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Deus Ex: The Fall disables firing guns on jailbroken iOS devices

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Deus Ex: The Fall, the new mobile entry in the franchise, disables the firing of guns if it detects that a user has "jailbroken" their iOS device, report frustrated players on Reddit and the game's iTunes App Store page.

The first installment of The Fall launched yesterday on iOS for $6.99. The game begins with cutscenes and a brief tutorial, then drops players into the game world. When they try to pull the trigger, it presents them with the message seen in the iPhone screenshot above (from Reddit user KipEnyan): "We are sorry but you can't fire on jailbroken devices." It's unclear if players can complete the game without ever firing a weapon.

"This is massively offensive on Square Enix's behalf," said KipEnyan. "The obvious implication is that all jailbreakers are pirates who more than likely pirated this game. I paid good money for this game and [Square Enix] feels it's okay to break my game because I prefer to customize my iPhone to my liking."

"I've enjoyed what I've played so far," said one App Store reviewer, "with one caveat. It won't play on a jailbroken device. I understand protecting the app against cracking/pirating, but preventing paying customers from playing on a device they own and legally modified is ridiculous."

Last fall, the U.S. Copyright Office ruled that jailbreaking smartphones is legal, but declined to extend the same status to tablets. Jailbreaking devices provides full access to their software, allowing users to completely customize the way they work and run whatever apps they'd like to run on them. However, most major phone manufacturers and carriers will consider a device's warranty voided if a user has jailbroken it.

Deus Ex: The Fall was developed by Square Enix's mobile division in Europe in conjunction with N-Fusion Interactive and the Deus Ex: Human Revolution team at Eidos Montreal. We've reached out to publisher Square Enix for comment and will update this article with any information we receive.

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