The last generation of gaming will be remembered as The Golden Age of Video Game Piracy. For years, pretty much every major PC game was cracked and available on torrent sites at (or before) launch, and even closed consoles and handhelds found themselves compromised. Well, things have swung back in publisher’s favor this generation – consoles have yet to be broken, and new anti-piracy tech is even shutting down PC game-crackers.
The main thing that’s turned the piracy tide on PCs is Denuvo Anti-Tamper, which is essentially a secondary level of security that makes it much harder to mess with the DRM measures of services like Steam and EA’s Origin. This double-layer of protection has slowed down pirates significantly, as many major games now aren’t broken until well after release. FIFA 15, one of the most popular games in the world, wasn’t cracked for nearly six months. Major 2015 holiday title Just Cause 3 still hasn’t been cracked, and apparently trying has caused pirates no end of frustration.
The founder of Chinese cracking forum 3DM, a group responsible for a large portion of the pirated games online, talked about how frustrating attempting to crack Just Cause 3 has been, and admitted we may be looking at a future in which pirated games are a rarity:
“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 our cracking guy 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.”
Video-game piracy will never entirely go away, but it seems like it won’t be nearly as ubiquitous going forward. Most publishers, especially the smaller ones who tend to be hurt most by piracy, are undoubtedly happy about this, although it will be interesting to see what effect this has on this industry. Will sales of PC games go up? Or will ever-stronger anti-piracy measures and DRM actually turn gamers away? Either way, prepare yourself for a bold new world of actually paying for the games you want to play.
(Via VG 24/7)