Some of the world’s most notorious video game pirates, denizens of Chinese hacking forum 3DM, are worried that over the next couple of years video games anti-copy protection will get so good that they’ll be out of a job.
As TorrentFreak report, the forum—normally at the forefront of cracking open PC games for illegal download—has been frustrated by several high profile releases over the past twelve months.
First there was Dragon Age: Inquisition, whose defences took a month to overcome (an eternity in this scene), but that was followed by both FIFA 16 and Just Cause 3, which both remain uncracked.
All three games use a form of security called Denuvo, which its creator’s stress is an “anti-tamper” measure, and not a form of Digital Rights Management, or DRM (though its exact operations are kept a secret). When 3DM were able to crack it for Inquisition, they were initially very proud of themselves, but in the intervening months Denuvo have gone back to work and clearly improved things to the point where two of 2015’s biggest PC releases remain out of the hands of pirates.
In a post on 3DM, the forum’s founder says (translated by TF) “Recently, many people have asked about cracks for Just Cause 3, so here is a centralised answer to this question. The last stage is too difficult and [Jun, our cracker] 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.”
Well, there will be. They’ll just be, you know, the ones that are legally free.
Some other recent games to have used Denuvo include Arkham Knight, Mad Max and Metal Gear Solid V. The upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider also uses it; if it too goes uncracked (or at least long enough for people’s interest to wane in the face of newer titles), then you can bet Denuvo’s measures—which work across both Steam and Origin—will get a lot more popular.