Far Cry 5 has been one of Ubisoft’s most popular games this year, and it’s been selling like gangbusters. Far Cry 5’s success naturally attracted cracking groups like CPY to circumvent the game’s protection, a task that was made much easier thanks to their efforts in cracking Assassin’s Creed Origins. Surprise! Denuvo’s version of copy protection on Far Cry 5 was cracked last month, and it didn’t take long at all.
Far Cry 5 has a few notable differences compared to Assassin’s Creed Origins. Origins is protected by Denuvo V4.9 while Far Cry 5’s Denuvo version is sitting at V5.0. It’s reportedly a bit of a rework of V4.9 and encrypts game files with an updated algorithm, but that wasn’t enough to thwart the cracking groups. The crack is also not necessarily disabling the protections, instead bypassing them. Stripping Denuvo DRM out of a game requires an executable that doesn’t include the necessary hooks to allow the software to work, unlike what we saw with Final Fantasy XV on PC a few months ago.
Interestingly, most of the issues with cracking this game came from Far Cry 5’s use of Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) for online multiplayer. Far Cry 5’s multiplayer offers co-op gameplay as well as PvP maps and game modes, so EAC’s inclusion slowed things down a lot. EAC also appears in Dragon Ball FighterZ, and is credited as the reason why it still hasn’t been hacked. Like Valve Anti-Cheat, EAC uses a server-client protection mechanism that is able to identify when files have been changed, corrupted, or replaced, and will prevent players from launching a game or joining multiplayer matches if it finds a discrepency.
Grand Theft Auto V has a similar in-house solution developed by Rockstar Games, which periodically scans game files for any alterations and adds the user to a pool that will be banned or sent to the naughty side of GTA Online with the next ban wave. Microsoft is also doing a similar thing in Windows 10 with TruePlay, which searches for modded game files or commonly used hacks like aimbots and will prevent you from playing with players that use these hacks in online games.
It looks like Denuvo is losing the war against cracking groups like CPY, as they struggle to keep up with advances in the capabilities these groups display in their efforts to subvert DRM protection schemes. 85% of games featuring Denuvo do get cracked eventually, and over half of those games are cracked in ten days or less.