The Denuvo anti-piracy software in place on Resident Evil 7 has been cracked within five days, putting the future of the fight against torrenting in doubt.
Bad news for the game industry today as the anti-piracy protections in place on any and all PC copies of Resident Evil 7 has already, within a week of the game’s release, been cracked by denizens of the darker parts of the Internet. The anti-tamper software used in this case, called Denuvo, was once touted as the tool that would end video game piracy once and for all, but the speed at which it has been cracked raises up a host of questions for game developers and publishers everywhere.
Not that this is the first time Denuvo-protected content has been cracked: Resident Evil 7 joins a small but growing list of games that were pirated, despite having the Austrian-made protection installed. The big question now is whether Denuvo will still be able to protect any games that come out in the future, especially considering that Resident Evil 7 was cracked in just five days. As of the time of this writing, parent company Denuvo Software Solutions has not reacted to the news, though they are expected to at some point in the near future.
As bad as it may seem for publishers, this news has a silver lining outside of those unwilling to pay for games. Many PC gamers refuse to buy anything protected by Denuvo since they feel that not only does it show publishers’ prejudice against gamers, Denuvo itself is accused of causing problems on host computers. If Capcom is willing to follow the example of Crytek, Playdead, and Bethesda and remove Denuvo now that Resident Evil 7 has been cracked, they may see a rise in sales: at least, so say the boycotters.
Either way, as it stands now, piracy season has been opened on Resident Evil 7. Though this may cause amusement in some quarters, piracy doesn’t just affect multi-billion dollar corporations: indie games like The Witness suffer disproportionally when people visit a torrent site rather than go to Steam. Though there is still some discussion whether piracy influences sales, the games industry takes a very dim view of such activities.
Whether or not protection software like Denuvo is the answer in the fight against pirates will probably remain a question for some time to come, right now it will be interesting to see what Capcom will do now that anyone can torrent Resident Evil 7 at leisure. Will the company join its publisher brethren and get rid of Denuvo, will it think up a new way to fight pirates, or will it crack down harder than ever before?
Resident Evil 7 is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.