15 percent framerate) in order to use it. There were also a lot of concerns from SSD users, because Denuvo uses up a ton of read/write operations due to constantly encrypting and decrypting files, putting far more stress on an SSD than a non-Denuvo game does.

    If game developers are going to sacrifice performance and the potential for mod support to use the most draconian DRM they can find, I'm not going to be buying it.

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