Opinion is divided regarding video game anti-piracy measures in the PC arena. Some say it’s a necessary evil which helps secure publisher’s profits so that they can keep producing high-quality, AAA games in the future.
Others argue that it’s a mostly useless deterrent and that pirates will always figure out how to circumvent even the toughest anti-copy systems, and that the effort and cash would be better spent on improving the game itself.
Although it seemed that video game publishers had temporarily gotten the upper hand in the fight against PC piracy with the advent of Denuvo, an anti-piracy scheme which had even the best pirate groups stumped.
Actually, back in 2016 notorious Chinese hacker squad 3DM decided to give up their video game cracking activities (that is, the removal of copy protection measures so that these can be freely distributed) due to Denuvo’s resilience.
The thing is, it was taking way too long for 3DM to burst open the copy protection in the Just Cause 3 video game, and hence decided to throw the towel, this being hailed as a major victory in the fight against piracy by video game publishers worldwide.
However, soon enough other pirate groups found their way around Denuvo’s armour, and the first pirate versions of Denuvo-protected games began appearing online. Such was the case of games like Doom and FIFA, while more recent titles like Sonic Mania and the great Middle-earth: Shadow of War had their copy protection stripped off in a terrifyingly short period of time…
And one man spearheading the fight against Denuvo was a 21 year old Bulgarian hacker who was recently arrested in his home country of Bulgaria as reported on Torrentfreak.
Going by the online alias Voksi, the man had caused much grief to video game publishers as of late, nullifying the anti-piracy protection in Sonic Mania Plus in a short time, while he also stripped the superb Assassin’s Creed Origins bare of Denuvo last year.
Also, Voksi’s criticism of Denuvo and how it impacts video game performance in games like Assassin’s Creed Origins for the worst really have not endeared him to Irdeto, the company which now owns Denuvo Solutions.
Actually, it was Irdeto which filed the criminal complaint that let to the hacker’s arrest, with the company soon releasing a statement on its website when news of Voksi’s arrest broke out online.
“Piracy is a threat that is now firmly established in the gaming industry, and we are focused on securing the content of game publishers and ensuring that hackers cannot distort the gaming environment for personal gain at the expense of other players”, said Irdeto in its statement.
Aside from him being arrested, Voksi’s equipment has apparently also been seized by the police, while a domain which used to belong to his infamous “REVOLT” group now redirects to Bulgaria’s Ministry of the Interior website…
This means that the man won’t be returning to his PC video game pirating activities anytime soon then, but whether this means that Denuvo-protected games will remain free from piracy remains to be seen, as other hacker groups will be all too keen to take over, if only for bragging rights…
Here’s hoping then, that PC anti-piracy measures remain as non-intrusive as possible and don’t have a negative impact on the user experience, so that gamers worldwide won’t have any excuse to turn to the dark side and visit pirate websites to get hold of the latest games…
But given how convenient legit online services such as Steam have become, offering an easy way to get hold of the latest video games for a price, there’s less and less excuse these days not to do the right thing and get hold of the latest blockbusters games via legitimate channels, even if its clear that the fight between video game publishers and pirates is one that is bound to go on for quite some time still.