Thursday, November 30th 2017

Valeroa Anti-Tamper Tech Tries To Protect Initial Sales, "Cannot Be Cracked Within Reasonable Time"

The launch period of a game is the most important from the sales perspective, and piracy can seriously damage those initial earnings. Several anti-tamper systems have been launched to avoid this, but none seems to be really effective. Denuvo is well know on this front, but its protection has been defeated over and over (and over) again, for example. There's a new anti-tamper technology called Valeroa to fight these issues, and its approach is somewhat different.

As the developers explain, Valeroa "is not a DRM" and it doesn't affect the performance of games because "only a handful of functions are protected by Valeroa". This technique doesn't even require an internet connection, it doesn't read or write the hard drive continuously and "does not limit the number of daily installations or changes of hardware". The most interesting bit comes with its approach to the actual protection, which according to their developers Valeroa "is extremely difficult to crack before and closely after the game release date. The protection becomes a lot easier to crack after a predefined period".
Caipirinha Games and Toplitz Productions have already used Valeora with 'City Patrol: Police', so we'll have to see if this protection works better than Denuvo's. There's a final statement on Valeroa's FAQ that's intriguing: they confess that they "have no problem with organized pirate groups or individuals who crack Valeroa once the protection is weakened. We definitely don't prosecute people who just play cracked games". We wonder what Caipirinha and Toplitz think about that. Source: DSOGaming
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62 Comments on Valeroa Anti-Tamper Tech Tries To Protect Initial Sales, "Cannot Be Cracked Within Reasonable Time"

#1
kastriot
Well we will see how much timeproof is protection in the future game releases.
Posted on Reply
#2
Rahnak
The launch period of a game is the most important from the sales perspective, and piracy can seriously damage those initial earnings.
I really don't buy this at all. Are there any studies that corroborate this? I'd like to know if I'm the wrong.
I used to pirate all my games when I was younger because I couldn't afford them. Now that I can , it's much less of a hassle to get games than it used to be (although I am cheap and wait for those sweet, sweet discounts).
Posted on Reply
#3
Wavetrex
Usual BS from this "anti-tamper" companies.
When are they going to get it ? If it was made by humans, it can be cracked by humans. Rather fast even after a bit of understanding on how it works.

Long live GoG !
No DRM, no BS.
Posted on Reply
#4
Vayra86
Lol. So they sell a product that gets easier to crack over time. Nice disclaimer for probably some ultra crappy coding work. Nice way to hide incompetence.

Imagine working for a software security project and with everything you release, you say 'it may break over time, but initially, all looks well'

They based their proposition on all of the inevitable things that happen to software like this. Its so obvious its almost criminal.
Posted on Reply
#5
bug
Rahnak said:
I really don't buy this at all. Are there any studies that corroborate this? I'd like to know if I'm the wrong.
I used to pirate all my games when I was younger because I couldn't afford them. Now that I can , it's much less of a hassle to get games than it used to be (although I am cheap and wait for those sweet, sweet discounts).
You don't need a study, it's in the contracts for games: most bonuses are awarded based on the sales in the first 2-3 weeks.
Posted on Reply
#6
laszlo
Vayra86 said:
Lol. So they sell a product that gets easier to crack over time. Nice disclaimer for probably some ultra crappy coding work. Nice way to hide incompetence.

Imagine working for a software security project and with everything you release, you say 'it may break over time, but initially, all looks well'

They based their proposition on all of the inevitable things that happen to software like this. Its so obvious its almost criminal.
i see it differently

they know once a game is in wild crackers will start to work and bypass their protection, which i assume is hidden code deep in game

basically they estimated that after launch crackers will need a "predefined period"(few weeks?) to do their work and in this time game will be bought minimizing the losses..

