Denuvo became the most hated anti-piracy tool soon after its release, but it’s not hard to see its downfall. With games getting cracked left and right (um, Wolfenstein II got cracked BEFORE it even released), we have to wonder: deep down, do pirates actually love Denuvo?
Let’s face it, piracy has been a huge thing ever since the beginning. Whether it was copying a cassette-based game using a recorder, or finding a workaround for Hyper Loaders, pirates have always welcomed these challenges with enthusiasm. Subverting these mechanisms became an achievement in itself, along with the thrill that came with it. So much so, that someone dumped the 1983 International Soccer for the Commodore 64 (that originally came on a cartridge) onto a cassette tape, along with a modification that had some players sitting in wheelchairs and others using crutches. We may be used to incredible and nonsensical mods by now, but at that time, you can imagine what a feat it would have been. Things like these were a treat to the teenage pirates, challenging the big companies.
Fast forward to modern times, and the situation is a little different, but in a way still the same. Anti-piracy mechanisms have become exponentially complex so no user-created tool can get through them, and yet, people who have a passion for solving these puzzles have made sure they get taken down. And looking at the state of Denuvo, it’s quite easy to say that it has been taken down repeatedly. Games are getting cracked within days, sometimes hours after release (also before release), and one can imagine this being an exciting time for hackers and pirates. It’s this sense of achievement and rebellion of fighting against the system that seems to be the driving force behind it. After all the phrase “the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory” exists for a reason.