#GamingBytes: Hitman 2 cracked before its official release
Hitman 2 officially releases on November 13 and fans are eagerly awaiting the new stealth-assassination game. However, in a stroke of terrible or brilliant luck, depending on which side of the table you are on, it was cracked two days before the release. Orchestrated by the group FCKDRM, it spells bad news for Denuvo, the company responsible for protecting the game against piracy.
The battle behind the scenes
DRM companies like Denuvo are constantly battling groups seeking to crack the game and releasing pirated copies. Though no DRM company has successfully indefinitely held off piracy, Denuvo was the most successful in delaying cracks and protecting the initial launch windows, until now.
What is DRM? Who is FCKDRM?
DRM means Digital Rights Management, which controls when, how digital content like music, video, and games can be used. It is an added software layer, repeatedly asking gamers to prove ownership of content to enjoy continued access. GOG (Good Old Games) started the FCKDRM initiative, educating people about this 'corporate' control. The FCKDRM group that cracked Hitman 2, gets its name from here.
How did FCKDRM crack Hitman 2?
The FCKDRM group had cracked Denuvo's 5.2 protection in 5 days and now has managed to crack the latest protection Hitman 2 was using. Hitman 2 Gold Edition offered buyers early access which was FCKDRM's way in. This spells trouble for Denuvo whose anti-piracy tech promises to protect first week sales. It remains to be seen if game developers, IO Interactive, will remove Denuvo.
How will the crack affect Hitman 2?
Hitman 2 was dealt a severe blow when the crack was released before the official release of the game. Most games witness the maximum sales during the first week of release and the game being made available to pirates will adversely affect numbers. Compounding this problem, it has to compete against Rockstar's 'Red Dead Redemption 2' which already garnered praise in the gaming community.
The beginning of the end
Denuvo maintained a stellar reputation and its anti-piracy tech was notoriously difficult. Notably, FIFA used Denuvo, taking almost a year to crack it. However, FIFA 18 saw the Denuvo crack beaten in a day. Since then Denuvo's slippery slope has Hitman 2 as its most recent casualty. Notably, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, using Denuvo 4.9 has also been cracked despite remaining protected during initial release.
Other titles that are going to be affected by this
Football Manager 2019 and Just Cause 4 use the same protection as Hitman 2. The former has been cracked already, and if Just Cause 4 does not upgrade its protection, it will get cracked as well unless Denuvo steps up to this new challenge.
The need for ethical gaming
While we are reporting news of Hitman 2 being cracked, we at NewsBytes do not support or tolerate piracy in any form. Although this writer holds conflicting views about the control DRM exercises on content, the need to support game developers is paramount to acknowledge the efforts going into building a game. I urge you to buy Hitman 2 instead of resorting to piracy.