Piracy is an unmistakably divisive issue within the video game community. While universally recognized as a practice that ultimately hurts the people who are making the games that we all enjoy, the invasive and overbearing DRM practices implemented by major publishers have invited a great deal of backlash from the gaming community – and sometimes even other developers.
One of the voices that we don’t often hear weigh in on the matter, however, is that of the pirates themselves, the individuals who dedicate their time and energy to cracking games so they can be downloaded and redistributed for free, illegally. However, the infamous pirate group 3DM has been unusually vocal over the last couple months, most recently releasing a statement via TorrentFreak announcing that they would not be pirating any single player games over the course of the next year, in what they claim to be an effort to measure piracy’s effects on the overall market.
3DM is a China-based piracy group who achieved notoriety in 2014 for becoming the first group of pirates to break the defenses of the now common Denuvo anti-piracy software. However, 3DM also caught attention when it gave up on attempting to crack the Square Enix title Just Cause 3, which was also protected by a Denuvo based anti-piracy system.
Following their failure to crack Just Cause 3, 3DM released a statement that predicted it would be impossible to pirate games within just two years.
While this certainly is an interesting turn of events, the pirating community remains very active. This may simply be a case of one group stepping down only to be quickly replaced by another – but in the competitive world of software hacking, it is remarkably unusual to see such a prominent organization issue such sweeping statements, and the ramifications of this turn of events should be interesting to watch.