Chinese cracking group throws in the towel

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean thumbnail

Chinese pirate collective 3DM has announced that it's on hiatus, but I saw what happened to One Direction and now I find it hard to trust. Perhaps team leader 'Bird Sister' is using the break as cover to launch her own solo cracking career.

"We just had an internal meeting," Bird Sister (known also as Phoenix) says on her blog, as reported by TorrentFreak. "Starting at the Chinese New Year, 3DM will not crack any single-player games." Chinese New Year is today, February 8.

This comes exactly one month after 3DM announced that the second-layer DRM protection software on Just Cause 3, Denuvo, was proving too hard to crack, like one of those pistachios where the shell is completely closed so you can't even get a fingernail in.

Sid Meier's Pirates

Melodramatically, Bird Sister speculated that piracy itself could be a thing of the past within two years. 3DM is going to give it one: the team will have another shot in a year's time, presumably to capitalise on advances made by other crackers or in the hope that the Denuvo devs will all be replaced by Weebles. At that time, they'll also "see if genuine sales have grown", turning a good long holiday into an impromptu market dynamics experiment.

It's an odd comment. For one thing, I'm not sure where they could obtain sales figures comprehensive enough to make the comparison, let alone account for the other commercial forces at work. For another, she doesn't indicate what the result of such an observation would mean for 3DM: would it change its ways and set up an online store whereby all participants in the economy enjoyed an equitable exchange of goods, or up its pirating game like Robin Hood to Square Enix's sheriff of Nottingham?