(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Timothy Geigner


Filed Under:
cracked, denuvo, drm

Companies:
denuvo



That Was Fast: Denuvo's Version 3 Update Has Been Cracked

from the fast-and-furious dept

It's seems like just yesterday that I was writing about how Denuvo's DRM, the once-vaunted but since defeated DRM unicorn, had been patched to Version 4 with the company proclaiming that it was once again out ahead of the pirate groups that had cracked its previous versions. Oh, wait. That actually was yesterday.

Anywho, the latest version of Denuvo is being used on several recently released games, out since January, with much made about how those games were once again taking quite a bit of time before cracks for them appeared in the wild. With the company pushing the narrative that protecting the first few weeks of a game's release was where the value of Denuvo really stood, companies using the DRM likely cheered. This week, however, things took a familiar turn for the DRM unicorn.


The same cracking group that has pained Denuvo these past several months managed to crack a game using the updated version of Denuvo, 2Dark.

With all eyes primed for a release of a game using the new technology (the cracking scene has labeled it Denuvo v4), earlier this month Mass Effect Andromeda was cracked by CPY, the group behind most of Denuvo’s recent pain. Despite some early claims, the title was actually protected by v3, so the big test was yet to arrive.

Yesterday it did so, in some style.

With its usual fanfare, cracking group CPY announced that it had defeated Denuvo v4 protection on 2Dark, a lesser-known stealth adventure game from the creator of Alone in the Dark.

Now, it isn't just those looking to pirate the game that looked favorably on this crack of 2Dark. In fact, the game itself hasn't received a great deal of attention, compared with other games using Denuvo v4, such as the latest release in the Mass Effect franchise. No, 2Dark had a special target painted on its back for breaking its word. The developers of the game had insisted during the crowdfunding process that the game would be released sans DRM, before going back on that promise and using Denuvo at the request of its publisher.

On the game’s Steam page, the truth later emerged with a note confirming that the title would incorporate “3rd-party DRM: Denuvo Antitamper.” According to a subsequent interview with Techraptor, that was a result of Gloomywood having to team up with publisher Bigben Interactive who insisted on the protection.

It makes it hard to garner that much sympathy, even among those that see piracy as the evil of all evils. After all, all the crack did was keep Gloomywood's promise for them.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2017 @ 1:56pm

    .....
    Zero.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2017 @ 3:00pm

    to drm the impossible drm . . .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tim Riggs, 14 Apr 2017 @ 4:16pm

    One wonders

    I know nothing about 2Dark or gloomywood, but considering the speed of the crack, one wonders whether the cracking group got some inside information from a dev.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    David (profile), 14 Apr 2017 @ 4:17pm

    BigBen publisher of meh.

    An interesting publisher. Checking out the games on Steam they have published there aren't any really worth purchasing. 2Dark is frankly quite horrible; Big head tiny body art style, 2D sort of retro-crap that is associated most often with games by devs that aren't quite up to the task. At least in my mind. Ooh, art. Click not-interested, next.

    They also publish WRC but that title is bogged down in the dreaded mixed reviews. The IP was sold/bought/changed hands and has not been improved over the failure of its predecessors.

    There are only a few titles that are above mixed. One is 2Dark oddly enough. with two entries along with a Sherlock Holmes based game. They have more negative titles than positive.

    Basically devs that use BigBen for publishing shouldn't expect good reviews. That is how I read their Steam page anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Châu, 14 Apr 2017 @ 4:42pm

    Crowdfund copyright

    I will never understand why people crowd fund stuff with copyright against themselves. I hope crowd fund people learn ONLY give money FREE CULTURAL LICENSE or PUBLIC DOMAIN projects.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2017 @ 7:08pm

      Re: Crowdfund copyright

      Did you miss the part where the developer's lied?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2017 @ 8:25pm

        Re: Re: Crowdfund copyright

        Did you miss the part where the developer's lied?

        If they're not even trying to release what was promised, they need to give people their money back, and the crowdfunding site should be enforcing that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Al, 18 Apr 2017 @ 5:16am

        Re: Re: Crowdfund copyright

        Technically they didn't lie. They were bullied by their publishers and gave in. Question remains, why do you need publishers if you crowdsource it?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2017 @ 3:25pm

    Considering the developers said they were required to DRM their gaming, maybe they intentionally chose denuvo knowing it would get cracked fairly quickly

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chuck, 15 Apr 2017 @ 9:15pm

    Publisher? Really?

    Why did 2dark even HAVE a publisher?

    No really, why? As best I can tell, the game is being 100% released only on Steam. Why did it even need a publisher at all? Why couldn't the developers just upload their game to Steam directly?

    I mean, perhaps I'm missing something here, but isn't a publisher really only useful for a game is you A) Are releasing in multiple formats/platforms/etc or B) Need someone to do marketing/advertising? I've never seen an ad for this game, and again, AFAIK it's Steam-only, so...

    So yeah, why even have a publisher? What function does that serve?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike-2 Alpha (profile), 17 Apr 2017 @ 2:18am

      Re: Publisher? Really?

      Money, dear boy.

      A lot of, maybe even most, crowd-funded video games go over-budget. This isn't an indictment of the whole crowd-funded games model; the same is true of traditionally funded games.

      The thing is, it's trickier, in some ways, for crowd-funded games to go back to the well and get more money. But if the game is going to come out, then the developers have to get more money somehow.

      Thus publishers.

      For a cut of the profits, they pitch in to cover the cost overruns. And if a prerequisite for them giving you the money you need to finish the project and not disappoint your fans who paid to get you this far is to jam some useless and intrusive DRM into your game... well, you have to decide what's worse for your reputation.

      You can roll the dice and see if someone else'll fund you without requiring the DRM to "protect" their investment. Maybe you find someone, maybe you don't, but if you don't, that game is never coming out. Not just that, but your employees might lose their jobs. Or you can bite your tongue, jam it in there, and hope that it doesn't murder your fans' faith in and respect for you in the process.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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