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Final Fantasy 15 isn't out on PC yet but people are already playing a cracked version

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Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition will make use of the much-unloved Denuvo anti-tampering software to protect it against early-days piracy when it launches tomorrow. In spite of that, according to threads on Resetera and Reddit, it's already been cracked. 

This isn't a conventional crack, however, but more of a dodge. According to the notes published by Chinese cracking group 3DM (the outfit that claimed a couple of years ago that it was going on hiatus because Denuvo had become all but uncrackable), it was actually enabled by the EXE file from the demo, which was not protected by Denuvo. With a little bit of fiddling, it apparently works in conjunction with the preload files to bust things wide open. 

3DM said its unprotected version of the game is confirmed to work through chapter three, but multiple redditors are reporting success well beyond that—at least a couple have said it's possible to get at least as far as chapter nine. Others say the new DLC content from chapter 14 is not playable. Here's a rundown (opens in new tab) of the whole situation, according to one Reddit post: 

"It is a denuvo 'crack' in that the demo exe already doesn't use denuvo and they didn't put in any kind of restriction or check to make it not work with the released game files. the reason it was possible to do this BEFORE release is origin ALSO forgot to encrypt their preload. if they hadn't forgotten then this would have come out on launch. That's also why the dlc isn't working—it wasn't decrypted in the origin download so they couldn't try it."

According to other posts in the Reddit thread, Origin has since updated its preload files, so the workaround is now only compatible with pirated downloads.

So it's really more of a leveraged opportunity of a simple oversight rather than an actual crack—a "workaround," as one Resetera user put it—but the net result is the same. Effective, but not exactly the final nail in Denuvo's coffin. 

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition will be available tomorrow from Steam and Origin. If you'd like to try before you buy but don't want to deal with the hassle of piracy, the demo is available (and, obviously, free) on both platforms.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.