Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Second Take: Grand Theft Auto 4 Cracked

Last response: in Site Feedback
Share
April 24, 2008 4:37:10 PM

Ben and Rob discuss the pre-release pirating of Grand Theft Auto 4. Will it make it to the PC?

Watch Video: http://www.tomsgames.com/us/site/flash_videos/2nd_take_grand_theft_auto_4_cracked.html

Are you surprised? Have you ever pirated a console title?

-Ben
April 24, 2008 6:29:39 PM

I have not pirated a game since the laws were changed here in canada and tossed out all my copies at that point but i used the rental places to get my xbox copies when i did. So rental places did a lot of buisnes with me. never downloaded alot of xbox stuff because of the time it took.
haven't bought an xbox game since then either.
April 24, 2008 6:35:08 PM

I'm amazed everytime I see you guys here talking about PC piracy, and saying how there is so little console piracy in the US.

In my country, the console piracy is at the same level, if not higher, than PC piracy.

In others words, I'm not surprised.
Related resources
April 24, 2008 8:18:46 PM

rfunes said:
I'm amazed everytime I see you guys here talking about PC piracy, and saying how there is so little console piracy in the US.

In my country, the console piracy is at the same level, if not higher, than PC piracy.

In others words, I'm not surprised.


What country would that be?
April 24, 2008 9:21:50 PM

Cracking groups endorsing the game and telling people to buy the game in the crack notes is standard practice. Some groups do it more than others, but it's certainly not uncommon, so I don't see why you're surprised about it.

Anyway, interesting video. You said somewhere in there that you don't believe that piracy will affect sales of GTA IV, but you didn't expand on why. After all, the Xbox is often seen as the console closest to the PC, with similar target audiences; why, then, would piracy be hurtful on the PC platform but not the Xbox?
April 24, 2008 9:42:41 PM

robwright said:
What country would that be?


Brazil
April 24, 2008 10:51:08 PM

devon said:
Cracking groups endorsing the game and telling people to buy the game in the crack notes is standard practice. Some groups do it more than others, but it's certainly not uncommon, so I don't see why you're surprised about it.

Anyway, interesting video. You said somewhere in there that you don't believe that piracy will affect sales of GTA IV, but you didn't expand on why. After all, the Xbox is often seen as the console closest to the PC, with similar target audiences; why, then, would piracy be hurtful on the PC platform but not the Xbox?


I wasn't really surprised by iCon endorsing the game -- I just think that it's ironic that someone who copied a game and then made it available for the masses then turns around and says, hey, go and buy this game. If you think the game is worthy buying then...why copy it and make it available for pirates, most of whom you know will never pay for the game? I know, I know -- because people want the game early and they want to try it out before they play and all that jazz. Still, it's just seems like an odd statement to me, and it always has. Though I'm glad iCon saw fit to encourage people to buy it...if that makes any sense....which it probably doesn't....oh well....

As to your question about the sales, I'll explain my thinking -- there are similar architectures between the PC and 360 but the audiences are different, like I said in the video. I just don't see most console owners going ot and buying the mod chip, which is about the same price as the game, and then risking getting banned by Microsoft when they can just wait a few days and buy a legit copy. And because GTA is such a popular franchise, I suspect that most people will feel comfortable purchasing the game because they pretty much know what they're getting. So the number of people who will pirate the game this week will probably be limited to gamers who never pay for any of their games. And in my humble experience as a gamer and, more importantly, a gaming journalist, the number of people in the console market who don't pay for their games is significantly smaller than the number of people in the PC gaming world who pirate their games -- at least here in the US.
April 24, 2008 10:54:31 PM

rfunes said:
Brazil


Sweet. I've always wanted to visit Brazil and check out Carnaval.

Is PC gaming big in Brazil or is it like Japan, where consoles rule and PC gaming is virtually non-existent?
April 24, 2008 11:30:05 PM

Ok, I guess you two aren't engineers, so you don't know about this stuff. No user is going to port this game to the PC. You are right that the developement architecture is very similar (as they can both use mostly the same codebase, and use the same development environment). However, the processing architecture is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT (RISC, PPC, big-endian, and in-order-execution vs CISC, x86, little-endian, and out of order execution). When you compile an application to distribute, it is torn apart and reassembled into something almost nobody can make any sense of. There is a compiler for the PC, and a compiler for the xbox, and the outputs are so different that nobody in their right mind would ever try to make a direct port. Compiled code looses all formatting and organization, making it unintelligible. The job becomes even more difficult because the xbox has a completely different set of processor instructions compared to x86 PC's. Once you end up with that compiled results, the xbox is about as much like a PC as a steam engine is like an ion drive. Decompiling is the only way significant changes could be made, and it s nearly impossible to use to read PC games which were built with open-source compilers! You still loose all the formatting and structure, and there are MANY common errors. However, even the terribly frustrating process of decompiling is not going to happen for the 360 any time soon, because crackers don't have the 360 compilers (which are held secretly by Microsoft) to begin with! With no list of instruction functions, or a compiler to test things on, decompiling becomes essentially impossible (at least on this massive scale).

