The PC’s Best Piracy Control Is Wavering

The PC’s Best Piracy Control Is Wavering

Denuvo, an advanced form of anti-piracy tech, withstood cracks for years. But 2016 may well be seen as the year it finally succumbed its opponent’s advances in an age-old arms race. It was big enough news that Rise of the Tomb Raider, which used Denuvo and had been thought uncrackable for a time, was pirated after 193 days on the market.

Now, though, Torrent Freak reports that the Inside — which also uses Denuvo — only lasted six weeks before a cracked version appeared online.

That’s two Denuvo games overcome in just a few weeks. It will be interesting to see what happens with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, another Denuvo title. If it’s cracked in a similar timeframe, then what was once believed to be the industry’s best defence against piracy won’t be looking so impenetrable any more.

Of course, this all relates to the current iteration of Denuvo! Like I said, this is an arms race, and if pirates have found a way to regularly get around Denuvo as it stands, then it will only be a matter of time before the measure closes loopholes and comes back stronger.


  • Im sorry, I dont believe in ‘uncrackable’
    Mankind divided cracks / hacks have already been released

    • I don’t believe in uncrackable either, but Mankind Divided has NOT been cracked/bypassed yet.

      Pure lies.

      • I’m reminded of eating lunch in the break room with some ladies in the office who were remarking about illegal drugs, “How do people even know where to buy them? I wouldn’t even know where to start! Asking random disheveled-looking people standing on street corners?” I kept my mouth shut about the fact that I happened to know at least two people in the same office could be relied upon to provide said drugs or introduce you to someone who would sell them to you.

        So, yeah, I dunno about that, dude… the fact that you can’t find it, doesn’t mean that it can’t be found.

        • Wait, you mean people dealing in things that are considered illegal aren’t going around publicly advertising it so everyone can see? Man, all those years looking for a Refidex of dealers wasted.

    • Im sorry ai dont believe it has been cracked and you just download a malware infested copy, or just a data dump off game assets that wont run, or fell for a garbage file that AAAs now put up o line that dont work and waste your attempts to get one.

  • Huh, okay… well done pirates, i guess? I’m sure all that effort was worth it for them… personally I consider my spare time to be better spent playing the game rather than cracking it – as an added bonus I get to provide finances which will go into the industry and continue to employ the wonderful hardworking folks who make them for me.

    • there was an article a few years ago on Joystiq I believe that said a few piracy groups sees it more as a challenge and less a middle finger to corporations or w/e

      kind of like a desire to crack a super hard jigsaw puzzle

    • To be fair, there was a study done a few years back, (I can’t find the source now, tried searching), that showed that 98% people pirating wouldn’t have bought it anyway. It’s not like they’re really actually losing money. Not condoning the practise by any stretch, but it’s a lot less “lost revenue” than companies like to complain about

  • On the plus side: fuck the police.

    On the down side… the more that idiot publishers freak the fuck out about non-existent ‘lost sales’ money (“IN THE TRILLIONS, PEOPLE! THE TRILLIONS!”) and see their efforts transparently thwarted, the more they’ll move to more reliable but also more consumer-fucking anti-consumer practices like contrived-as-fuck excuses for Always Online (“…totally not DRM we swear,” lied Maxis and EA and Blizzard) ‘features’, and increased focus on multi-player/social bullshit.

    • I always hate it when they do that to single player franchises. The world is now online-persistent and you can play with 3 other friends, oh and my favorite “everyone can be the hero”. What a load of BS.
      I don’t really pirate games, but these things are a big turn-OFF, not to mention the anti-piracy program and the client trying to make sure it’s legal while it eats up my computing resources.

    • This was what made me completely stop giving Blizzard any of my money ever since. I never needed to sign in online to enjoy playing Diablo 2 because I always enjoyed playing in single player. Multiplayer was just stupid in D2 for me, since everyone just kept sprinting around fighting as fast as possible so if you fell behind (Say wanted to examine any loot you got so I know what I can drop) you wouldn’t find anything to fight and it just becomes “follow the trail of corpses”: The Game. Then there was the race to see who can click to grab that loot faster.

      So when Blizzard came forward saying it’s always online, PLUS with consoles getting an offline play option while PC still gets left out of this update, it left a bad taste in my mouth. As long as Australia is stuck in this horribly sub-optimal internet infrastructure, my internet connection is considered unreliable, so I’ll happily avoid games like this where “Always Online” is used in the most unnecessary ways. If I wanted always online, I’ll go back to Guild Wars 2, at least they have a valid reason… it’s kind of built that way being an MMO and all.