is a fair approach as all known protections were cracked and will be...
Posted on Reply
#7
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
dmartin said:
As the developers explain, Valeroa "is not a DRM"
Yes it is.
Posted on Reply
#8
bug
newtekie1 said:
Yes it is.
It's probably not DRM by itself, but I have a hunch it's not deployed by itself either.
An anti-tampering software doesn't check licenses, but something has to.
Posted on Reply
#9
$ReaPeR$
:roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::kookoo:
Posted on Reply
#10
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
dmartin said:
The launch period of a game is the most important from the sales perspective, and piracy can seriously damage those initial earnings.
That's just what the software publishers always claim as justification for imposing their stinking DRM on us. However, the non-copy protected and very successful Witcher series of games have proved this to be a lie, so that claim should not be casually stated as fact like that.
Posted on Reply
#11
Rahnak
bug said:
You don't need a study, it's in the contracts for games: most bonuses are awarded based on the sales in the first 2-3 weeks.
Yeah, but where are they getting their inside information that everyone is like "Welp, crack's not out yet, guess I gotta buy this game". I believe the vast majority of people that pirate games were never going to buy the game in the first place. But like I said, I could be wrong.
Posted on Reply
#12
bug
qubit said:
That's just what the software publishers always claim as justification for imposing their stinking DRM on us. However, the non-copy protected and very successful Witcher series of games have proved this to be a lie, so that claim should not be casually stated as fact like that.
The (publisher's) problem is that only works when the game is good. It doesn't work for crappy games or EA-style rehashes ;)
The whole industry is basically in hit-and-run mode. Generate hype, grab as much cash as soon as possible, fix only what you have to afterwards. The only titles that don't follow that pattern these days are online titles that actually need you to stick around so you can buy more "microtransactions".

Rahnak said:
Yeah, but where are they getting their inside information that everyone is like "Welp, crack's not out yet, guess I gotta buy this game". I believe the vast majority of people that pirate games were never going to buy the game in the first place. But like I said, I could be wrong.
The general idea is that if you can keep it scarce, more people will buy. And that's true. But like you said, nobody actually put numbers on the % of converts because of DRM.
Posted on Reply
#13
Vayra86
laszlo said:
i see it differently

they know once a game is in wild crackers will start to work and bypass their protection, which i assume is hidden code deep in game

basically they estimated that after launch crackers will need a "predefined period"(few weeks?) to do their work and in this time game will be bought minimizing the losses..

is a fair approach as all known protections were cracked and will be...
No, they try to defend an impossible situation, because the kind of protection and coding required to protect a game fully and make security 'complete' is extremely cost and labor intensive. It is possible to have uncrackable software, especially when there is an online component attached to it. You can have a look at Battle.net and the games it hosts. The security in those games is integrated on a very low level, instead of plastered on top like most DRM. How do you think banks and government institutions, and even companies protect their assets? These days there is no longer a difference in the nature of these applications. They all are Software as a Service, they are all accessed online, and they all interface with a database on the server side. The bottom line is that you need very skilled programmers to make it happen, and a LOT of time to implement it and keep it secure.

In the end, all of this DRM is supported by a simple business case: piracy is considered more costly than implementing the DRM.
Posted on Reply
#14
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
bug said:
The (publisher's) problem is that only works when the game is good. It doesn't work for crappy games or EA-style rehashes ;)
The whole industry is basically in hit-and-run mode. Generate hype, grab as much cash as soon as possible, fix only what you have to afterwards. The only titles that don't follow that pattern these days are online titles that actually need you to stick around so you can buy more "microtransactions".
Exactly. You've just made the case for not using DRM. I remember this being one of the counter arguments to DRM in the many articles I've read on the subject.
Posted on Reply
#15
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I find it interesting that a game like City Patrol: Police is the first with it. It's a cheap, early access game with virtually no sales; ergo, Valeroa must be cheap too, like really cheap ($10s, 100s, or 1000s, not $100,000s like Denuvo).
Valeroa is a protection that ensures that the DRM of the store where gamers bought their game cannot be removed from the game.
Fun fact: Steam games are usually only "protected" by doing a simple "does Steam work? if true continue else Exit()." Sounds like all Valeroa does is dig deeper into Steam to verify you're licensed to play the game.

I don't understand how they think it's going to be difficult to crack nor the logic behind making it easier to crack over time. DRM always comes down to a decryption key or a Boolean value. Once they figure out how to obtain the decryption key or which Boolean to flip, the game runs.

The most difficult games to crack literally hid DRM checks in map levels. If they don't find and modify them all, the game will crash when it hits one. That makes cracking the game very resource intensive.
Posted on Reply
#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
bug said:
It's probably not DRM by itself, but I have a hunch it's not deployed by itself either.
An anti-tampering software doesn't check licenses, but something has to.
Anything that tries to manage who can and can't access digital content is DRM, period. This is an effort to manage who can play games, which are digital content, hence it is DRM.

FordGT90Concept said:
Fun fact: Steam games are usually only "protected" by doing a simple "does steam work? if true continue else Exit()? Sounds like all Valeroa does is dig deeper into Steam to verify you're licensed to play the game.
Pretty much. The basic steam DRM just does a check to see if Steam is running and if the user account logged into steam is supposed to have access to the game. That is why it is so easy to bypass by crackers.

