Even though everyone and their grandmother hates DRM programs like Denuvo and decries their inclusion in games at every opportunity, it’s still technically illegal to remove these programs from video games. Normally I would say you could bet the companies behind DRM will pursue legal action against anyone who removes the programs, but is it really ethical to bet on something that’s already happened?
If you have spent any time searching the Internet for information on removing of programs like Denuvo, otherwise known as “cracking,” you may or may not have heard of REVOLT, possibly in hushed whispers or in all caps. REVOLT is a hacker group dedicated to cracking DRM programs, and its leader, a man only known by the name “Voksi,” has led the charge against Denuvo. Voksi has been behind many a claim that DRM slows down computers, as well as many more a DRM-free version of PC games. In other words, Voksi is as much a champion of PC gaming consumers as he is a scallywagging pirate. Quite recently, REVOLT’s website shut down, leading to confusion in the hacker community. In most situations, the cause would have been the result of a server error, a domain dispute, or, in an ironic twist for a hacker group, a DDOS attack. But this was a special case. According to a recent Reddit post by Voksi himself, the the site went down because he was arrested.
Well, stating Voksi was arrested is a bit of an oversimplification. The company behind Denuvo, also called Denuvo confusingly enough, filed charges against him, and the police came to his house, seized both his server and personal computers, and according to a statement received by Kotaku, arrested Voksi. “I can’t say it wasn’t expected,” explains Voksi. He later visited the police to explain himself (no word on if he recovered any of his seized assets), but he is still in good spirits, all things considered. While Voksi wants to end this whole ordeal on good terms with Denuvo (or as good terms as possible given their history), he admits this is the end for him in the Denuvo-cracking business. Or, at least it is the end for him on the front lines.
“I did what I did for you guys and of course because bloated software in our games shouldn’t be allowed at all,” proclaims Voksi. “Maybe someone else can continue my fight.”
Voksi clearly has no regrets. He believes he’s in the right, and plenty of PC gamers agree with him. Voksi closes out his Reddit post with an open call to anyone who wants to aid him in his fight, be it like-minded individuals or lawyers. Especially lawyers. Maybe Voksi wants people to help defend him in the case Denuvo is building against him, or maybe he wants to continue his eternal crusade against bloatware through more legal means.
While sites such as Kotaku have reached out to Voksi, he has so far declined to reply. Only time will tell if Denuvo stops with Voksi or if the company will crack down on other Denuvo crackers.