  • This is why DRM is such a crock. The more they try to lock it down, the more determined people are to break it open. Plus, it doesn’t drive sales – it just punishes legitimate consumers while people who would otherwise have torrented it just don’t bother playing.

    I wish the industry would just hurry up and learn from CDProjekt Red’s example – deliver a great game like Witcher 3 that’s worth the money without any DRM and people will pay for it, and you will earn their respect and trust. Treat your customers like sheep *cough*EA*cough* or criminals-in-waiting and they’ll go out of their way to spite you.

    • Amen. I bought Witcher 2 ultimate edition just on the fact it was advertised DRM free. I was looking for a game, had no real idea whether it was any good at the time but the fact they were respecting their customers *made* me a customer. I bought Witcher 3 and I’ll be looking at Cyberpunk as well.

      Blizzard on the other hand are driving me away with their need to be online when I’m playing single player. If Torchlight and Grim Dawn can manage single player without needing to be online all the damned time so can Diablo 🙁

  • At the end of the day, the protection doesn’t need to hold up forever. Most games sell most of their copies in the first month or so on sale. If the piracy protection can hold up for that long, it’ll have done most of what it needs to do. People who haven’t picked up a game by that point are either not interested or waiting for a Steam sale where they can get it for 5 bucks. The vast bulk of the revenue has already been earned by that point.

  • It makes you wonder if the bugs in Mankind Divided were put in deliberately. That way if someone cracks it then they release a patch that fixes the bugs but also patched Denuvo.

    Probably not but just a thought.

    • Deliberate anti piracy codes in game are ones more obvious or cruel like getting trapped in an elevator in Talos or having an unkillable monster hunting you… and watching them cry to the developer they cant complete the game cause the didnt buy it.

      • Complaining about a bug in a game that you didn’t even buy is bringing “entitlement” to an entirely new level.

        I’m no fan of copy protection (which really does hurt legitimate consumers more than it hurts anybody else), but measures like the unkillable scorpion in Serious Sam make me smile.

      • Or randomly turning into a seagull mid game. I had that happen in Operation Flashpoint many times. Not from piracy, the game bugged out and kept doing it to me. I found out later that it was the BIS anti-piracy system “Fade” but it bugged out and thought I pirated my game. A re-install fixed the issue.

  • Maybe the more organised pirates should leave Denouvo alone… its an overpriced service only AAAs can afford and AAAs are the only ones who have the hang up about piracy.

    If you break it they will insist on tougher laws and more powers to go after piracy and we all know how bad the Recording industry is on this subject so maybe select your enemies wisely.

    • I would rather that this be fought. AAA calling attention to their anti-consumer bullshit in the attempt to strong-arm consumers is something that the courts need to be able to take a better look at. Just take a look at Dallas Buyer’s Club. MPAA has got their way because they were using loopholes and out-of-court intimidation to make unfair demands. The courts, however (in Australia, at least), had a much better definition of what’s fair.

  • reminds me of the TOR network… got cracked and now there is a new type TOR… it will be cracked and then guess what?

  • who cares, only losers pirate things, and only bigger losers crack intellectual property that doesn’t belong to them. I dislike intrusive anti-piracy things like most games, I just dislike those who justify their existence even more.

  • I have a point that I need to make in relation to this topic. Two games that I played recently, that I own on Steam, had totally distracting graphical glitches that could ONLY be overcome by downloading a cracked version of an earlier build. The two games were Metro 2033 Redux and Call of Duty Black Ops (the original Black Ops). It was a particular patch in both circumstances that had caused these issues. For Metro 2033 Redux it was more advanced lighting introduced in a patch that caused horrible texture flickering (, and for Black Ops it was a certain patch that made people in shadow/darkness look pitch black and featureless even when you shine your flashlight on them (

    I downloaded the cracked versions of each game and then tested different patches until it triggered the issues, and then simply rolled back (which made the experience for both games much more enjoyable). You don’t get that option on Steam – it updates your game to the newest patch, that’s all the option you get. Some people had made complaints in the Steam forums about these issues, but do you think the developers had any interest in fixing those issues? No, of course they didn’t – they had long since moved on. So, for me, I like that people crack these games. Sometimes a patch will break things as much as it fixes things. I also like the thought that I can install and play a cracked version of a game with nothing more than my PC and a power outlet (you know, the same options that console users have). I have been in a situation where I’ve had no internet, and you don’t realise how restricting that can be when it comes to installing and playing games until you are in that position. It’s bulls**t.

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