The founder of a prominent Chinese video game cracking forum makes the claim that piracy in the medium could be a thing of the past in just two years from now.
According to a recent blog post from the creator of the Chinese cracking forum 3DM, the ever-evolving intricacies of copy protection technology could invariably lead to the demise of video game piracy in as little as two years. Going under the pseudonym “Bird Sister” (AKA Phoenix), the 3DM pioneer disclosed her exasperation in relation to the pressure to crack Avalanche Studios’ Just Cause 3.
For those unaware, Just Cause 3 is protected by a program developed by Denuvo Software Solutions GmbH, which is based in anti-tamper measures designed to safeguard preexisting DRM solutions like Origin and the Steam license management system. As claimed by “Bird Sister”, Denuvo’s a tough nut to crack, but she believes it can be done. However, the 3DM founder also thinks that should such software strengthen, it could soon be game over for piracy, writing:
“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 [a game 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.”
This isn’t the first time that Denuvo’s been effective at discouraging pirates from copying a game. As it happens, it took 3DM nearly a month to successfully copy Electronic Arts’ Dragon Age: Inquisition in 2014. Despite the fact that crackers were eventually able to do so, Denuvo continued to adjust the software, creating even longer protection periods for games like FIFA ’16, which has yet to be cracked.
While some game companies praise the usage of DRM — Ubisoft believes it’s vital for PC business — developers like CD Projekt Red, for instance, have criticized the method. A while back, the studio’s head of marketing and PR, Michal Platkow-Gilewski, said the method’s futile and that DRM actually causes piracy. As a matter of fact, CD Projekt Red added a rather tongue-in-cheek Easter egg entitled “Gottfried’s Omni-opening Grimoire” into the final version of its critically-acclaimed role-playing game Witcher 3, making fun of DRM. For the uninitiated, the in-game book’s description detailed a seemingly impenetrable magic system called “Defensive Regulatory Magicon”, or DRM for short.
Although copy protection technology for video games like Denuvo will undoubtedly become more complicated as time progresses, it’s truly safe to say that piracy is not going anywhere. As is the case with practically any endeavor, when there’s a will, there’s a way. However, some would argue that there are ways to stop video game piracy, but such strategies may not work out in the long run.
What do you think about the possibility of video game piracy being nonexistent in the near-future? Do you believe the increasing complexity of encryption technology will eventually deter people from cracking games altogether, or will there always be pirates who find a way to do so? Let us know in the comments below.