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Resident Evil 7’s Denuvo protections cracked in under a week

Kyle Orland
Imagine these in-game bars are Denuvo copy protection, and CPY is the shotgun that can bust open the lock.
A cracked PC version of Denuvo-protected Resident Evil 7 appeared online over the weekend, offered up by hacking collective CPY less than a week after its January 24 release.
The crack marks a new low-water mark for the effectiveness of Denuvo's DRM protection, which just a year ago was considered so unbreakable that major cracking group 3DM took a public break from even attempting to crack Denuvo-protected games. Since then, though, over 20 Denuvo-protected games have been cracked or bypassed by 3DM, CPY, and other groups, starting with Doom and Rise of the Tomb Raider last summer.
The Resident Evil 7 crack is notable for how quickly it came after the game's legitimate release. Denuvo copy-protection relies on specific triggers inserted into the executable game code, and those triggers are placed differently in each protected game. This makes it hard to release any sort of generalized tool that will quickly crack all Denuvo-protected games. Instead, the Denuvo cracking process can require a lot of nitty-gritty manual searching through game data for each individual title.
In the past, this cracking process has taken anywhere from a few weeks to a matter of months after the game's first release. Resident Evil 7 being cracked in less than a week is a significant milestone for the crackers, one that could have big business impacts for Denuvo-protected games.
Since game sales tend to be front-loaded near the initial release date, every day a game can exist on the market in an "uncracked" state is important to publishers who believe that piracy negatively impacts legitimate sales. DRM that can effectively protect a game for a few weeks or months can be nearly as valuable to a publisher as copy protection that is literally never broken.
With the Resident Evil 7 crack, we're now entering a world in which Denuvo protection doesn't even promise a full week of "uncracked" sales for a new game. That's a world in which Denuvo's value to publishers is probably significantly reduced.
We saw last month that some publishers started removing Denuvo protections from their cracked games well after the fact, possibly triggering reported refund clauses in Denuvo contracts (Denuvo has not responded to a request for comment on this from Ars Technica). If Denuvo protection is no longer good for even a week, we could see more publishers balking at the costs associated with what used to be best-in-class copy protection.
Resident Evil 7’s Denuvo protections cracked in under a week Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 2:34 AM Rating: 5

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