RockStar’s bullet-time-tastic Max Payne 2 recently hit Steam, selling for a pittance. An industrious little Steam forumite decided to go digging around inside the executable, and discovered an oddly familair bit of ascii-art hidden away inside the code that makes things go:
Can’t see it? Try squinting. Still can’t see it? Here, spoiler alert:
In case you didn’t know, Myth was a prolific pirate group back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, that would crack popular games and release them online for the discerning filthy pirate who prefers to steal software instead of paying for it. As for how their code ended up inside the executable for Max Payne 2 on Steam, put there by RockStar, one can only assume that someone, somewhere, got lazy and instead of recompiling the executable to remove the CD-checking, they just downloaded a cracked exe and slapped it in.
Since this news hit, RockStar has re-released the game on Steam and removed the bit of ASCII-art giving away where they got their new executable from. This is not the first time something like this has happened either: for Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 , Ubisoft used a no-CD crack made by a pirate group, to ‘fix’ their buggy Digital Rights Management (DRM), instead of removing the DRM checks themselves.