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PC game-security company Denuvo downplays alleged Rise of the Tomb Raider crack

A crack in its impregnable armour or wishful thinking?

Rise of the Tomb Raider's nigh-impregnable PC release may have finally been overcome by pirates six months on, but even if it has, it's only notable because it held out for so long.

The remarkable thing is, Rise of the Tomb Raider isn't alone. It's one of a number of games protected by Denuvo's Anti-Tamper technology, which shields a game's executable file from being messed around with and therefore cracked and widely pirated.

Since 2014 Denuvo Anti-Tamper has been making headlines, even forcing infamous cracker group 3DM to predict there will be no illegally free games to play in the world by 2018.

But with reports of a Rise of the Tomb Raider crack, the chinks in Denuvo's Anti-Tamper armour may have started to appear.

The reports of a crack come from Russia and a step-by-step video that shows a cracked version of ROTTR up and running. A CrackStatus subreddit thread explains what's going on (via PCGamesN).

Nevertheless, the method used in the video doesn't seem to have been replicated and there is no cracked version of Rise of the Tomb Raider now widely available. There's even a suggestion the method only works because of how that person's particular computer is set up, which would make it very hard to replicate.

Forecasts of doom for Denuvo's Anti-Tamper technology are, therefore, premature - if not simply wishful thinking.

I asked Denuvo's head of marketing and sales, Thomas Goebl, about the alleged crack.

"As there are no files available to verify I can't answer [whether Rise of the Tomb Raider] has been cracked," he said. "Only public available cracks are relevant as they harm the content owners business."

It's the same answer for whether the method could be repeated for other Denuvo-protected games: "Again, without some files to check, this would be pure guessing. I can answer this question if/when a crack is publicly available." Though I'd be surprised, given his position, if he said 'yes go ahead this works on all our games'.

The other thing about Denuvo's Anti-Tamper technology is that it evolves in step with the methods that try and overcome it. That's how it's managed to keep PC games uncracked and unpirated for unprecedented amounts of time. A CrackStatus thread listing the cracked-or-not state of PC games is testament to Denuvo's work.

Also, Denuvo never billed the Anti-Tamper technology as 'uncrackable', merely 'hard to crack', which it clearly is. And even if Rise of the Tomb Raider were cracked, "We would continue playing the cat and mouse as we do for many years," Goebl said. "There are changes in every game, even in every update of each game."

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