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Oculus Rift's latest attempt to block piracy backfires

Popular Revive mod forced to make piracy easier to combat changes.

Oculus Rift's latest security update was designed to make piracy harder, but its overall effect has been to make it easier than ever.

Luckey for some.

Last week, Oculus released its v1.4 patch which added an extra security step when launching games - the app now checks whether you have a Rift headset connected.

The move was seen as a move to block Revive, the popular mod which allowed users to play Oculus-exclusive games on other VR headsets.

Eurogamer reported on Revive last month, and on Oculus' subsequent disapproval. The company deemed Revive "a hack" likely to be fixed in a future update.

But when v1.4 closed one loophole, Revive's creator opened another - which allows for full-scale piracy at the same time.

"The original version of Revive simply took functions from the Oculus Runtime and translated them to OpenVR calls..." Revive creator Libre VR told Motherboard (thanks, Kotaku). "The new version of Revive now uses the same injection technique to bypass Oculus' ownership check altogether. By disabling the ownership check the game can no longer determine whether you legitimately own the game."

"This is my first success at bypassing the DRM," he continued on I really didn't want to go down that path. I still do not support piracy, do not use this library for pirated copies."

This is a serious problem for Oculus, and one which will likely be addressed sooner rather than later in yet another security update. But it is a problem of Oculus' making.

Just five months ago, the company was still publicly following a very different line.

"If customers buy a game from us, I don't care if they mod it to run on whatever they want," Oculus boss Palmer Luckey wrote on Reddit back in January. As I have said a million times (and counter to the current circlejerk), our goal is not to profit by locking people to only our hardware."

Those who have legitimately bought Oculus-exclusive games to play on another headset, such as Vive, will now find themselves unable to play them unless they enable piracy on their system.

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Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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