Posts Tagged ‘piracy’

Tomb Raider Raided: Denuvo DRM Allegedly Cracked

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider [official site] might finally be cracked six months after its release. A step-by-step video showing a cracked copy of Rise of the Tomb Raider surfaced in Russia last week. It raises the question of whether or not pirates will finally be able to defeat Denuvo’s DRM security – protection so tough that some crackers said they were giving up. The crack has yet to be replicated, though, and it’s unlikely to happen any time soon.

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Frustrated Pirates Prophesise The Death Of Game Piracy

And on that bombshell

My eyebrow’s raised so high that it’s knocking plaster off the ceiling, but it’s worth sharing this oddity as a talking point if nothing else. It seems Just Cause 3 [official site]’s DRM is still presenting stiff competition to crackers over a month on from release, prompting one pirate collective to predict that we are in the game piracy end times. “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.”

Obviously that’s garbage, both because people willingly make tons of free games and because many paid games choose not to include DRM at all, but maybe DRM really has become a new force to be reckoned with.
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Pixel Piracy Devs Pirate Pixel Piracy


Well, this is just confusing. The last time I posted about Pixel Piracy, it was part of my drive to reclaim the RPS ‘piracy’ tag. I am trying to steer it away from the choppy waters of people acquiring games they haven’t paid for, and into a calm bay of games about pirates. Pirates of the sea, and not of the Internet. Well, the makers of the Pixel Piracy have stuffed that notion right up: their charming little roguelike (and honestly, while it’s at an early stage it’s completely utterly winning me over) is being seeded on Bit-Torrent, and running the Traceroute program that the NSA loaned me exposed the developers as the seeders. Before you start disconnecting, don’t panic! The devs are only doing this to ensure that pirates receive a safe and reliable version of their game. Thanks, Solidust! You’ve messed my tag right up.
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Football Manager 2013 Pirated 10 Million Times, Says Devs

Logging IP addresses on pirate versions? Cleverley done.

We always approach piracy figures with a healthy skepticism, but this is interesting. Sports Interactive says that Football Manager 2013, the previous iteration of the game, was pirated 10.1 million times. The report they’ve just sent out goes on to break down those figures by country, and estimates the likely lost revenue as a result of illegal downloads.

The best part is that Sports Interactive and Sega are being totally reasonable about it. Speaking at the London Games Conference as reported by MCV, FM producer Miles Jacobsen said that it’s “ridiculous” to equate these numbers with lost sales.
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SpeedRunners Embracing Piracy, Releasing Free Version

Despite what some triple-A publishers might think, piracy isn’t a simple black-and-white subject. Pirates aren’t necessarily shifty-eyed thieves, and a pirated copy doesn’t necessarily equate to a lost sale. You can’t beat it, either, so you might as well come aboard and embrace that other audience that’s playing your game. Increasingly, that’s the mentality many indies have adopted, and SpeedRunners developer tinyBuild is following suit. All of the wickedly fun multiplayer platform-racer’s offline features will be free of charge straight out the gate. If you want updates further down the line, then you can buy the full game. It’s your call.

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This Might Be The Final Assassin’s Creed IV Trailer


Despite the pointed mockery of John’s Assassy Creed trailer post, Ubisoft haven’t let up in their desire to tell expose every little detail about the fourth (but not really fourth) Assassin’s Creed game in trailers. There have been three this week. They are shameless. I was going to do a post with them all again, but the weight of that many Flash instances on one page breaks my browser, so I am instead posting the latest one. It handily manages to distill everything we know about the game into a scant 9 minutes. Think about that, Ubisoft: you have one trailer doing the job of more than thirty.
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Place Planks And Plunder: Pixel Piracy

grappling hooks!
I have been on a mission to reclaim the RPS piracy tag. I want happy stories about pirate games when you click on it, and not sad stories about games being pirated. I took a break, because of Assassin’s Creed IV’s ridiculous video spam, but I am delighted to direct your attention to Pixel Piracy. It puts you in charge of a pirate crew in a procedurally generated Caribbean.
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Avast Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Trailer

