An Italian hacking group announced today that Assassin's Creed Origins has finally been cracked. Thanks to their efforts, people with pirated versions of the game can now bypass its DRM protections.
The announcement appeared on a subreddit that keeps watch of when games get successfully cracked. Redditors have been speculating for months as to if the game would ever get cracked, and when. As rule, most games simply make use of Denuvo, which has proven to be controversial for its supposed impact on game performance.
However, in recent years Denuvo has proven to be ineffective, with some games getting cracked mere days after release. That's lead many developers and publishers to wonder whether it's worth paying for anymore. In the case of Origins, Ubisoft tripled down on protection.
By using a combination of the latest version of Denuvo, version 4.8, a code mutator called VMProtect, and Uplay security, Ubisoft was able to stump crackers like CPY for a while. Unfortunately, that's led to accusations that Assassin's Creed Origins presented an unusual drain on system resources, even on PCs well above the listed system requirements.
The CPY group, which sometimes cracks games under the name CONSPIR4CY, has been responsible for cracking some of the biggest games over the last few years. Middle-earth: Shadow of War, South Park: The Fractured but Whole, FIFA 18 were cracked within a day of release since they used an older version of Denuvo.
But with CPY's successful crack, it remains to be seen whether Ubisoft will keep those protections in place. In recent years, publishers have begun to patch Denuvo out of games after they've been cracked. Denuvo's Robert Hernandez told Kotaku in 2016 that Denuvo was removed from Doom because it had already accomplished its goal of protecting the games "initial sales window."
Seeing as it's taken over three months to defeat Assassin’s Creed Origins’ anti-piracy protections, one could argue that Ubisoft's strategy got the job done. Seeing Denuvo removed, and possibly increased performance, could be a bittersweet development for existing owners of Origins.
That seems unlikely though, for Ubisoft isn't in the habit of removing Denuvo of its games, even long after they've hit their initial sales window.