Heck, in the early day of Steam, the cracks for games just modified the offline games list of the Steam client itself. So you started Steam, put it in offline mode, and ran the crack and it would add the game as playable under your account. Obviously you'd also have to put the game files in the right place for Steam to access them. You could play the game as long as you didn't switch back to online mode, at which point your game list would sync with Steam and the cracked game would disappear from your game list. But Valve caught on pretty quick to that and started handing out account bans to people that would consistently have games in their offline cache game list that they weren't supposed to have.
Posted on Reply
#17
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
newtekie1 said:
Anything that tries to manage who can and can't access digital content is DRM, period. This is an effort to manage who can play games, which are digital content, hence it is DRM.
There are so many people that don't understand this simple fact. I facepalm a little every time I see them fall into the trap.
Posted on Reply
#18
bug
newtekie1 said:
Anything that tries to manage who can and can't access digital content is DRM, period. This is an effort to manage who can play games, which are digital content, hence it is DRM.
It says it's an anti-tamper technology (as in, don't change stuff). If you're willing to explain how preventing code changes "is an effort to manage who can play games", I'm all ears.
Posted on Reply
#19
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Rahnak said:
I really don't buy this at all. Are there any studies that corroborate this? I'd like to know if I'm the wrong.
I used to pirate all my games when I was younger because I couldn't afford them. Now that I can , it's much less of a hassle to get games than it used to be (although I am cheap and wait for those sweet, sweet discounts).
Start watching for releases of game sale numbers. Or go back and look at some huge games. See if they said after 1 month what their sales numbers were. Then search for recent sales numbers.

You will find that 60% (at least) of the game sold is the first 30 days. They may get half that again by the 6 month mark. After that it is slow and steady, except for sale specials.
Posted on Reply
#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
bug said:
It says it's an anti-tamper technology (as in, don't change stuff). If you're willing to explain how preventing code changes "is an effort to manage who can play games", I'm all ears.
Because the code changes they are trying to prevent are cracks that allow people that didn't pay for the game to play it.
Posted on Reply
#21
bug
newtekie1 said:
Because the code changes they are trying to prevent are cracks that allow people that didn't pay for the game to play it.
So it's DRM because it prevents you from removing DRM?
Posted on Reply
#22
lynx29
This is funny, I was telling my buddies last night how my Health Insurance company gave me a $40 walmart gift card (doesnt expire until 2037) lol --- oh side note, I was given to me for being tobacco free my whole life --- they also give it to people who quit smoking. Anyways, I was saying I can't wait for Cyberpunk 2077 pre-orders to go live - I am dropping full 60 on it day 1.

90% of these other companies don't even interest me with what they produce, lol. DRM has nothing to do with it for me, they can all suck it :D
Posted on Reply
#23
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
bug said:
So it's DRM because it prevents you from removing DRM?
Anything that intentionally prohibits you from using software is DRM. "Anti-tamper" = "anti-mod" = "digital rights management" because the software is denying you the right to modify.

I'm still not convinced Valero is going to last longer than a few days after crackers take a look at it. Valero basically just put an invite out there for warez groups to tear in to it. They be like:
Posted on Reply
#24
lynx29
FordGT90Concept said:
Anything that intentionally prohibits you from using software is DRM. "Anti-tamper" = "anti-mod" = "digital rights management" because the software is denying you the right to modify.

I'm still not convinced Valero is going to last longer than a few days after crackers take a look at it. Valero basically just put an invite out there for warez groups to tear in to it. They be like:

yep, going to be fun watching them get ripped to shreds and go bankrupt, surprised Denuvo is still in business, give it a couple more years and they won't be. they had a good run earlier this year, but yeah... why would I want to give them money when it will still be cracked within a day of release, and that is what is currently happening
Posted on Reply
#25
bug
FordGT90Concept said:
Anything that intentionally prohibits you from using software is DRM. "Anti-tamper" = "anti-mod" = "digital rights management" because the software is denying you the right to modify.

I'm still not convinced Valero is going to last longer than a few days after crackers take a look at it. Valero basically just put an invite out there for warez groups to tear in to it. They be like:

You're right. There's this little thing that anti-temper doesn't actually prevent you from using software, it only prevents you from, you know, modifying it, but other than that, you're spot on.
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