They say that if a DRM lasts for 2 Days after release it has done its job, and if it lasts for 2 weeks it was worth every penny. However in recent times, games have been getting DRM-cracked before the actual release date. This was the case with GTA V and now is the case with Thief, which got leaked and cracked a few days before release. It is of note here that in some cases, Thief was ‘unlocked’ before the official release date.
Thief Gets Leaked before release, resulting in Heavy Piracy after getting Steam Protection Cracked
If you do not already know, DRM is the term for the security precautions in place that stop a game from being pirated and/or copied. Back in the old days, when there was no DRM, all you had to do was manually copy a game disk. Then came serial numbers which were once again easily remedied. The cracking scene started in that era with no-cd cracks following and so on. It escalated to the point where DRMs consisted of strongly encrypted hashes with multiple layers of protections, SecuROM for example. Before I go any further let me show you the leaked files that appeared first on Premium Private Trackers and then Public Trackers.
As you can see, Thief leaked a couple of days before the release date of 25th February (the screenshots were taken at the time of writing). The console version was leaked about 5 days ago while the PC version was leaked and cracked one day before release. There have been isolated instances of Thief being unlocked in specific regions but the official launch date was 25th of February. And its not just Thief, games in general get their DRM cracked (mostly Steam Protection) instantly upon release. The days immediately following the debut of any title are crucial to its sales figures. Mostly, if the DRM can survive just for a few days, 90% of the early gaming sales are done with. However, if upon release, a user has the choice to go free or cough up, well lets just say we are all human.
Though I do not condone the use of DRMS, just as i do not condone piracy, it seems a waste of dollars to use DRMs if they cant even stand the basic attempts at cracking. Just go DRM Free like the Witchers and atleast earn the gaming communities’ respect. Interestingly Crysis 3’s DRM took about 5 days to crack. As a general trend it appears that games which are more dedicated towards PC have a DRM generally harder to crack. The obvious exceptions being the batman series, with both Batman Arkham Asylum and City taking around a month to have their DRM broken. However, steam protection, is quite inadequate now. It barely takes any time at all for a Steam protected game to be cracked and it appears that the same crack works for every Steam protected game. It makes you wonder whether they really want a particular game to remain DRM protected.
— Usman Pirzada (@usmanpirzada) February 25, 2014