As I had predicted already, piracy is thriving and fighting with us: Denuvo, the anti-tampering technology used together with the worst DRM by the worst gaming corporations, was swallowed by the best code pirates during a Summer that felt bitter for the eponymous Australian company. First came the exploit-based bypasses of DOOM and Tomb Raider, then the CONSPIR4CY super-crew (a partnership between CPY and CODEX) showed the world that the king is naked and that Denuvo got cracked as well. Piracy will live forever, and DRM will still be good for nothing.
Emulation allowed us to preserve a substantial part of the mainstream gaming past, but beyond software replication of known components there still is a gulf full of strange devices shrouded by mysterious fogs. Devices like the proprietary magnetic disk drive for Nintendo 64, for instance, or the prototype of a CD-based SNES console co-developed by Nintendo with Sony. The mists of an unclear past still cloak the copy protection of Sega Saturn CDs, while sometimes they let samples of historically remarkable gaming code or unfinished games emerge.
The month of June means E3, the gaming fair that this year focused on proper games after the fireworks of the new console war between Sony and Microsoft in 2013. Actually, other than for the E3, June was noteworthy because of the welcomed return of a LucasArts classic like Grim Fandango, the horrible return of movie tie-ins based on video games characters with a film on Sonic and because of Capcom’s surrender to the harsh laws of the market. If I had the money, I would buy the Japanese corporation by myself and then I would prevent any other worthless exploit of the classic series from the past (see GnG on the iPhone, the horror made of bits).
Sir Arthur has always played on PC, and he will continue to do so until he will collapse in front of the screen. Hence I always feel annoyed when I read the “apocalyptic” news about the collapse in PC sales, a market that even when it’s depressed is capable of shipping something like 300 million new machines in a year. These are numbers that actually say little about the real market of hardcore players (who build their own PCs, as it’s the right thing to do), and that must be coupled with meaningful statistics like the 7 million concurrent users logged on December by Steam and the billions of dollars earned by historical MMOs like the Lineage series. But you know, MMOs are full of spies and Steam is the evil that wants to conquer the world, so I side with the competition and always buy my games on DVD. Ave atque vale.