Starfield DLSS 3 Mod Creator Fires Back At Pirates For Cracking DRM Paywall

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DLSS 3 modder PureDark has issued a response to pirates who cracked his DLSS 3 DRM paywall, enabling users to use PureDark’s frame generation mod for free in Starfield. The modder states that in the future, his mod will feature “hidden mines” that will make his mods buggy if the DRM is broken, making it much more difficult for pirates to use his mods.

PureDark was one of the first modders to mod NVIDIA’s DLSS technology into modern video games. His work on modding DLSS 3 frame generation (and eventually DLSS upscaling) into Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was what really made him popular, and started the whole concept of DLSS modding in general. His work also proved that DLSS integration is not difficult for developers to implement, particularly in games that already have AMD’s FSR 2 technology integrated, since both technologies rely on the same underlying motion vectors to function properly in a video game.

Since the beginning of his DLSS modding career, PureDark has put his DLSS 3-frame generation mods behind a $5 paywall through the use of his Patreon service. At first, nobody took serious issue paying for a DLSS mod, however, when PureDark announced that he would protect his mods with a DRM service, news outlets, and the gaming community at large began to criticize him and question his Patreon paywall.

The controversy escalated when hackers broke his DRM protection just a few days after his Starfield DLSS mods went live. After many members of the gaming community praised pirates for hacking his DRM, PureDark personally responded to these attacks, asking if people were against the idea of an honest man making a living with his programming skills. He also stated that most of his subscribers were happy with his mods and that they considered his $5 monthly subscription a good deal.

In an effort to fight these DRM attacks, PureDark stated that he would make his DRM mods much harder to crack in the future, saying “So from now on I will place hidden mines in all my mods to make it harder for these people. They might be able to find and bypass some of them, but they will never know if they have found all of them. The cracked mods will sometimes work, sometimes fail, sometimes work but [be] very wonky, sometimes even crash and they won't even know if it's a bug or just them using the cracked version, and they will never have the support I've been always providing to my subscribers."

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However, after he made that statement, he responded to one of the members in his Discord server saying that he regretted some of the moves that he had made, stating that he shouldn't have been so distracted with piracy because it is impossible to win against pirates. In the future PureDark says he'll focus on making more mods instead.

The idea of paying for DLSS mods is a hard pill for some people to swallow, especially when DLSS comes “free” in games that officially support it. But on the flip side it is completely understandable for someone to desire some compensation for the work that he/she does. If PureDark provided his mods for free, there’s also a good chance he would not have been able to work as hard and couldn’t put DLSS into as many titles as he has done already.

His mods aren’t always paywalled either, his Starfield DLSS 2 mod, for instance, is completely free and can be picked up on the NexusMods website. He also affirms that subscribers don’t need to pay continuously to have access to his mods. Only when new mods or new versions of mods come out do subscribers need to temporarily re-subscribe to gain access to his latest work.
Tags:  modding, dlss, starfield