Having a whale of a time?
Actually, it’s only four mins long. Boom boom. There have been so many posts about Black Flag, the fancy dress party of Assassin’s Creed games, that I nearly didn’t post this trailer. You know the deal. It is shippy, watery, and anything that starts with a sea shanty is now legally obliged to have a slow and portentous refrain at the end. But I want to reclaim the RPS piracy tag, and my previous attempt at that didn’t end very well. There’s no chance that Black Flag will sink on the PC, so here we all are. And I’m curious about Black Flag, even if my enthusiasm for Assy Creedy has waned thanks to 3’s ploddery.
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Freebooter Sunk: Sinks Kickstarter, Stops Development

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Oh, I hate it when this happens. Ambitious and blocky Elite-with-pirates game Freebooter struggled to gain any traction on Kickstarter. It seems like that was going to be a lifeline for the developers, who’ve looked at the fact they’ve earned only £4,066 of the £50,000 goal in 12 days and made the decision to scuttle the game. They’ve taken the move to cancel both the Kickstarter and the development. For now.
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World Of Watercraft: Freebooter


I’m reclaiming the RPS ‘piracy‘ tag. Look at all those posts that have nothing to do with cannons or scurvy. We’re gamers! We should know all about balls and vitamin deficiency! I want happy stories about fun games, not sad stories about an industry trying to deal with people and the internet. I’d guess that part of the problem is that there aren’t many games about the life of a pirate, but Freebooter is hoping to change that. It’s a procedurally generated open-world pirate game that’s just popped up on the horizon Kickstarter. Pitch below.
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Payback: Game Dev Tycoon Fights Piracy With Piracy

We may have reached a point where many developers are attempting to coexist semi-peacefully with the big, bad, money-chomping wolf that is piracy, but that certainly doesn’t make the situation ideal. Pirates are still sauntering away with sloshing tubs of developers’ blood, sweat, and tears, so I think a little (or more than a little) spite is only fair. In the past, that’s meant theft-thwarting failsafes like Batman: Arkham Asylum’s flight-impaired hero and Serious Sam 3’s immortal pink scorpion, but Greenheart’s recently released Game Dev Tycoon might just be the best yet. In short, the pirated version makes your games crash and burn once they’ve hit the market because of – wait for it – piracy.

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Hotline Miami Aids Pirates Instead Of Murdering Them

Unfortunately, there aren't any pictures of Hotline Miami's main character aiding someone.

If you can’t beat ’em, well… that’s not actually a phrase that exists in the world of Hotline Miami. It’s either beat (with a colorful assortment of bats, drills, pipes, and katanas) or be beaten black and blue and red and neon pink. There is, as Yoda says – presumably as a result of some LSD-induced hallucination – no try. Hotline Miami’s creators, however, are nothing like that. They, perhaps better than much of the rest of the gaming industry, understand the art of compromise. So when pirates started peddling a slightly glitchy version of Hotline Miami in the Internet’s seediest alleyways, Jonatan Soderstrom – aka, Cactus – decided to offer them a helping hand.

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Ubisoft Boss Declares F2P Is Because Of 95% Piracy Rates


Rock, Paper, Shotgun is read by over 92% of the Earth’s population, and our most frequent readers are in the top 15% most attractive people on Earth! Yes, we all love statistics we don’t provide any evidence for. There’s so much fun to be had. Ubisoft have also been revelling in that fun, by telling GI.biz that they experience “93-95% piracy” rates. Which is odd, what with all their boasting that their always-awful DRM has been so darned effective at combating piracy. How incredibly confusing! Anyway, this, says bossman Yves Guillemot, is why they’re heading down the path of F2P games.

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Ascii What You Did: Syndicate Dev’s Message To Pirates

STARING EYES
The humble .nfo file is a business card, instruction manual, and score-setting rap song in ascii form. They’re the files that the piracy scene drops into their releases to claim bragging rights for that particular chunk of nefarious code. So why the hell did Syndicate Developers Starbreeze stick one in the legitimate release of their first-person shooter? Redditor MikkelManDK spotted the file in the game’s directory: it’s there to partly to mock the scene a little — the install notes read: ‘1) Insert disc 2) Play ;)’ — and partly to bring the Warez groups into the games industry: Starbreeze’s .nfo asks them to apply for jobs.

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Legal Threats Endemic Among Games Pubs

Fishface.