Someone will bring up emulators in a few posts, but right now there is no 360 emulator that works for ANY commercial game, and emulation of a game like GTA4 (which would require a top-of-the-line PC to play even if R* optimized it) would run at about 10 seconds per frame on the most powerful PC's. I mean, there is an emulator out there for the original xbox which could play 1 game (Halo 1), although at an unplayable performance with MANY MANY MANY crashes, and very very limited video card support. If it does come this way, it will not be playable for at least 5 years (and that is very, very generous).


Additionally, we are at the point where the 360 is pretty up-to-date with graphics cards. It uses a certain bit of the DX10 specification, meaning that it is only going to be playable on the Radeon 2800+, and MAYBE 8800+, unless someone rewrites the entire rendering pipeline (yes, that means rebuild all the effects which make it pretty) to support lower hardware.

Even worse, the entire memory management system on a 360 is different than on a PC (one RAM pool), meaning someone else will have to chuck in lock() and unlock() operations (which is difficult, and it will greatly slow it down as the rendering pipeline cannot be restructured given the difficulty of dealing with decompiled code).

So, what you mean to say was; "no, GTA4 is not going to move to the PC from a cracked 360 version because it is more likely that George Washington will rise from the dead to battle flying pigs and unicorns."
April 25, 2008 12:42:18 PM

robwright said:
I wasn't really surprised by iCon endorsing the game -- I just think that it's ironic that someone who copied a game and then made it available for the masses then turns around and says, hey, go and buy this game. If you think the game is worthy buying then...why copy it and make it available for pirates, most of whom you know will never pay for the game? I know, I know -- because people want the game early and they want to try it out before they play and all that jazz. Still, it's just seems like an odd statement to me, and it always has. Though I'm glad iCon saw fit to encourage people to buy it...if that makes any sense....which it probably doesn't....oh well....

You are obviously not very familiar with the "scene". Between some of those pirating groups there is quite a competition going on. Who gets it first, who cracks it better, etc. matters to some of them. The line you cite is actually used by a whole lot of software pirates.
Heck, there are enough of those groups that actually don't want "their" hacks out in the open. They crack a game to show off, to prove that copy protection is flawed or to be faster than other pirates. Sure there are some that do it for different reasons - be it money or other personal benefits. Some games are cracked by one group and released by another.

If i would work at EA i would've actually paid a group like icon to do what they just did. If EA really wants to buy that company, it will be a whole lot more expensive after the release of GTAIV. That's just speculation though.

April 25, 2008 8:41:04 PM

Slobogob said:
You are obviously not very familiar with the "scene". Between some of those pirating groups there is quite a competition going on. Who gets it first, who cracks it better, etc. matters to some of them. The line you cite is actually used by a whole lot of software pirates.
Heck, there are enough of those groups that actually don't want "their" hacks out in the open. They crack a game to show off, to prove that copy protection is flawed or to be faster than other pirates. Sure there are some that do it for different reasons - be it money or other personal benefits. Some games are cracked by one group and released by another.


Actually, I'm quite familiar with "the scene," and as I wrote, I'm not really surprised by it. I just don't agree with it. I just think that cracking DRM in the spirit of competition or curiosity is one thing, but putting the game out on the Web for people to steal is something else. DRM sucks, but I don't agree with copying someone's work and allowing people to pirate it.

Quote:
If i would work at EA i would've actually paid a group like icon to do what they just did. If EA really wants to buy that company, it will be a whole lot more expensive after the release of GTAIV. That's just speculation though.


Conspiracy theory!
April 25, 2008 9:54:41 PM

robwright said:
Actually, I'm quite familiar with "the scene," and as I wrote, I'm not really surprised by it. I just don't agree with it. I just think that cracking DRM in the spirit of competition or curiosity is one thing, but putting the game out on the Web for people to steal is something else. DRM sucks, but I don't agree with copying someone's work and allowing people to pirate it.

Indeed. To have someone steal something that took a lot of work stings more than a little bit. Then again, having a copy protection for something that 4 out of 5 users will steal anyway is quite a waste of money. That's not the point though.
I did not intend to sound condescending but your post read rather naive, that's what promted my reply. While i agree that it is rather ironic to pirate a game and write about supporting the developer, it is quite common - or used to be.
I once had a talk with game developer about the DRM. His response was rather surprising. It was only in place to hold off the average pirate for two or three weeks. The hardcore crowd, i was told, cracks the game within a few hours after they get the game. The most surprising thing he mentioned was, that he actually made a deal with a couple of the pirate groups to hold off publishing a crack for 2 weeks. Surprisingly, it worked rather well. I suppose it was only possible because the initial release was not in english and thus the pirating groups weren't too numerous.

