how do pirates pirate games?

what is the method they use and why can't they be stopped can't game companies just program the game to auto detect if it's pirated and if it is it deletes itself or something

im new to this computer thing so take it easy on me

1 Answer

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Software piracy (not just of games) and anti-piracy have been around for as long as we've had computer software.

    As a new protection method is created, the pirates figure out a way to circumvent it. This battle has been going on for over 30 years.

    Some methods pirates use include low-level debugging tools normally used by legitimate developers. Using these tools, it's possible to watch what commands a computer executes as you play the game. Most anti-piracy checks are done right when you first run the game, so all the pirates have to do is figure out when the game calls those instructions, and simply rewrite it. They produce a patch that overwrites this part of the game so it no longer checks to make sure it's a legitimate copy, so the game always runs.

    More recent methods require the game to connect to the company's servers and do the check there. This is slightly more complicated but not entirely unhackable. Again, the game can be tricked into thinking it's talking to the company's servers, or the pirates change the game so that every time the game asks "am I legit?" the answer is always "yes" even without connecting to the network.

    Unfortunately, many anti-piracy measures don't actually work. The latest example is EA's release of SimCity which requires the game to constantly be connected to EA's servers even if you're just playing by yourself. If the game loses contact with the server for any reason, the game immediately quits. Unfortunately, EA didn't realize how many people were going to play the game, and so its servers couldn't handle the load. As a result, many customers couldn't play at all, or had their cities erased because the game lost its connection.

    I certainly don't condone piracy but it's awfully hard to support the game industry when their draconian methods assume you're a criminal. Meanwhile, SimCity has been cracked using the method I mentioned above. This means the pirates can play...while EA still addresses its congestion problem while its customers who paid for the game, continue to wait.

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