It's no longer a surprise when we hear about brand-new game releases being cracked days after launch, but it's not often we hear about one fully cracked even before its release. Unfortunately for Square Enix, its latest epic adventure Final Fantasy XV on Windows has been cracked and released online ahead of its March 6 release.
If not for a couple of simple things, this wouldn't have happened, so we're bound to see things change a little bit going forward. Over at Origin, the game can be preloaded (FFXV is not an EA title, but is one of the rare ones to be sold on its service), and the fact that it preloads completely unencrypted is where Square Enix got burned. But only because it was kind enough to release a free demo so fans could get a taste of what's to come.
While the game was unencrypted, the main executable apparently wouldn't have run the game, likely because that's the last thing Origin would swap out after the launch time passes. However, the executable with the benchmark is completely unencrypted, and apparently acts as the real executable for the full release, making this all possible.
If the benchmark itself had a form of DRM within, this may have been prevented, but given the speed here, it looks like Square's best-case scenario would have been to see it cracked on launch day.
Releasing on Tuesday, March 6, Final Fantasy XV looks to be one of the best FF adventures ever, which is why this is one of the rare ones to actually hit the PC. And with the PC version comes a ton of PC-focused goodies, including many GameWorks features if you happen to run NVIDIA. The game offers what appear to be very large environments, and in typical FF fashion, there's undoubtedly going to be a lot to keep you hooked, including, of course, the story.
Another enterprising fan of the game to get its own goods out ahead of the release is NVIDIA. Last week, it released its Game Ready driver for the game, ensuring GeForce fans get the best performance on launch day (which may be important given all the GameWorks features).