April 26, 2008 12:21:22 AM

for just about every single xbox 360 game, theres a cracked copy available and many wont even need a modded xbox360 to play them (depends on how well it was cracked)

the problem is that it is harder to detect how many pirated copies of a console game that is in use so they just don't see the true numbers

the 360 has just as much if not more people pirating it's games as compared to PC

even if theres a lower percentage of pirates in the console, theres a greater number of pirates for the console

while for the pc you may have 500-1000 people with a pirate copy, but with consoles you will have over 1 million with it pirated
April 26, 2008 12:38:07 PM

the psone was like one of the most cracked consoles barely knew anyone who bought at least 50% of his games , same with ps2 , and xbox360, there is no reason y games are being ported for every console sometimes incluing wii, psp and ds and not for pc its rly sad, hope some1 rly manages to post a pc version of gta4
April 26, 2008 1:50:35 PM

the game companies just cant really tell how many people are using cracked copies of their games, console game drm is much easier to break than the pc game drm. the xbox has to read the game in order to play that so all it takes is a modded 360 that will transfer what ever it reads over to a pc

if you check on some torrent sites you will see that many console games will have twice as many seeders and leechers as compared to a popular pc game

+ theres also many usb devices you can buy for the 360 that will softmod the 360 and allow you to play any copies game with out the game having to be burned in a special way in order to drm the crap out of it again so the xbox 360 will read it with out being a jerk

console piracy is much higher than tp game piracy, the only reason why they don't complain is because there making more money than with pc games (mainly because with a console game, everyone can run it but with a pc game they get their head up their butt and decide to only focus on a game that has better graphics than everyone else, so for the the hardcore 0.001% hat has a $3000 top of the line gaming PC will have a game that sucks but looks nice

and for the rest of the gamers out there, we get a game that sucks and looks like crap because we cant max out the visuals

PS not all cracked games require any mods on the 360 some will play just fine with the 360 not being able to tell that there cracked
April 26, 2008 11:05:33 PM

I don't understand why people are making a big deal out of this, I mean every game gets pirated. I guarantee that you can find any game you want via torrent, anytime. Honestly I could care less about GTA4. This game will be so much like San Andreas, which sucked by the way. This is just another game thats gonna be picked on by the media, because of its "M" rating, because there's too much "Violence". Honestly grow up, like I said, every game gets pirated, weather its PC, XBOX360, PS3 what ever. Oh, ok today I feel like killing people, doing drugs, and getting 40 DUI charges, I'm smart. Screw GTA, there are so many better games to look forward to.
April 28, 2008 1:27:31 PM

All I know is, whether I can download a cracked copy or not, I intend to buy - actually purchase, with money, GTA4, if they release a PC version.

If they won't sell it to me though, I'll obtain it by any means necessary. But I actually WANT to give them money. I prefer to own the original boxes and manuals and discs and everything. I'm a collector.
April 29, 2008 12:11:23 AM

Alot of downloads of pirated PC games are from people with a damaged disc, that want to play their legacy titles on their new machine.
Most of the rest are people who cannot afford to buy the game anyway.
April 29, 2008 3:50:40 AM

Man I hope GTA IV comes out on PC. PLEASE GOD!!! Why are you guys sarcastically bashing PC's? Everybody with common sense knows that GTA games are not very demanding.
April 29, 2008 3:55:47 AM

Oh, and one more thing. Piracy will be HUGE on 360/PS3, just give it time. PC looks bad just because it's been going on for a long time. GTA IV PC BABY!!!!
April 29, 2008 7:38:29 AM

While pirating console games isn't so obvious, I wouldn't be so quick to brush it off in comparison with PC pirating. It's pretty easy to pirate console games because you can just rent them from the video store. Many people do that...ever been to a video store in a poorer neighbourhood? Or you can copy off a friend. I wouldn't be surprised if this was taken into account when prices are determined. Also, in many (most?) poorer countries, most games found for sale are pirated, including console games (and some consoles themselves).

Ben and Rob have a good point about the geek factor with pirating PC games. I can relate to some people pirating as a pastime, they would probably still do it if games cost pennies. They get to try games that they would never really want to buy, or to see what all that marketing hype is about. Or just to stick it to the man. But pirating ALL your games? Thats a kind of greed worse than any corporation.
April 29, 2008 2:40:42 PM

I really would like to see the videos on this site, but I can't. I used to be able to, until they switched format. Now when I click on the video I just see a Microsoft ad that never ends. What is the secret to seeing the videos? SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME!! (also no video at all appears on my Mac)
April 30, 2008 2:44:59 AM

As far as PC vs. console pirating goes, no PC pirate is going to go the bit torrent route when they can d/l about a zillion times faster from usenet.

That said, the traffic from the 360 and ps3 groups has surged recently and is now about dead-even with the PC pirating groups. However, you have to consider that the traffic is undoubtedly due to the release of GTA IV and there are no comparable PC releases right now. Still, I can see console piracy becoming a much bigger issue in the near future.
!