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Denuvo DRM broken within 24 hours of South Park’s launch, say hackers

South Park fractured, but whole on pirate sites

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Once again, Denuvo’s anti-piracy protection has been broken by hackers not even a day past the launch of a major game using it. This time it’s South Park: The Fractured But Whole, which launched yesterday.

Two warez sites have links to the full PC version of game on filesharing lockers. At this point it’s probably fair to say the woe-is-me message from pirates about 18 months ago, when it took them a while to beat Just Cause 3’s DRM, was probably FUD. They had little trouble with Middle-earth: Shadow of War’s protection, and Sonic Mania’s before that.

Late last week, NeoGAF commenters noted that The Evil Within 2 launched without Denuvo files, more circumstantial evidence that the protection, which PC gamers don’t really care for, isn’t doing much for publishers who license it. In the case of Sonic Mania, Denuvo was initially blamed for problems that effectively made it an always-online game. An update later resolved that problem, but hackers still broke the DRM.

There’s always the chance that South Park, Middle-earth or other games get updated with a new form of the protection. Denuvo’s anti-tamper technology has never been said to be bulletproof and it’s constantly changing. But the company has tried to make cracking it take such a long time that pirates either gave up or no longer wanted the game.

Mass Effect: Andromeda was quickly broken after launch back in March, but pirated copies were prevented from getting the game’s substantial post-launch updates and patches. Electronic Arts later pulled the DRM entirely.

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