The preservation of video games has become a controversial topic, as it balances the enthusiasm and passion of the gaming community for documenting this part of the digital electronic history of the 20th and 21st centuries with the disinterest of companies. This leads to various paths, some leading to ethical dilemmas of piracy, while others expose the mistakes of developers or publishers in safeguarding the source code. Sometimes, all of this converges into unique cases, like the one currently shining a spotlight on Rockstar Games.
Rockstar Sold Cracked Copies of Midnight Club 2 on Steam
According to a code analysis conducted by modder "Silent" (via Tech4Gamers), Rockstar Games put up for sale on Steam copies with a cracked version of Midnight Club 2, the second installment of their street racing franchise. The discovery happened when the code of this title's version on Steam, which, by the way, was removed from the platform in 2021, showed a line indicating the work done by Razor 1911, which was carried out to break the anti-piracy security of Midnight Club 2 in 2003.
In case you didn't know, Razor 1911 is a group of crackers founded in Norway in 1986 and became famous in the years and decades that followed for dealing with anti-piracy security of various types of software, including video games. The scene knew that once this group got their hands on a title, it was only a matter of time before it became available on the Internet.
The discovery has not gone unnoticed by the community, and they have wasted no time in criticizing Rockstar Games, a multi-billion-dollar company that undoubtedly has the resources to ensure that ports receive proper attention in every aspect. However, in this case, they simply took the version they had on hand, which happened to be the cracked version of Midnight Club 2, and put it up for sale on Steam. For years, users legally purchased a pirated game.
Furthermore, questions about Rockstar's handling of their backups have arisen, as this would indicate that the company either lost the source code for Midnight Club 2 or simply chose not to invest a single dollar in creating an updated port.
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