Last week we celebrated CD Projekt RED’s decision to back down from the practice of demanding cash settlements from alleged pirates. The gambit, that subverts the legal process of innocent until proven guilty, and is based on threatening people with spurious lawsuits with only flimsy, unreliable IP evidence, has been condemned on many occasions, and when tried in the UK led to some rapid backtracking. Many have viewed it as extortion, frightening people into paying fees in the region of €800 in order not to have to go to court to prove their innocence or argue against the notion of piracy equating to lost sales. And as TorrentFreak revealed yesterday, it’s something being done by a huge proportion of the publishing industry.

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Opinion: Me And CDP On Legal Threats

A court, which no one will likely see over this.

You’ll likely remember that last week it was revealed that CD Projekt had hired a firm to send out letters to those they believed had pirated copies of The Witcher 2, demanding large sums of money. It’s a practice that is widely despised, due not only to its propensity for threatening the innocent, but more significantly, because it’s based on threats in the first place. A person receives a letter demanding an excessive amount of money (evidence for this story suggests in the region of €750, corrected from 900+ that was previously reported), or the recipient will be taken to court where they may end up paying a great deal more. These apparently necessary court cases will be dropped if the fee is paid. And that’s why I consider it such a serious issue. Never mind the severity of the act of piracy, this process subverts the legal process, avoids actually providing evidence and proving guilt, and depends upon scaring people into paying money they likely can’t afford. This is something I wanted to discuss with CDP themselves, who I thought had given unsatisfactory responses to other outlets who suddenly picked up on the story after RPS reported TorrentFreak’s week-old article. My discussion is below.

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CD Projekt Threatening Alleged Pirates

Just why?
Remember how we all cheered when CD Projekt removed the DRM from The Witcher 2? Although the GoG version was always free of the legitimate-customers-only punishing code, all other sources came with the straitjacket. Post launch, however, they patched it out, letting customers enjoy the game without concern. It seemed an all-round sensible way to behave, and despite piracy they sold over a million copies of the game. A happy story. Except, well, now according to TorrentFreak (and seemingly corroborated here, along with mentions of a few other titles) the publisher is reportedly threatening alleged (but unproven) pirates with ludicrous legal letters demanding large amounts of money.

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Volition Boss Says No More Duff PC Ports

Shoot it in its physics!

There’s some lovely comments from Volition‘s studio manager, Eric Barker, over on Eurogamer. Discussing why it’s always worth developing for PC when creating cross platform titles, and how Volition will no longer be using external developers for their PC versions, he drops this gem of a comment that I’ll be quoting for some time to come.

“I don’t think [piracy] is something at the forefront for us. First and foremost, we want to make sure we’re making a game people would want to pirate. Let’s make a game that’s worth stealing, and then we’ll worry about making sure they don’t.”

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Oh, Ubisoft: Torrented Their Own Music?

Are we under arrest?

Ubisoft, you do like making mistakes. The publisher’s strange habit of incorporating piracy into their products seems to have reared once more. Remember back in 2008 when they thought it would be a good idea to officially patch Rainbow Six Vegas 2 with an illegal NO-CD crack? Today Eurogamer brings us news that those copyright infringing scamps may have been at it again. This time it looks like they’ve included a torrented version of their own soundtrack in the Digital Deluxe Edition of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood on PC.

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Opinion: Let’s Not Celebrate DRM Just Yet

Woo! Party time!

Correction: It seems that Ubisoft’s new DRM will be requiring one activation at install, and then not again. While this is problematic regarding DLC, and I continue to argue (as the post below explains) still not okay, it’s not quite as it was understood from the ambiguous statements given before the article was written. However, the “always on” DRM continues to torment users of Ubisoft games like Settlers 7. Apologies for the confusion caused, and to Ubisoft for the incorrect statements.

Don’t be fooled, I say. Ubisoft, amongst others, have been getting a lot of good press lately, including from this very site, for the apparent backtracking on the DRM that had crippled a number of games. By insisting that players be always online as they played, Ubisoft’s games became a subject of headlines – gamers’ progress would be lost, players dumped out of their games, because BT pressed a wrong button somewhere, or the Sun’s flares caused a blip in a wifi signal. It took Digital Rights Management to a whole new level of pointlessly ruining valid customers’ experiences; while the pirates they were pretending to fight continued to enjoy a far better game. And so we celebrate as they remove this, and we compliment them for backing down from the nonsense. But I (John Walker, whose views don’t necessarily reflect those of his (inevitably wrong) colleagues) say: let’s just think about that a little more carefully.

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