A recent advancement in DRM technologies has helped many AAA title remain un-cracked for longer than they've ever been able to. Just Cause 3 is the latest example.
Pirates and game-cracking groups that reverse-engineer DRM protection to make many PC - and sometimes console - games available for anyone to play for free, have been hitting major hurdles for over a year, thanks to Denuvo's Anti-Tamper technology. Unlike previous horrors of SecuROM and similar services that ultimately aggravated legitimate users more than pirates, the new tech only prevents hackers.
The service has been used in multiple EA games before such as FIFA and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Though it may not completely prevent titles from being pirated, it requires technical prowess and delays the process quite a bit, well after interest has waned. FIFA 15, for instance, which came out in 2014, was only really cracked over six months after launch.
PC games have always been available, cracked, on release, and sometimes before. Needless to say, this is unprecedented.
This lead the founder of Chinese cracking forum 3DM (a notorious hacking group) to admit that we may never see cracked games on PC again in as close as two years-time. Games like FIFA 16 and more recently Just Cause 3, remain un-cracked to this day, the latter of which spurred 3DM to comment.
"Recently, many people have asked about cracks for ‘Just Cause 3′, so here is a centralized answer to this question. The last stage is too difficult and Jun [cracking guy] nearly gave up, but last Wednesday I encouraged him to continue," 3DM head who goes by the alias Bird Sister said on the group's forum, as per TorrentFreak's translation.
"I still believe that this game can be compromised. But according to current trends in the development of encryption technology, in two years time I’m afraid there will be no free games to play in the world," she added.
Denuvo's methods have only improved, according to marketing director Thomas Goebls, who told Eurogamer that more and more publishers are noticing and some of them are even considering releasing previously console-only titles on PC.