Resident Evil 7 might have us on the edge of our proverbial seats, and off mine literally—especially in VR—but despite being an ample return to form for the survival #horror genre, it's not setting sales records on fire, losing ground to both #ResidentEvil 5 and 6. Arguably worse games. Also factually worse games.
That's not the only place #ResidentEvil7 is suffering either, with the Digital Rights Management (DRM) software designed to protect it being cracked in a record five days!
Has Piracy Been Eating Into 'Resident Evil 7' Sales?
So, RE7 was cracked in record time and fans are worried that it's impacted on the game's sales. Has it? Potentially so, though we've already figured out only 35% of PC gamers are pirates. However, it does create an interesting case study for the Denuvo DRM technology that was meant to protect it.
Denuvo has become one of the most popular DRM solutions for developers who are looking to protect their products from cracks and pirates. It's also a wonderful alternative to forcing your game to be always-online; the last thing we need are more launches like Diablo 3 and SimCity.
Amazingly, Denuvo did actually push pirates to the brink when it launched. Some prominent crackers even declared that PC piracy would be dead within two years of its arrival on the scene. Obviously though, two years on, PC piracy hasn't gone anywhere and the latest versions of Denuvo are installed on a number of games.
So while it may have seemed like piracy's death was imminent, the pressure on Denuvo from crackers only increased. For example, prominent cracking group CONSPIR4CY (CPY) made huge strides recently, ultimately breaching Rise of the Tomb Raider five months after its launch. They then opened the flood gates on a number of other titles within the following few weeks, including:
- Mirror's Edge Catalyst
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Watch Dogs 2
And that's just to name a few. Some of these titles were protected for a mere six weeks before CONSPIR4CY cracked them—but Resident Evil 7 only being protected for five days really takes the cake.
To be fair, Denuvo have never claimed their software to be unbeatable—though a number of titles protected by earlier versions of Denuvo remain safeguarded—rather that it's designed to protect the initial launch window of a game. Though in this scenario, one could argue that they failed pretty hard.
It's a shame for Resident Evil 7, really. The game's wonderful reconnection with the survival horror roots of the series has seen the title showered with praise! But now the availability of a cracked version so shortly after release is likely to impair sales figures moving forward, and who wants that for such a great Resident Evil game?!
Regardless, the story is probably far from over. Denuvo are known for rapidly reinventing their systems, so RE7 may catch a break, but crackers will no doubt continue to unpack every update. Ready yourselves for a battle of tension the likes of which you've never seen—except for the (sexual) tension that fires up whenever Wesker goes up against Chris.
Do Capcom deserve a refund on their Denuvo protection? Should all games go DRM free like the services on GOG? Let us know!